What To Do If You Hate Your Job

Signs you might hate your job: 

  • All you ever talk about is how much you hate your job
  • You feel overworked and under pressure with no relief in sight
  • Your anxiety and stress levels are high, and you are not sleeping well
  • Your work - life balance is non existent
  • You feel miserable when you wake up on a work day
  • You are self medicating with food, alcohol or cigarettes
  • You have a draft resignation letter saved on your desktop
  • You dislike your work colleagues, boss - or both
  • You spend most of your day online shopping or playing solitaire to escape from work

Recognise any of the above? 

Feeling unhappy with our jobs can often happen due to changes in workloads, roles, managers or maybe missing out on a promotion. Sometimes it can creep up on you slowly until the day you crack and realise you have had enough. 

It's important to take action to reduce the impacts to your health, happiness and relationships. 

Apart from resigning and walking out the door on the same day (which I don't recommend!) there are five key steps you can take to find a solution. 

  • Self Reflection. Spend time reflecting on WHY you are feeling unhappy with your job. Break it down into specifics - it might be work load, lack of support from your manager, conflict with colleagues or something else. Often we can feel overwhelmed by many little things so it's important to identify what's really affecting you.

  • Identify Options. Once you know the cause/s for your unhappiness, the next step is to brainstorm your options. What are all the possible solutions or alternatives for your situation. Think about it from as many different angles as possible.  Writing down pros and cons for a big decision can also help provide clarity. 

  • Get Support. Before taking any action, it might be helpful to talk to someone you can trust to get support. This might be a close colleague, a family member or friend; or a mentor that you respect. Talking through your current situation may help you see things more clearly and less emotionally. 

  • Take Action. Taking positive action to remedy the situation will help you to feel in control. It might include having an open and honest chat with a colleague or your manager, or finding positive ways to reduce your workload. It might be updating your CV or identifying your next career path. It might be making a 3 month career plan to move into a new role. Or it might be signing up for an online course to build your skills. 

  • Put Yourself First. You only have one life to live - it's important to spend it doing something you love and are passionate about. Whilst you may not be able to change your situation overnight, you CAN take steps to find a better work - life balance. Have a healthier work finish time. Be realistic about your capacity. Switch your work mobile OFF when you are at home. Enjoy the activities that make you feel good. Spend time with your family and friends. Explore doing the job you have ALWAYS wanted to do. Find healthy ways to manage your stress. And don't forget to laugh!

When unhappy in a job, we can feel like a victim and reactive to life's circumstances. We may then fall into negative behaviours such as always complaining, gossiping, sabotaging our work or others, burning bridges or walking out.

Following the above tips can help you to feel empowered, proactive and in control again. It can also help you to identify how NOT to end up in the same situation again.

Only you can drive your career - it's important that you take control of the wheel!