I Hate My Job! – What to Do Now (Follow These 10 Steps)

By Mike Simpson

When you hate your job, every day can feel like a slog. Not only are your workdays rough, but fears and annoyance about going back to work can worm their way into your weekends and vacations. A stunning 81 percent of professionals experience Sunday night dread, and it’s a rough way to live.

But if all that’s running through your head during the workday (and possibly longer) is “I hate my job,” what should you do? You’re probably wondering, “Should I quit my job? Or is how I’m feeling normal?”

Before you do anything drastic or resign yourself to your situation, it’s important to pause for a moment. Figuring out what to do when you hate your job requires a bit of reflection. After all, you can create a good plan for moving forward if you don’t know what about your job is getting under your skin.

While that may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Come with us as we explore the reason why “I hate my job” might be on taking over your brain, as well as what to do to get your career moving in a better direction.

Why Do We Hate Our Jobs?

Alright, before we cover what you should do when you can’t stop thinking, “my job is killing me,” let’s dig into why you may be feeling that way. There is a slew of reasons why you may dislike – or downright loathe – your job, and it’s crucial to figure out which one is at the root of what you’re feeling. That way, you can choose a path that solves the problem.

Common Reasons for Hating Your Job

There are a few common reasons why a person may despise their job. By figuring out which applies to you, you can accomplish a few things. First, you can determine if the issue is potentially fixable. Second, you can decide what you don’t want in your next job, should quitting end up part of the plan.

Generally, professionals who hate their job are struggling with one or more of the following:

    • Their boss
    • Their colleagues
    • The company’s culture
    • Their duties, responsibilities, or workload
    • Their industry, profession, or overall career path
    • Burning out

Knowing which of those apply to you use vital. Each one may have a different solution. So, it’s wise to reflect on exactly what about your job is getting under your skin.

How to Figure Out Why You Hate Your Job

Usually, honest reflection is your best approach. You need to set aside your emotions and carefully examine what about the job you dislike.

Now, this means going beyond the basics like “I hate my boss” or “my duties are horrible.” What about your manager isn’t working for you? Is their management style a mismatch for your needs? Do they steal credit for your work? Are they micromanaging your every move?

For your duties, are they boring or tedious? Do you feel inadequately trained to handle them? Were you not given the right tools to do your job? Is your work no longer challenging or engaging?

Questions like that can help you get to the foundation of the issue. So, don’t shy away from really asking yourself why you feel the way you do. It might not be an easy journey, but it’s an enlightening one.

The Negative Impacts of Staying in a Job You Hate

Hating your job don’t just impact your mindset. Ninety-one percent of professionals say that stress and frustration lowered the quality of their work. That means their performance declines, something that is likely to be noticed by managers.

Plus, the harm can go well beyond your career. Eighty-three percent of professionals said that burnout – which can cause someone to hate their job – negatively impacted their personal relationships. That means it can leach out of your professional life, harming other parts of your life, too.

Stress can also lead to anxiety and depression. Some researchers have even found that work stress – including potentially hating your job – could shrink your lifespan. Yikes!

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

Now that you have some idea why you’re feeling this way, it’s time to move onto the next part of the equation: what to do when you hate your job.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide that can help usher you forward:

1. Don’t Quit on a Whim

Sure, the idea of just walking away might be particularly enticing when you hate your job. Plus, as we’ve discussed before, sometimes the answer to the “Should I quit my job” is a resounding “yes.”

The trick is unless your workplace is legitimately dangerous or unrelentingly toxic, walking away without having something to head toward – like a new job you’ve already lined up – isn’t the best idea. Remember, leaving a job creates financial risk. And, if you aren’t quitting for a good reason – like serious safety issues – you probably won’t get unemployment.

Even if you feel like “my job is killing me,” that doesn’t mean it couldn’t turn into something better. Many situations can improve if you’re willing to discuss your concerns and present solutions.

Essentially, quitting your job should never be done on a whim, even if you genuinely despise it. Instead, take the time to follow the steps below and develop a strategy. That way, if you decide that leaving is the smart move, you can do it the best way possible.

2. Don’t Spend All of Your Time Talking About “I Hate My Job”

While it may be tempting to grab a bullhorn and let the whole world know, “I hate working here,” that’s a bad idea. Sure, you can mention it to family and close friends, as they can be a critical source of support. Beyond that, it’s best to keep quiet.

Why?

Because peppering your social media feed with complaints isn’t going to reflect well on you. And, considering that 70 percent of companies screen job candidate’s social media profiles, it could come back to bite you when you decide to get something new.

Similarly, complaining endlessly to anyone is going to damage your relationships. It is possible to cross the line, especially if it’s all you want to discuss with your nearest and dearest.

Finally, cluing in the wrong people – like your colleagues or boss – can have serious career ramifications. In the worst-case scenario, you could get fired over it.

3. Know That It Isn’t Unusual

Ending up in a job you dislike isn’t unusual. In fact, it happens to nearly everyone at some point in their career.

Take solace in that fact. Why? Because it means that you aren’t alone. Other people have been in your shoes, and the vast majority have moved forward. You can, too.

4. Reflect on Your Reasons Why

People can hate their jobs for a whole slew of reasons. Which ones apply to you are going to dictate where you go next.

For example, if you’re dealing with burnout, then you might want to talk about it with your manager. Maybe they can adjust your duties to get you re-engaged or can offer you critical support as you move through it.

If you’re unhappy with your employer’s culture, then you need to determine what about it is or isn’t working for you. That way, you can decide whether what you’re dealing with is potentially changeable, or if it’s a sign that you should start looking for something new.

Similarly, if you can’t stand your duties, profession, or industry, you need to look at the situation closely. If you don’t know what about it is driving up up the wall, figuring that out is a critical step. Otherwise, even if you give into those “I want to quit my job” feelings, you could end up right back in the same place simply because you weren’t aware of what you need to avoid.

5. Keep Doing Your Best

Yes, when all you can think is how much you hate your job, it’s hard to keep up as a top performer. The trick is, that’s a necessity. Why? Because doing well at this job makes it easier to move forward.

Think of it this way; if the quality of your work declines or your attitude gets incredibly negative, would your current boss give you a good reference? What about your coworkers; would they have nice things to say? Probably not.

Letting your performance tank isn’t without consequences. That’s why you have to avoid it. While it may be hard, keep doing your best. That way, you can preserve your reputation while you plan your next steps.

6. Prepare for the Conversation

If why you hate your job is potentially fixable, then you need to prepare for a conversation with your manager, HR, or another company leader. You can’t simply walk in and say you’re miserable. Instead, you need concrete examples of what’s harming your morale, as well as insights into what could help you improve.

Organize your thoughts and figure out the best way to present your perspective. Be solution-oriented, as your goal shouldn’t be to blatantly complain, but to work toward something better.

MIKE'S TIP: Now, it’s true that speaking up isn’t always an option. Plus, it can come with risk. After all, you’re openly admitting that you’re unhappy, and that may not be well-received. However, if you have a good rapport with the person you’re speaking with, you have well thought out points, and can offer reasonable solutions, it could be worth trying. A great manager is going to want to help you thrive. So, if your boss falls in that category and the potential to like your current job is there, consider going this route.

7. Plan for a Job Hunt

If the situation isn’t repairable, then it’s job search time. What’s the first step to a successful job search? Well, planning, of course.

Since you know what about this job is bothering you, you know what to avoid in your next position. Use that as a guide to help you figure out what kind of role is right for you, allowing you to focus your efforts in that direction.

Additionally, spend a little time on the nitty-gritty. Spruce up your resume and LinkedIn profile. Rekindle connections with members of your network who may be able to help you move forward. If you need new skills to take the next step, sign up for classes, or create your own self-directed learning program.

The idea is to spend a little time setting yourself up for success. That way, you can potentially expedite your job search.

8. Launch Your Job Search

Once you have your ducks in a row, quietly launch your job search. Start with approaches that are relatively discreet. For example, you may want to check out job sites, company social media pages, or similar options.

If you do reach out to your network, choose only people who can help while maintaining your privacy. That way, you aren’t shouting your intention to leave from the rooftops.

9. Apply to Jobs You’ll Like

As you move through your job search, resist the urge to apply to everything you find. Even if you hate your current job, that doesn’t mean you should accept the first position just so you can get the heck out of Dodge.

Instead, be strategic. Focus on roles that will ultimately meet your needs. That way, you can move forward to something that’s actually better.

10. Leave Like a Professional

Once you get a new position, leave with class. Give notice, if possible. Don’t air your grievances to the point of burning bridges. Instead, appreciate what the role gave you, and exit like a professional.

Putting It All Together

Ultimately, hating your job is rough. But there is a path forward. Use the steps above to get moving in a better direction. That way, you can land an opportunity that leaves you feeling excited about your career once again.

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About The Author

Mike Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO of TheInterviewGuys.com. Mike is a job interview and career expert and the head writer at TheInterviewGuys.com. His advice and insights have been shared and featured by publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, CNBC and more as well as educational institutions such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, Northeastern and others. Learn more about The Interview Guys on our About Us page.