At some point during your life, you’ll most likely experience a job you hate.
Whether that’s early on as a teenager when you are looking to make extra money or even later in life during your career path.
But it might even go a step further and you often find yourself saying, “I hate working!” No matter the company, the job, or if you’ve changed careers.
And you are not alone in your feelings.
In the State of the Global Workplace report, it was found that, along with dissatisfaction, workers are experiencing increasing rates of disengagement and unhappiness. 60% of people reported being emotionally detached at work and 19% as being miserable.
Let’s look at some reasons you might hate working and what you can do if you hate your job to improve your career happiness.
Why People Hate Working
I’m not going to spend much time as to why people hate working, but it is worth sharing some additional insight here.
Generally, if you are experiencing unhappiness with work and your career, you can usually pinpoint those feelings to one or even a few reasons why this might be.
Here’s some of them:
- Overworked and underpaid. A common thread I’ve felt among my colleagues and friends in the workplace. This can quickly lead to resentment in the workplace, feeling stuck, and anger towards working.
- Bad manager or leadership team. According to Gallup, a bad manager can account for 70% of the variance, both negative and positive, in employee engagement.
- You’re dissatisfied with the type of work. Sometimes you stumble on a career or maybe you picked it early on, but overtime it’s weighing on your mental or physical health.
- Other co-workers are bringing your mood down and making work terrible for you. 53% of employees don’t look forward to coming to work because of a colleague.
- Feeling stuck in life. This often isn’t just work related, but could be deeper feelings that are causing anxiety, depression, and general unhappiness. And often work is just one layer of dread you might be feeling out of many.
The important thing to remember if you hate working or hate your job – you are not alone in your feelings.
Beyond family or friends who may also be feeling this way, just do some quick searches on the interest and you’ll find many people having similar feelings. Here’s a few discussions and questions I found on this topic in just a few minutes:
And there is a good chance you stumbled on this article while searching for advice about hating work and what to do!
What to Do If You Hate Working or Hate Your Job
This nagging feeling of hating work or your job may be new or it could be festering for quite a while.
I experienced this hate for not only my job, but the lack of an interesting career path when I first graduated college and began working full-time.
The good news is there are ways to take action, improve your situation, and hopefully start to enjoy the work you do a bit more. And by taking action, I also dramatically improved my own feelings toward work and have been much happier career wise since then.
Below, I’ve put together a few steps that can hopefully help improve your work and change the trajectory of your career in a positive way. Let’s dive in!
1. Understand Your Feelings
Once you start to have these feelings of “hate” towards working or your job, it’s best to reflect on why that is happening.
Is it because of the type of work? Is it the managers or co-workers? Do you find it not aligned to your interests and skills? Are you in a toxic workplace? Or stuck in a career rut?
Whatever it might be, start to understand the “why” of your feelings toward work.
Take some time to understand why you hate your job. Is it the tasks, the environment, your co-workers, or something else? Identifying the specific reasons will help you address the underlying issues.
2. Chat With Your Manager
If the issue isn’t specifically your manager and you like the company you work for, considering connecting with that manager to chat about things bothering you.
A good manager will be open to discussing the challenges you have, concerns, or ways to help improve your happiness at work.
Many times this can lead to new interesting opportunities on your team or within the company just by having an open dialogue.
3. Get Real About Burnout
Often the reason you hate working or hate your job can be due to being overworked. Having work-life is so important and often we put ourselves in this “burnout” situation.
It can be hard to disconnect from stressful work or even when working from home. If that is the case, work setting boundaries for yourself, dedicated breaks, and use your personal time off to help reduce stress.
Now, maybe you are in a workplace that does not respect work-life balance. And this is something often out of your control for fear of losing your job. If this is the case and speaking to a manager does not resolve it, then it’s time to look for a new job.
4. The Power of Networking
I don’t know who first said it, but the phrase “Your network is your networth” has become pretty popular these last few years.
And rightfully so!
By building a strong professional network, you can discover new opportunities and gain insights into other industries or roles.
Attend networking events, join online communities, get active on LinkedIn and build your personal brand, and reach out to colleagues or mentors for guidance.
These channels can offer support when you are dissatisfied with work and feel supported from other professionals who may have experience similar things in the past.
5. Explore Other Job Opportunities
Often, you’ll find that you hate working because you simply just can’t stand your job. The company you work for might not be align to your values, skills, or could be treating you and other employees terribly.
This is a great sign that you need to find a new job! The job market can be tough pending how the economy is doing but there will always be companies hiring.
Start prepping when you find yourself hating your job. Things like:
- Tightening up your resume.
- Take online courses or certifications to level up your skills.
- Start to monitor job boards and companies you’d like to work at.
- Be open to connecting with recruiters and hiring managers.
- Start interviewing prep and thinking about how you’d answer common questions.
- Join relevant online communities, plenty of job opportunities pop up and others can quickly intro you or respond if something catches your interest.
There are many great organizations out there and you may find better pay and benefits too than what you’ve had so far.
6. Build a Side Hustle
I do caution you with side hustles, especially if you are feeling burned out. Adding something else to your plate will note be beneficial.
But, I’m also a big fan of having side hustles that make extra money. These typically are things that interest me, help develop my skills, improve job opportunities, can help save you if you end up laid off, and even become your own business.
Many time side hustles are not only a good escape, but can be a path to career and financial freedom you might crave. And maybe one day, you can wave goodbye to working 9 to 5!
I enjoy side hustles and I pick things that are a creative outlet for myself. Sometimes, that simple thing can improve my feelings towards work in general too.
7. Make A Career Switch
If you are hating work and hate every job in your field, this might be a sign to make a career pivot.
I will say, making a career transition can be challenging pending how long you’ve been working in one particular field.
And it depends on what field you want to get into as you may need to go back to school or have specific credentials to gain employment in your new chosen career path.
I went to college for Computer Science, my first full-time job was in email marketing, then moved to digital asset management at the same company (fancy title that literally was just organzing photo databases for variou publications).
At this point, I was hating work and my job. It wasn’t fulfilling, stuck in a cubicle, terrible pay, and the culture wasn’t great either.
But this led me down a path of marketing, where I started getting free certicifactions online and start some marketing side hustles. This led me down a new career path that I really enjoy and one I’m still in today, a decade later.
8. Consider Career Counseling or Therapy
Another option for you is to explore something like career counseling or even therapy.
You unhappiness with work, stress, and anxiety may boil over to other areas of your life beyond your job. And if this is a feeling you identify with, work dissatisifcation might only be one contributing factor.
Meaning, no matter what job or career path, you still are finding yourself hating work.
By working with a therapist, they can help you understand your feelings and find successful strategies to help you improve. And hopefully, feel more satisfaction in life and work.
9. Quit Your Job
It’s possible that your job is so toxic, that you just need to quit and get out of harms way. This is understandable and an option.
However, you do want to ensure to have some safeguards in place first. Ask yourself some important questions, like:
- Do you have enough financially saved to quit and live off until your next gig?
- Could you reduce your hours at work until you find that next opportunity?
- If you have a side hustle, can it supplement some of your income?
- Do you have a spouse that is also working where the income can cover expenses and still provide you health coverage?
Unfortuantely, you may feel stuck if none of the above apply to you.
So unless you are in extreme mental or physical duress, it’s best to stick it out and ramp up your job search instead to get out as fast as possible.
It’s possible that you may still find dissatisfaction with work or your job. Even after taking some of the action steps above.
While I’ve been fortunate to love my career after changing my own negative feelings towards work a few years ago, I still have moments where I don’t want to work and rather do anything else.
Remember that taking action and getting progress won’t always happen quickly – especially if you are changing careers, looking for a new job, or even starting your own business.
Additionally, even those that do enjoy their work or when you find success improving your own situation, there will always be that feeling of wanting to do anything but work at times. I think it’s just natural human nature to not want to be in a 9-5 for 40+ years.