When you wake up on a Monday morning, do you dread what the day ahead will bring? Does work always feel like a chore to you, rather than something that excites and inspires you? Do you sometimes sit and reflect on how far you've come from your old dreams of fulfillment, success, and happiness? Are you asking yourself, ‘should I quit my job?'.
These are all signs of a dead-end job, and your unhappiness at work can easily undermine your overall sense of well-being. But what's the smart solution?
It’s extremely tough to work out what to do when you hate your job, largely because you may be dependent on the relative security it provides. However, you may also end up deeply depressed and resentful if you spend the rest of your life trapped in a situation you can't stand. This guide will walk you through the sensible steps you should take, helping you to make a realistic and effective plan for positive change. Keep reading to discover what to do when you hate your job but want to focus on positive energy.
When you’re thinking “I hate my job! Should I quit my job?”, it’s tempting to wallow in self-pity or to just immediately hand in your notice and quit.
However, you’ll get better long-term results if you work through a solid plan, one that will help you figure out what you need to do to be happy. Here are the six vital things that you should do when you realize that you truly hate your job.
Before you take any action, you need to conduct a thorough assessment of your present situation. As obvious as that may seem to you, people often panic and overlook this step.
In particular, you'll benefit from giving some serious thought to exactly what is making you so unhappy.
For example, distinguish between your job and your boss. If it's your current boss who is making your life miserable, is there any hope that this person may move on in the near future? If so, your unhappiness might be temporary.
On the other hand, it's your specific position at work that you hate, then ask yourself if this has always been the case. If not, what has changed?
Questions like this will help you figure out whether it's this specific job that you dislike, or your career more broadly. One likely requires retraining, while the other might only require a new job in the same field.
While you might not be able to tell everyone “I want to quit my job, but I need money”, you can still have productive and honest conversations about your predicament; some of which might stop you from hating your job.
Can you approach someone higher up in your organization to discuss your workload, your current pay, or issues in your wider team? Alternatively, do you feel like you're stagnating after many years doing the same thing, and that you'd be happier if you were given new challenges?
Supervisors will often be very helpful when it comes to these sorts of issues, as they may value you enough to put significant changes into effect. And your bosses may have absolutely no idea that you're currently miserable! When they find out that you're dissatisfied and thinking of leaving, your talent and skill may motivate a pay rise, a team restructuring, or an amendment to your work role.
Remind yourself that you’re not the only one in a dead end job, or who feels like they get nothing from their current career. This isn't to say that you have no right to be unhappy, or that you should continue to suffer through a joyless career. Rather, it's to keep you aware of the fact that you're not alone, and that many others have been exactly where you are. Indeed, many of them have overcome the problem and found better situations.
Reach out to friends who also dislike their jobs, and also to those who have at some point had a job that they hated. Talking to both of these groups will assist you in coming up with solutions, and provide you with some much-needed empathy in the process. In some cases, your friends might also help you in networking with well-connected people who may provide new job opportunities in the future.
Of all the consequences of hating your job, low mood can be the most difficult. Once you're feeling listless and disappointment, it's hard to drum up the motivation to make any real changes. But instead of just repeating “I despise my job” and getting caught in a negative look, make a deliberate effort to switch your perspective. Yes, it's hard to see anything positive in your current situation, but if you can see each day as an opportunity then you'll find it easier to survive.
The thought here is just that you might find ways to learn new things, develop your skills and enhance your CV while in your current job, even though you might loathe the job itself. This means that you're constantly boosting your value in ways that will help you find new work, or may lead to a more enjoyable promotion. By persisting in the face of adversity, you're also making yourself more resilient to future challenges.
“Should I Quit My Job?”
When you think “My job makes me miserable”, you’ll feel an itch to walk out and not come back. However, giving into this impulse is almost always a mistake.
Firstly, you might just be going through a rough patch. Once you leave you are unlikely to be welcomed back.
For example, could you ask to move to a different team, or to start working different shifts? It's important to go through all the compromises and possibilities before you make a final decision to leave.
Secondly, even if you're sure that you want to be doing something else somewhere else, your job search will be more stressful if you aren't actively earning money.
Finding a new job can be tough, and sometimes takes a long time. It's better to keep actively searching while in gainful employment than it is to be slowly draining your savings while feeling under the gun.
Finally, when you’re figuring out how to leave a dead end job, there will be a temptation to “phone it in” when it comes to your work performance. In other words, you might want to to the bare minimum and slack off whenever you can.
However, there are a couple of reasons why you should continue to do your best work, even if that sounds counterintuitive. The first is pragmatic. You want to have good references when you apply elsewhere, and the best way to guarantee those is to excel in your role (even if it isn't your dream job).
Meanwhile, you'll also feel a lot better about yourself (on all levels) if you produce high quality work and do the very best you can. This will enhance your confidence, maximize your chances of getting at least something out of your job, and help you to keep an open mind about future happiness.