I Hate My Job, What Should I Do? 5 Simple Ideas
I hate my job! If this is something you're saying to yourself, it might mean that it's time to start thinking about your future. Or your current job performance. Those who are feeling stressed at work don't perform well. And this could spell disaster for your career.
Hating your job isn't an uncommon issue.
Many employees feel stressed at work. Or feel distressed about their role in the workplace.
If you hate your job, here's what to do about it.
If you hate your job, analyze the issue
Before deciding to do anything, analyze what the issue could be. Why is it that you're feeling stressed about your work?
World Psychiatry suggests that many employees feel stressed our burned out at work due to one or more of the following issues.
Exhaustion in the workplace is common. It can make you feel miserable. To define it, you could feel debilitated and fatigued. Or lacking the motivation to want to get up in the morning and go to work.
A feeling that your professional ideals are no longer important. You are becoming irritated with clients. Having a "short temper" with your coworkers. Or generally feeling like there's something else always bothering you.
You're becoming less and less productive as each day passes. And are feeling that every day that goes by your quality of work is diminishing.
Are one of these you?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above, then it might be a sign to start considering your future with the company. And how your life is being impacted by your work.
Does it mean changing jobs? Or does it mean to have a new perspective about your work?
It's important to consider all of the variables before you decide what's best.
What is important to know is that you are feeling stressed at work and generally unhappy. Now it's time to consider what to do about it.
But does it pay well?
A major consideration before resigning, searching for a new position, or losing your patience is money.
Unfortunately, money is a necessity in life. And depending on your situation at home, perhaps consider how money could change your perspective of your current job.
Here's what you should know
Many jobs that aren't wonderful to do, often pay well. Workers can be compensated heavily for doing jobs that others simply don't want to do.
Take a look at the average salaries for your role before making any fast decisions. You could be compensated more than you think. And there's potential you could resign from your role and get into a new job that doesn't pay as well.
Ask yourself these questions
To evaluate what the issue is, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I enjoy the job I do?
- Am I still enjoying the industry I work in?
- Am I going into work feeling motivated?
- Is it my manager/boss who is bothering me?
- Are there issues at home/personal life impacting my work?
- Do I love the company but dislike the job?
- Is it the working hours that are impacting me?
These questions will help you to pinpoint what you'll be able to do in order to resolve the issue more effectively.
How to handle a job you hate
Here are some ideas on how to handle a job you hate.
Ask to change departments
Changing departments is a great way to keep your job will still trying out a new role. It's better than suggesting you leave the company and start a new job search.
A request to change departments is an easy one. And can ensure that your health benefits, 401k contributions, and other employment options are kept.
Here is what you might say to request to change departments by email:
Hi Susan —
I want to open the discussion about changing departments. For me, I love the team. And my manager/boss. It's really just about feeling burned out of this particular scope of work. It's been about 12 months since I've had the opportunity to see other aspects of the company.
And, being part of those departments is what attracted me to this company in the first place. It will allow me to gain the skills I need to advance my career.
I was wondering if we might be able to speak about changing departments?
Thanks so much Susan!
Request to change job titles
If it's your job that you aren't happy with. But enjoy the company and team. Then requesting to change job titles might be the best route.
For example, many people who get promoted into a management position decide that they'd like to go back to being an individual contributor. This is common.
The reason for this is that the person feels unhappy with their contributions as a manager. And realizes that they are better suited as a contributor rather than supervisor.
Here is how to suggest moving job titles by email:
Hi Ken —
I want to start off by saying how much I love this company and the team. I'm very pleased with my work here. I was happy to get the opportunity to advance to a management position. And I'm sincerely grateful for that opportunity.
After spending time in the position, I've decided that I'm better suited as a contributor rather than a manager.
Could we potentially speak about moving me back to an IC role?
Thanks so much Ken,
It's common to dislike your boss/manager. Do they have a working style that you aren't favorable toward? Do you simply not have "good chemistry" with them? Changing managers can make a world of difference.
To request to move managers, it's best to talk with your human resources department and make a request to move managers.
Before you start looking for a new job, consider whether or not the project is what's bothering you. Some employers stick you on difficult projects. Knowing that others don't really want to engage with it.
Especially as a new hire, this could be the case. You just joined the company and ended up on the worst project you could think of.
It's best to request to change projects rather than leaving.
Here's how to do that with your manager/HR representative:
I'd like to discuss moving projects. I've been working on this project for about 6 months now. And while I am pleased with our work. I would really like to get involved in some of the other initiatives within the business.
Could we talk about the potential of switching projects? I don't want to put my colleagues in a tough situation. Though, I'm feeling unmotivated by this particular piece of work. And I would like to bring more energy with me when I arrive to the office.
Thanks so much Susan,
Ask a friend or mentor for advice before quitting. A family friend or previous employer/manager could be a great resource. Anyone who was willing to write you a recommendation letter would make a solid choice to speak with.
Here is what they might have to say:
- If you don't see your boss's job as something you'd like to aspire to, it's probably best to move positions.
- Were your feelings hurt and is this something that is resolved through conflict resolution?
- Are you getting all the support you need to do great work?
- How much time do you spend trying to avoid your work?
- Are you constantly feeling like the effort you put into the company isn't being noticed?
All of these are key questions that can help to determine appropriate next steps. And can be discussed with your mentor.
If you don't have access to a mentor, speak with friends. You might be surprised how often your friends feel like they hate their job. And hear what they have to say regarding what you should do.
Quit your job
If all of this has failed and lead to disappointment, maybe it's time to leave. Before you quit your job, have a job offer ready. It's okay to start searching for a new job before you resign.
Looking for a new job when you don't need a job, is the best time to search.
Learn how to quit a job.
Deciding to leave the job
Before or after deciding to leave your job, consider the future.
What career would you like to be in
This industry and career is failing you. What job duties and responsibilities would motivate you? And what industry is that in?
Address this with yourself, first. Then start to strategize where you apply for jobs. And how you do it.
- What am I passionate about?
- If work didn't have to feel like "work," what would I being doing?
- Who do I aspire to be like and how did they get there?
- Why am I not satisfied with my current job and industry?
- What's the main reason why I'm not feeling positive about my work?
Update your resume
It's time to start updating your resume. Ensure that your resume has achievements that your current boss can validate. It's okay to list that you're currently employed somewhere while searching for a new position.
Spend time to ensure that your resume matches the industry and new job title that you're looking to enter into.
Start a job search
Create a spreadsheet of which companies you'd like to work for. And list their job openings.
Place the job application link or job application email into the spreadsheet. And begin your process.
Customized your cover letter and resume to the job that you want. And after you apply, make sure to mark the application in the spreadsheet.
Having a job search strategy is one of the best ways to ensure that you secure job interviews and that those job interviews lead to job offers.
A major consideration should be the timing of your resignation. While it's certainly better to consider the other options, like changing departments or requesting another manager. At times, leaving is the only option.
Whenever possible, it's best to resign from a job without burning a bridge. You want your previous manager to write you a recommendation letter.
The best way to do this? Don't tell your boss why you're leaving.
There are good reasons and bad reasons for leaving a job. A small white lie in this circumstance could be better.
A "go-to" reason:
I'm deciding to leave the company due to this advancement opportunity.
This reason is one that can easily be mentioned in a resignation letter, when speaking to a new employer, or when providing your two weeks' notice.
And it will ensure you gracefully resign from your duties without scrutiny.
Here's what you shouldn't do:
I'm leaving because I'm unhappy with this company. This place sucks. The management sucks. I'm done!
Learn how to write a resignation letter when you're unhappy with management.
Some tips to help you understand why you hate your job and what you could do about it.
- Change departments. This is a very easy way to make your life easier. It doesn't involve searching for a new job. Taking interviews. Or discussing salary. It costs you one simple request to your human resources department. And a small discussion with your boss.
- Request to change managers. Sometimes, chemistry isn't there. If you are feeling disappointed with your work, chances are your boss does too. Speak with the human resources representative about changing managers.
- Resolve a conflict. Maybe it's just a conflict at work that needs to be resolved. Do you get along with your coworkers? Are you feeling stressed? It could be that you are the one who needs to have better communication about how and when you want to work.
- Consider your options. These options are far easier to address than starting a new job search. Don't quit before you exhaust all of these efforts. You'll be surprised how much your current employer will want to engage in these discussions and keep you happy. Happy employees do great work. And great employers recognize this.
- Communicate. Of course this seems obvious. It's not! There's a strong chance that you're unhappy with your work because your verbal communication skills are lacking. Have a "one-on-one" discussion with your manager. And discuss why you aren't happy. And what could be done to resolve the situation? Good managers will help you to address your issues. Rather than punish you for your feelings.
- Start a job search. It's okay to have a backup plan. You don't have to resign before you start a job search. Apply to new positions, take a few interviews, and see how you feel. There's a chance you'll find that you enjoy your current position/company more than you expect.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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