If you’re like many people and you’ve reached a breaking point at work that made you think, “I hate my job.” According to a 2017 Gallup poll, a staggering 70% of American workers admitted to hating their job or their boss.
So, what causes people to hate their job? The answer is never simple, and it’s slightly different for every person who isn’t happy in their current role. To help you start living your ideal professional life, this guide shares useful methods to get to the root of your job dissatisfaction and what you can do about it before quitting.
I Hate My Job: Is It Burnout, You, or Something Else?
While you’re in your current position, it’s crucial to assess what it is about the job that you hate. Like the survey we mentioned above, it could be that you don’t get along with your boss. Or maybe there are other external factors you loathe, such as a long commute or lack of work-life balance.
Whatever the case may be, getting to the root of the issue is essential. Below are some things you should take into account to help you identify where the problem lies.
You’re burned out
If you’ve had the same position for a while, chances are you know the ins and outs of the role pretty well. Unless you’re working in a creative field (say, advertising), then your day-to-day duties probably don’t change that much.
If you’re an ambitious person, this could quickly lead to burnout. Working in an environment that doesn’t inspire you or push you to grow can kill your motivation. And, over time, it can negatively impact the quality of your work.
So, how do you know if you’re experiencing burnout? According to Mayo Clinic, job burnout is a “special type of work-related stress” that can cause both physical and emotional exhaustion and “a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
If you’re overly cynical about your work or increasingly impatient with your coworkers, you’re probably experiencing burnout. It’s not healthy, and if you’re suffering from it, you should either talk to your boss about it or look for opportunities elsewhere.
You don’t like your boss
Another reason you may hate your job is your manager or boss. A bad boss, or one with whom you don’t get along, can make your life miserable in no time. However, it’s imperative that you analyze yourself, too. Are you equally difficult to work with? Does your manager have to look over your shoulder to make sure you’re doing your job well? If that’s the case, then it’s probably time to talk to your boss about how you can improve.
But what if your boss is the issue? And how do you know what a bad boss looks like? Here are some typical examples of bad-boss behaviors in action:
- They don’t give you (or your coworkers) credit for your work
- They never compliment you for a job well done
- They micromanage every aspect of your job duties
- They clearly have favorites in the office
- They don’t respond well (or at all) to feedback
- They fail to embody your company values
- They are quick to criticize, but never commend you
If you find your boss is the cause of your bad days, then you should probably look for a new job or speak to them about it directly if you’re comfortable doing so. You might also want to take it up with your company’s human resources department.
You don’t make enough money
Another significant reason people hate their jobs is that they don’t make enough money. Money is a prime motivator, so it makes sense that you’d be unhappy if you’re not earning enough to make ends meet. Insufficient pay can also affect your job performance and eventually drive you to quit.
5 Things You Can Do About Your Current Job Situation
If you sound like a broken record that keeps replaying the “I hate my job” refrain — and it stems from one of the reasons mentioned above — there’s no reason to remain mired in misery. Here are five things you can do about it.
1. Stick it out
If you hate your job but think you could improve some aspect of it (such as your attitude or work performance), then consider sticking it out. Even if you don’t like it, improving your situation as much as possible will help you bide your time while you seek out other opportunities.
You should also think about why you got the job in the first place. If you applied because you needed the experience or connections, then consider staying for at least a year or two. This is especially true if you’re fresh out of college or in a new field. A recent study found that the median job tenure for 25-34-year olds was 2.8 years.
While you don’t have to (nor should you) stay in a role you hate for that long, it’s important to keep your professional reputation intact rather than job-hopping every three to six months.
2. Ask for a raise
If your job dissatisfaction is a result of not making enough money, you can always ask for a raise. Of course, asking for a raise requires tact and timing. To do so, you’ll want to prepare before having the salary discussion with your boss. Asking for raise can be risky, but if you have confidence and believe your work performance is deserving of one, then it’s a discussion worth having.
If you take this route, be sure to consider how much money you’ll need to feel satisfied. A 3% raise is typical for today’s workforce. If that’s not enough for you, then you may have a very difficult discussion ahead of you. If that’s the case, it may be time to look at other employment options.
3. Find a new job
If you realize you despise your job or don’t get along with your boss, then finding a new job is your best bet. If you’re interested in a similar position, start by searching for jobs on platforms such as LinkedIn. You can improve your job hunt by setting your LinkedIn account to show hiring managers and recruiters that you’re actively looking for new job opportunities (either part-time or full-time). Also, actively network with professionals in your industry to see if they have any new job leads.
4. Start your own side hustle
Starting a side hustle can be a great way to make supplemental income while you focus on your job hunt. If you’re interested in a new career altogether, look for work related to the field that interests you. If you’re not sure what kind of income to expect from a side hustle, a recent report claimed that the average side hustler is raking in an additional $686 a month.
With a side hustle, chances are you won’t get rich and you’ll probably work hard. But if you’re simply looking to make some extra money, or you’re striving to get some relevant experience in a new field, then a side hustle is in your best interest.
5. Start your own business
If you really hate your job, you can’t stand your boss, and you don’t think working for someone else will make you happy, then it’s time to consider starting your own business.
Business owners tend to be happier than employees thanks to the creative freedom and autonomy that comes with running your own business. Sure, startup costs can be high and success isn’t guaranteed. But it might be worth quitting your day job if work is leaving you unfulfilled and you want to try something new.
Start a Business With Main Street
When you’re fed up working for someone else, or simply need a drastic change from your current job, then perhaps it’s time you looked into starting a small, profitable business with Main Street.
At Main Street, we provide business owners with the training necessary for success. The 5-week training program includes:
- Training webinars: We offer three virtual live sessions every week to help you grow and learn, so you don’t have to go it alone.
- LMS content: We provide a learning library so you can hone your skills and knowledge as an entrepreneur.
- Real-world tasks: We let you get your hands dirty by doing the work yourself. Part of that is planning your business’s first year, learning advanced marketing and selling tactics, and more.
What’s more, Main Street reduces the risk and uncertainty of becoming a business owner thanks to fewer upfront costs and better systems and technology than a franchise.
If You Hate Your Job, Do Something for Yourself
Your happiness and job satisfaction are crucial to your overall well-being. If you find yourself repeating the phrase, “I hate my job,” then it’s time to look for something new. Maybe that means seeking a similar role at another company. Or perhaps it’s a chance for you to start fresh with your own business. After all, you get to control your career, so why not invest in yourself and make the change you want to see?