I Hate My Job. Now What?

by David Ning · 39 comments

Whether we admit it or not, many of us have mixed the word hate in the same sentence as our job at one point or another. Sometimes, it’s after a long argument with the boss. Other times, it’s caused by the hopeless feeling when a month long project is expected to be completed by Friday.

With the economy the way it is, it’s even easier to feel down about your career. Chances are good that someone in the office is in deep financial trouble. The added stress more than likely caused additional tension in work relationships, and tension just leads to more despair.

If this sounds familiar, know that complaining to people around you is the last thing you should do because it doesn’t change the situation one bit. Instead, here’s a list of more productive actions you can take.

  1. Improve Your Communication Skills – Being able to articulate your ideas and point of view is one of the most valuable assets you can learn. Remember that communication is both ways. Be a good listener by being patient, then make an effort to get your point across even when you are too lazy to do so.
  2. Practice Your Selling Skills – Most people think of selling as convincing someone to buy, but most selling is done on a more intangible level. Every day, we are selling our ideas with our spoken words. Every day, we are selling our value as an employee with our work ethic and every day, we are selling our image with how we act.Let’s face it. Some people are just naturally more talented at this but with practice, EVERYONE can improve. Make a conscious effort to improve your selling skills by listening to people who are convincing and practice selling your ideas often. To people you know and even people you meet on the streets. Don’t be afraid of failure. The more you fall, the better you become.
  3. Sit Down and Figure Out What You Like and Dislike – Most people who hate their job have never thought about what they can do about it. Perhaps the solution will present itself with just a friendly chat with your manager.  Without giving yourself a chance to seriously think of the possibilities, how do you know that nothing will work?Bottom line. Before you sit down and exhaust every possible solution on how to be happier with your job, you have no right to say you hate it because it’s not the job you dislike, it’s what you are doing with it that you hate.
  4. Gather Your Choices – Once you start thinking about it, you will come up with some possible alternative. Map out a to-do list and take action.
  5. Test Out Your Theories – As you start acting on the possible choices you thought about, you will get a reality check of your theories. Were you correct in thinking that you were overworked compared with others? Is it true that you can really get a higher salary doing what you do? Pretty soon, you will get a pretty good sense of reality and armed with this information, you can plot a better course of action.

While we are at it, here is a list of “What Not to Do”.

  1. Complain – It’s been said but it’s worth mentioning again. Understand that you are lucky to even have a job. Be thankful that while millions of people are forced to look for work, you are in a position to choose.
  2. Buy Things – Many people do this to feel better, but drowning yourself in debt and being tied to your job even more is the last thing you should be doing. Splurging is only going to provide temporary relief.
  3. Seek Out Like Minded Individual – At one of the companies I used to work for, some of the employees always talked about how unfair the work environment was during their lunch and dinner gatherings. After a luncheon with the group, I was running for the hills because I didn’t need them to affect me negatively.
  4. Nothing – This is probably the most common, yet most devastating action you can take. If you do nothing, you are letting your negativity bring your mood down. If you do nothing, you aren’t giving yourself a chance to be happy. If you do nothing, you are avoiding the truth. If you do nothing, you are robbing yourself of what could have been.

Do something, and quick.  Don’t sit there and say “I Hate My Job”.

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Tired of Being a CNA says:

    CNA’s are tired of being taken advantage of. We are tired of being underpaid, unappreciated and overworked. We are tired of being treated like maids instead of healthcare professionals. We are tired of employers looking at us being as replaceable as toilet paper. If you are a CNA or thinking about becoming one you might want to hear from others who already have the job, at a CNA forum ( tiredofbeingacna ), it’s not at all what they tell you it’s going to be, it’s a lot worse.

  • Hi says:

    ” it wouldn’t be that hard to simply go and get another job”

    When you work a full time job, finding another job is like having a 2nd full time job, so I guess working two full time jobs isn’t hard..this is why I think 95% of the human race is a waste of oxygen, think before you type.

  • Sometimes there are very legitimate reasons for hating your job. I think that’s worth considering. I know a lot of folks that feel trapped in their job for whatever reason, even though it wouldn’t be that hard to simply go and get another job.

  • Carl Hatcher says:

    I hate my job as a wildlife agent. I not only put up with drunk idiots on boats but also in the office. I’m glad when I’m out in the woods to goof off, smell the air and piss on a tree!

  • Helena says:

    What happens when you love your job, then you train someone that the company was going to let go because they were from a temp and then your company says good job you trained her very well but she is going to be your team lead? I feel like I got a slap in my high because she has no H.S dip. and she’s only been with the company for less then 90 days. Mad at the boss that make me hate my job.

  • Poppa says:

    I too hate my job and also agree that the be happy to have a job argument is invalid. I’ve been working for a small family owned business for over 10 years. I’ve been taken advantage of from the start. It’s not really the job I hate but the lazy co-workers I have. But when it’s a family owned business and I’m the only one who isn’t family, it falls to me to keep the place running while the family member spend all day on the internet looking at the sports pages, even if I am to lowest paid employee here.

    It get’s sickening after a while but in this area it’s still very difficult to find a job. I have a broad skill set but no piece of paper from a college that says I can do the things I’ve been doing for years. Most employers still give more merit to an individual with no experience and a piece of paper than one with a decade of experience and no piece of paper.

  • Josie says:

    i hate my job also, like Steph I am a housekeeper at a hospital, these people wouldn’t know the mea

  • Tyler says:

    I don’t think the argument “if you hate your job just be glad you have one” holds much water. Yes, I’m glad to have a paycheck, but the stress, frustration and depression associated with hating the job I’m in is awful. It’s misery.

    • Neeke says:

      You should consider disability. I would apply especially can vouch for a change in attitude or some significant difference. You might be surprised and your application might be approved.

  • Apathetic says:

    Most of us hate our jobs because folks like Mr. Townshend above are our bosses. We simply want to come to work, have a clearly defined task, perform said task without any hassle, collect our paychecks, and go back to our lives. Our achievement, power, and affiliation needs and wants are zero, but we’re being managed by ambitious fast trackers who can’t fathom that someone may only be at work to provide for their families and would like to otherwise be left alone.

    • Neeke says:

      You speak a mouthful and express the sentiments of many. I give you 5 outta 5. Thanks for clarifying what some employers need to hear from their workers.

  • fed up says:

    Yes we are glad we have jobs-but that doesn’t mean employers should have the right to treat employees lke dirt-most of them still havent figured out that a satisfied employee is a more productive employee-or that we might spend more time doing for them instead of visiting sites like these……of course most of them haven’t got a clue WHAT satifies employees-money isnt everything even if it is the main reason most of us work-we don’t want warm fuzzy feelings just treat us as professionals-like you treat your boss….What a concept,huh?

    • Halleluea-Chorus says:

      Amen.

    • fellow wage slave says:

      “..still havent figured out that a satisfied employee is a more productive employee-or that we might spend more time doing for them instead of visiting sites like these…” DITTO. I’m a “temporary contract-based” employee working pretty much full time with no benefits or healthcare, yet during the interview was told they were looking for someone to stay in the position for at least two years. oh the irony. many months into it now, more responsibilities and training on tasks not originally in the job description, working in a place where people shit talk about each other behind their backs, a drab and uninspiring environment, oh yes, but I should be thankful I have a job. if I don’t shoot myself first.

  • Nick says:

    The most annoying thing is the fools saying ‘at least you have a job’. That’s a DIFFERENT POINT isn’t it you IDIOTS. They are not saying they are not thankful they HAVE a job, it’s that they are possibly feeling crushed about how boring or meaningless it is.

    • Anonymous Wage Slave says:

      Yes, thank you.

      Why should I feel grateful for having a choice between unemployment and a job that makes me sick to my stomach?

  • Velsing says:

    I am trying to enjoy my job as much as possible, but its getting harder and harder. my boss says one thing does another. i could go on. but it least i have a job, I have made a resolution to just work harder and maybe i will find a better position 🙂

  • Steph says:

    I can’t love my job. I am educated and I work hard, but am forced to work in housekeeping. The only thing I can do is use my hate as motivation to find a better job asap.

  • Lee says:

    Right now, despite being housed in a temporary location, despite the air conditioning being broken, despite where we are being a 3rd of the size of our old office, despite the recession, I LOVE my job.

    I don’t always, of course. No one can love their job all the time. But I am extremely grateful just to have one, let alone one I actively enjoy and appreciate.

  • zombie says:

    I disagree with most of you. I really hate my job and I cannot change the way I feel about it even in the recession try as I may. People tell me “at least you have a job”. I know I am lucky but it does not make me feel any better about going in every morning and doing pointless work that makes me want to shoot myself. Sometimes I wish I was laid off so I have an excuse to try something else. I am always thinking of plans to escape this mon-fri routine hell. When I do have a feasible plan, I will be getting out of my job ASAP.

    • I'm Hearing A Lot Of Buck Up And Not Much Help says:

      That’s about how I feel. Sure I have a paycheck, but how can I be pleased when I’m bored out of my mind every day and wake up thinking “God I don’t want to go to work today” and ten minutes in the door I’m thinking “God I don’t want to go to work tomorrow”? I graduated Suma Cum Laude (as in best of the best) with departmental honors in both of my majors and I can’t find a better job than this–not even an entry level job in my field. So I hate it. And then there are those people that come in and look at me and speak to me as if I’m an idiot and don’t even know how to do the job I’m doing. So I hate it more and want to bash them all over the head. Jail time is really not going to improve my situation, but it still takes too much effort to restrain myself. So I hate it. I’m depressed as all get out and I have no one to talk to about it because my family is too worried about my sister’s diagnoses (breast cancer, she’s 27 and has no risk factors, no genetic factors either) and I can’t put them though more he** and I don’t have any money to talk to a doctor about it because whatever isn’t going towards loans and rent is going to gas and food and wouldn’t be enough anyway. I’m only getting about $70 a month after loans and rent and even though my car gets pretty good gas mileage for a rust bucket with an engine that sounds and feels like its going to fall out on a rainy day (most rainy summer ever by the way) once I pay for gas I only have $10-$20 for food that month. Which means I save nothing. I think half the time I’m paying for food with the money I’ve been trying to save since I started getting $5 bills for my birthday at 12. So I should be thankful that I’m getting any money at all, eh? Last time I checked money doesn’t help if you’re dead and that’s the way I’m headed. Self-desruct sequence has been activated and I don’t know how to stop it other than hate my job and hope I can control myself and remind myself that suicide isn’t going to help the situation. It’s just going to hurt people. Logic. Still I’m left with the ultimatum–money and absolute rock bottom depression or debt over my ears and less rock bottom depression. Tough choice. And so I hate it. So nothing is one of the worst things to do? What else can I do?

  • Wilson Pon says:

    Ning, I’ve heard a hilarious news, where a woman Facebook user has been scolding her boss through the Facebook. She forgot that she’d already added her boss as one of her best friends. Well, I don’t need to tell you the end of the story…

    The lesson that I learned from the story: No matter how irritating your boss is, try to be friend with him/her, instead of becoming an enemy.

  • Avery says:

    nice valuable points.I can not say that I hate job,some time I just do not want to do it anymore.But just after thinking about the economy situation for a while,I decide to stick to my present job.I completely agree your points.It looks like that is what I am doing,thank you for this article.

    Best regards,

    Avery

  • Kyle says:

    I dont’ know that I agree with adding power to add enjoyment. As they say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” There are many reasons to dislike your job and one of them may, in fact, be that you have too much responsibility. I dont’ know that I would actually enjoy being my boss more than I enjoy being me right now.

    In fact I would enjoy my job a little bit more if every now and then I was able to have a little bit less responsibility.

  • Rick Carstens says:

    With the recession hitting hard, people who still hating their jobs are really out of their minds.

  • Richard Townsend says:

    Grab more power.

    Great way to add enjoyment to your job.

    The best way to do that is to seek promotion (legitimate power), the best way to do that is ask for a move up the next time there is a vacancy in the position above you. If you get a “no” ask why not or better still say “what do I need to learn or be better at to qualify for that position”… then go out and learn what you need so your ready for it next time round.

    Nothing like a goal to keep you stimulated and give you a purpose to do better at work and hopefully help you at least enjoy your job a little better. I guess the idea is to stop thinking “job” and start thinking “career” and best to start seeing all experiences a learning opportunities.

    Ric-orglearn

    • MoneyNing says:

      While having more power works for some, it won’t work for everyone. There are people that simply don’t like more responsibilities and/or money.

      Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence, but I’ve met (and supervised) countless people that always told me the last thing they wanted is a promotion. Those people just don’t want to be bothered and the best thing you can do is to leave them alone.

      • Richard Townsend says:

        Yes of course you are right as its about what motivates us as individuals, or… extrinsic (external) or intrinsic motivation (like to do it for the satisfaction of an interesting task well done) or again as it is sometimes put the balance between our , Achievement, Power & Affiliation needs or wants.

  • Emily says:

    While I was reading your post today, my boss stopped by and talked to me. He is pretty good at keeping employee’s privacy by “not” look at their screens when he talks to them. But…..your huge title “I hate my job. Now what?” just grabbed his attention and……. to be continued…..
    (I will keep you posted if I can still come to work tomorrow)

  • Oliver says:

    I never got why people reverted to spending sprees to feel better. It seemed unreasonable to believe that it was anything from temporary.

    If only they spent the same amount of money in a course to improve themselves, they would be out of the rut much quicker.

  • That very thought entered my mind the other day, for the umpteenth time, as I was driving to work.

    Then another thought dawned: hating an institution whose combined workforce and student body are larger than the populations of most small cities is about like hating a force of nature. OBE (Our Beloved Employer) cares whether I hate it about as much as a tornado or an earthquake would care.

    That was a liberating insight. I realized I needed to get over it, stop wasting energy on pointless thinking, and either change my attitude toward work or get another job. Or, as I’m going to do come next December, get quit of the day job altogether. 😉

  • Craig says:

    If you hate your job, you should still be lucky you have one right now. Improve your skills and network as much as possible. There could be other opportunities out there that may be a better fit if you know the right people.

  • Jennifer says:

    I almost didn’t read the post because I don’t hate my job, but I thought the advice works well for everyone.

    Communication skills are lacking for many (especially those engineers) and I totally agree that a good communicator is so much more marketable than one who cannot articulate her ideas.

  • Charles says:

    I hate my job but I’ve been doing it for the last three years. Then the economy went sour and I was so happy my company didn’t fire me. Ever since that time, I saw my job in a different light. The work didn’t seem that bad, and the long hours actually made me feel good that I was needed.

    The job is just what you make of it. If you see it in a positive light, you will feel better about it even if nothing changed.

    • MoneyNing says:

      I’m so happy you completely changed your outlook for the better. I bet that you are happier with everything outside of work as well huh?

      Good job (no pun intended).

  • Jerry says:

    I do hope that those people who hate their job truly realize how lucky they are. When we decided to hire an entry level mechanical engineer a few weeks ago, we received 6,000+ applications. Of those apps, 500 had phDs in a related discipline.

    The market is still very tough. Be happy you are still getting a paycheck.

    • MoneyNing says:

      The stats are incredible. Money magazine was saying that while the economy seems to be turning the corner, companies are still cutting benefits, salaries and bonuses. It’s tough out there…

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