Do you wake up in the morning thinking, “Ugh! I hate my job!” and dread going to work each day? If so, this will benefit you and you are not alone. Many, and I mean a countless many, hate their jobs.
There are many factors contribute to liking or detesting our jobs: our boss, our co-workers, the commute, the role itself and our responsibilities, our workload, the executive management team, the company values, work environment and company culture. When any one or several of these factors do not meet our needs and are detestable to us, we can hate our jobs.
So what can you do about it? Here are ten different options:
I have walked out the door on a few jobs myself, without having another one lined up. Most people will not recommend this course of action, including myself. It is a huge risk, and with that risk comes financial and emotional repercussions.
When we do not have another job lined up, we face a loss of income and therefore, financial and emotional stress. We also face the inevitable, uncomfortable question from future employers, “why did you leave your last position?”
When we just up and quit our jobs, it is harder to explain and it doesn’t look good to a future employer – why? Because employers frown upon employment gaps and may pass over your resume if too much time has passed. Also, when we quit, an employer knows that something went drastically wrong and often will think the problem exists with you. Most people will recommend that you find another job before quitting your current one, and I tend to agree.
That being said, quitting outright is an option if you literally cannot take another second more of your job and have a “take this job and shove it” mentality. As I mentioned, I have done this myself several times, it did create more stress for me, yet I always landed on my feet again. Admittedly, it also felt good and was empowering. Just be aware of what is ahead of you if you choose this route.
2. Request to expand your work responsibilities to include tasks you will enjoy more.
YES! We can do this! I have done this myself in several jobs where I did not like the responsibilities I held. I found other tasks to be much more interesting and appealing, so I simply asked my boss if I could expand my role to include those types of tasks. Ask and you shall receive! Bosses love it and will love you for it when you ask to expand your level of responsibility! The more you can take off their plate to worry about, the happier they are. It’s a win-win!
Now doing so does not mean that you will receive a raise, so you shouldn’t expect one in this case. However, you can take on new tasks and feel happier and much more satisfied in your job simply by doing so.
3. Take a professional development course, seminars or workshops.
Enrollment in a professional development course, a certification course, seminars or workshops will increase your skill set and knowledge level and prepare you to take on new responsibilities, advance within your company or transfer to a new role within the company. If you seek advancement, a different role or a new responsibility level, this is a positive avenue to pursue! It will reinvigorate you, pump new blood into you, get you excited and will ease the pains you are experiencing in your current role.
Often companies offer internal training programs for free, so it is worthwhile to inquire within about these opportunities. If free training is not available to you internally, you may have to pay the fees yourself. Alternatively, you can look for free training and workshops on the Internet. There are numerous free options available.
4. Approach your Human Resources department/representative and ask if there is an equal, more suitable role within the company.
Human Resources is a great resource for employees, so lean on them and utilize this resource that is freely available to you. Again, ask and you shall receive! There is no harm in asking.
If another role is not immediately available, one may be available in the future. Or perhaps it is possible to change departments or locations. It never hurts to put the feelers out and get the ball rolling in the right direction if you are unhappy. Being proactive in this way can only help you and will not harm you in any way.
5. Ask to work from home one or two days a week.
Depending on your work environment, position and field, another option is to ask your boss if you can switch to working from home once or even twice a week. You may be surprised and they may just say yes! It never hurts to ask, and the worst that can happen is they say no.
Working from home can provide you with some relief and a nice break from the office environment.
6. Dust off you resume and begin a job search.
When you hate your job, one of the most logical steps to take is to find another that will make you happier.
So update your resume, get in touch with recruiters/headhunters, post your resume on many different job boards, update your LinkedIn profile and ask for recommendations from co-workers at your current job. It is perfectly fine, acceptable and standard practice to post recommendations on your LinkedIn profile while you are still employed by that company.
It may take time to find another position, it is hard work and requires dedication and patience, yet having one foot already out the door will improve your outlook and happiness on a day-to-day basis as you get excited about finding a new opportunity.
7. Give yourself a makeover and change careers.
If it’s the field or vocation you’re in that is making you hate your job, another possibility is to switch careers! Some people hold back due to fear of the unknown, fear of failure or fear of starting over again, perhaps with a lower salary. But thousands of people change careers all the time, and many people switch careers multiple times in a lifetime. No one says that you must remain within that field. If it is the field itself that is making you unhappy, why not find a different career path you will enjoy? Let go of your fears, forget the salary concerns (if you can), take the plunge and follow your bliss!
Even if you have dedicated years to one career path, it is always possible to change directions at any point in time. Many people late in life decide to return to school to get a degree in a new field.
I personally have switched careers/vocations five times and it has never harmed my ability to land a job or my current career path. To new employers, you can creatively connect the dots between the different career paths and create an interesting and appealing story as to why you want to change directions. Finding your passion can take some time if you don’t know where to turn, but it is well worth the effort if you are unhappy in your current career.
8. Stay, do nothing and be miserable.
I say this with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, but why would you do this? Many people actually do become complacent in their jobs and I have seen this happen; being complacent and doing nothing is certainly easier than making a change. It’s the path of least resistance. Some people are too afraid to make a change for whatever reason, or perhaps they simply are too busy to think about making changes, too exhausted or are unaware of all the possibilities.
However, your happiness, your well being and mental health are important. After all, we typically spend 40 hours per week at our jobs. That is a solid chunk of our time and waking hours. Isn’t it worthwhile to take steps towards improving your well being and happiness?
9. Stay in your job and find creative ways to improve your happiness.
If for whatever reason you cannot leave your job, let’s say if you are close to retirement or perhaps
there’s something else preventing you from leaving, you can find and develop creative ways to make your life and misery more manageable.
For example, when I hated one of my jobs and was completely miserable, I made up mental games for myself that would amuse me. I would deliberately walk through the maze of gray office cubes, taking a different route each day, to seek out cubes with the funniest/most entertaining decorations. I also frequently imagined people suddenly breaking out into paint ball wars to break up the monotony and silence within the office. I entertained myself in this way every single day, which alleviated my misery and made my job much easier to stomach.
Another route is to focus on the aspects of your job that you do like and focus on those foremost rather than the aspects you despise.
10. Take vacation days, use up all your time off and spend time with co-workers.
Another option is to take advantage of all your vacation days and time off. They are there for a reason, so take advantage of all the time off you are allowed. Why not?
Also, eating lunch every day with co-workers you do enjoy will help alleviate your misery as well. Or, head out for dinner/drinks after work with your favorite co-workers, enjoy yourself and have some good laughs about your misery at work. Getting it off our chest and/or group commiseration also helps to make us feel better and can improve our mood and outlook.
So, if you hate your job, there are many different proactive steps you can take to make positive changes and improve your situation.
Here’s to improving your life and your happiness!