I Hate My Job! – 13 Signs You Hate Your Job & What To Do
Do you dread going into work on a Monday morning?
Is your work environment dragging you down or making you feel anxious or depressed?
Call 0800-I-Hate-My-Job to find your nearest support group.
Just kidding. You’re on your own. But that doesn’t mean you have to take a crappy job lying down.
Sometimes work really sucks, but we all have bills to pay, most of the time there’s no choice. You have to go into work, even if every single day you think, ‘I hate my job.’
You can feel trapped. Feelings of frustration give way to despair as you realize… this is your life.
Or is it?
This guide is all about what to do when you’re always thinking, ‘I hate my job.’
Work takes up so much of our time; it’s such a big part of our lives that it’s usually the 2nd or 3rd question we ask when we meet someone new.
So if you don’t feel passionate about your job, but you hate it with a passion, then it’s time to take a fresh look at your options.
And please don’t despair.
You’re not alone. In fact, you’re one of the enlightened few who has realized that work and identity don’t always go hand in hand, and, when you think about it, there’s way more to life.
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My life in the office and how I escaped
When it comes to jobs, I’ve had a few.
Sounds like a line from a Frank Sinatra song!
In fact, over a period of 15 years, I worked in 12 jobs. That’s an average of 1.25 jobs each year! Ok, ok, some of them were covers or short-term contracts.
But still, it’s kind of obvious… working in an office is not for me.
I was recently diagnosed as having Aspergers, and, if I’m honest, it was kind of a relief. You see, I don’t have to pretend to do or like things that previously I would have forced myself to do or like.
And I think this played a big part in why I always struggled in an office environment.
I always enjoyed starting at a new organization because it would allow me to implement new systems and organize systems in more efficient and effective ways.
My colleagues would literally joke this is what would be written about me and what I would be remembered for. “Here’ rests Tom, he was good with systems!” Great, thanks, guys!
So my new employers always loved the work that I did. After the honeymoon period would end, I’d get increasingly frustrated at having to manage colleagues’ emotions and egos or my bosses demands. It’s amazing how when you’re good that very quickly becomes standard and the bar for your workload is raised ever higher.
I disliked this aspect, the unfair hierarchy of management that rewards ego and ignorance, and the pointless waste of time that (let’s be honest) most meetings are.
I’m not saying I am perfect, and in reality, I’m probably one of the most flawed people I know. Still, I always found an office to be a cauldron for power trips, emotional outbursts, frustrated egos, and controlling behaviors, which would always get in the way of just. getting. the. job. done. (periods for emphasis)
The people I always got on best with at work were the security guards, the cleaners, and the receptionists – they just got on with it. Whereas senior management were more like children. You constantly had to ‘look after them’, to manage their expectation, appease, and satisfy their uninformed decisions so they could feel their huge salaries were justified.
Inevitably, I would always end up thinking ‘I hate my job’ every single day.
I set up many side hustles that failed. It wasn’t until I started investing in real estate after reading the popular real-estate investment book Rich Dad, Poor Dad that I learned how to replace the income I earned from my day job and finally leave the office for good.
In my last office job ever, I even failed my probation, but being able to turn around to my new boss and say ‘thanks but no thanks’ was the best feeling in the world. You can read more about my story here.
Each of us is in a different situation, but if any of this strikes a chord with you, then it could be worth taking a closer look at the reasons why you’re thinking ‘I hate my job’ and what you can do about it.
13 Reasons You’re Thinking ‘I hate my job’ Every day
1. You dread Monday mornings
And spend Sundays wallowing in the knowledge that you’ve only gone one short day before going back to that hell pit of despair otherwise known as work.
2. You complain about work. A lot.
And spend all your social time spent with coworkers complaining about work. Friday night drinks turn into Friday night bitching when all you do is moan about your boss and your job at the end of the working week.
3. You use the toilet cubicle as a refuge.
You know that when a toilet cubicle becomes your place of refuge you probably hate your job. Your company is so tight they haven’t even provided a proper staffroom or place you can actually chill out for 15 minutes without being interrupted by the relentless pressure of work.
4. You resent walking past work in your own time.
Or seeing a colleague outside of work. As if they have the right to pollute your weekend by reminding you of work with their outrageous existence! How dare they.
5. When people say they love their job you think they’re deluded.
And smug. And self-righteous. How can someone else love their job when you hate yours so much? You think people who go round telling everyone they love their jobs so much should be sacked.
6. You’re so bored you actively start trying to avoid work.
You find your work so relentlessly boring that you would do anything to avoid it. You angle your computer screen away from the rest of the office so that you can spend hours watching funny cat videos on YouTube and reruns of… The Office. Obviously.
7. You no longer believe in what the company does.
And wonder if you ever really did? Is curing cancer such a big deal? Maybe global warming needs to happen to thin the herd. When your nihilism starts to take root, you realize your soul-destroying, energy-sapping work is turning you into a misanthrope: giving rise to your general dislike of humanity.
8. You want to damage company property.
Your work has such a damaging effect on your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing that you want to return the favor: by damaging company property. The secret thrill of breaking the law to get one over on your employer bubbles under the surface. It lurks with a growing sense of unease and appeal.
9. You have insomnia.
Because you’re always thinking about the stresses of your work and your endlessly growing list of emails and tasks to get done, each hour slowly ticks by until, whaddayaknow, it’s time to go to work again. Yay. said no one. ever.
10. You’re stress-eating or drinking too much.
And work makes you fat. I know because I’m the proof. As soon as I quit my last job ever (Woop!) I lost two stone (Double woop!).
Every single day in the office, your colleagues bring in chocolate and sweets in an attempt to revitalize the atmos. They leave them in a designated sugar-spot (my last boss actually called this Paradise Island – as if a shelf full of chocolate was literally it, everything you needed to attain paradise.) ‘Paradise island’ was within arms reach, I didn’t even need to get out of my chair to feed. It was also right under the sign that says: “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helps.”
11. You don’t have the motivation to do something else.
Because by the time you’ve finished your working day, you’re wiped out. You run home just to get away from the pain of work and flop onto the couch when you spend 4 hours watching Netflix and eating comfort food.
12. You clock-watch every single day.
And 5 pm comes around so slow. As if somehow you enter this strange time continuum when you walk into the office where time slows down, while the world outside races on, your life passes you by and your dreams slowly fade into obscurity.
13. You think your boss is a power-hungry megalomaniac.
And yet, they seemed so lovely at the interview.
You now truly understand the meaning of the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt as you smile and nod at your boss’s ever-increasing megalomania and pointless power trips.
You gaze at institutionalised co-workers who have become accustomed to the grinding hierarchy (and look 20 years older than they are) and wonder how they have put up with it for so long
You think to yourself: that could be you, if you stick around for too long. You cry yourself to sleep at the unfairness of it all.
Ok, ok, so I’ve been a little bit over-the-top with this list, and I’m hoping that you weren’t nodding along to everything I’ve highlighted here in your current job.
But I can honestly tell you that I have experienced all of the above points, albeit slightly less exaggerated, at various points throughout my working life.
That’s why it was such an easy list to write!
If any of these scenarios are relatable, it’s time to think about your options. In other words, get out while you still can.
And in case that didn’t persuade you, it’s worth remembering:
Life is short and one day everyone you love will be dead.
Wow, that wakes you up doesn’t it?
I bet you didn’t think this post would be this cheerful but the point to drive home with that statement is actually life affirming.
It’s to remind you that your time on this planet is finite. Sorry if it comes over a little blunt, but sometimes shock is the best way to the truth; to see the value and importance of your time.
Don’t waste it doing something that at best is unfulfilling and at worst making you miserable.
I genuinely believe you can do anything you set your mind to but a big part of finding that ‘dream’ understands that the dream itself is a hoax.
You’ve got to realistically think of a way to replace your full-time wage so that you can give the job you hate the middle finger.
You’ve got to stop focussing on the ‘do what you love’ mantra, stop following your dreams or passions, and start concentrating on the things that can change your life.
Why ‘doing what you love’ is a hoax
Aiming for the stars and only trying to seek out a job that allows you to do what you love is… well, a hoax!
But it’s difficult to see life in any other terms. After all, anyone born after 1982 (aka the Millenials) has pretty much grown up with the mantra ‘you can do whatever you want’ to be happy.
The problem is, who the hell knows what they want to do at eight years old?
Life isn’t about figuring it all out and aiming for it like the red circle on a dart-board.
It’s about the journey; it’s about failing, trying, and failing again.
I’m always suspicious of anyone who knows what they wanted to do from a very young age. Perhaps they ‘imprinted’ onto a particular career choice by following in the footsteps of their parents.
And that’s not such a bad thing, but you wouldn’t be reading this post if that was you.
Check out this video from After Skool about the challenges faced by Millenials.
There are some big generalizations here and some pretty big connections made without taking a proper look at the changing context of society.
But it’s still an interesting take on some of the things that could be contributing to dissatisfaction with work, and most of it centers around the disconnect between what we’re led to believe we can have as youngsters (the hoax) and the painful truth of corporate work (the reality).
Except reality is objective. Once you realize that you gain the power to create the reality of your choosing.
What to do when you hate your job (but can’t quit)
Before you run into your manager’s office with your resignation letter, I need to be truthful with you:
Yes, you can choose your own reality but, and it’s a big one; it takes time to create the life you want.
I’ll be honest; it took me four years stumbling around, trying to set up a side hustle business, even to figure out what passive income was. Once I decided to start investing in real estate,e it took another year, and then in the year following that, I quit my job.
Unlike many personal finance bloggers, I learned about passive income through real estate first. I then started to look into an online side hustles where I discovered that many bloggers are killing it online.
It’s not unusual for bloggers to make 10k per month, and some, like Michelle at Making Sense of Cents, make up to 100k and more every single month.
Starting a blog can give you the potential to make a lot more than your job currently pays. But even blogging is hard work, and it will take you time before you see results.
In the meantime, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make each day at work just that little bit more bearable. So next time you think ‘I hate my job’ just quietly remember this list and use it to get through the day.
Keep your ‘I hate my job’ thoughts to yourself
It can be tempting to tell everyone you meet how awful your job is.
After all, it’s only natural to want to vent. Sharing the load is lightening the load, and that can make you feel good.
But it’s not a great idea to be too vocal. And keep it off social media. If you keep complaining about your job and your work, the chances it could get back to your boss increase, and that will just make for an uncomfortable conversation, or worse, the loss of your job.
You don’t want to be fired from your job for something you posted on social media. The key is to keep things under control and start strategically planning your escape, rather than putting yourself in a situation that simultaneously removes your ability to control it.
Remember you are not alone
If you hate your job for a good reason the chances are that you are not alone.
If the workplace has a toxic atmosphere or you have a boss who is a total control freak, then most of your colleagues will probably recognize those problems too.
The key is to confide in your colleagues without being overly personal or giving too much away about your secret plans to leave.
That way, you get the benefit of ‘we’re in this together’ without the risk of losing your job. It’s not wise to tell your coworkers how much you hate your job or plan your exit because people talk, and it might get back to your boss.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask them for their opinion on the workplace environmental and senior management team.
Don’t quit on a whim
Unless you can afford to.
When I failed my initial six-month probation in my last ever office job, I called my Dad and asked him what I should do. Being a risk-averse parent and wanting the best for me, he advised me to accept the new probation period.
I thought about it for a day, calculated my side-hustle income to see if it could support me and, the next day, I quit.
It can be frustrating when you give your life and energy over to a job, and it’s not recognized.
In my case, the person who extended my probation period had no oversight over my work, so it felt personal. And although I quit that job on a whim, I had run the calculations and knew that I could afford it.
If I’m being honest with you, I have often quit jobs on a whim. But it’s stressful not knowing how you’re going to pay the bills.
I recommend you think about all of your options, which could include:
- Transferring to a new Department or role within the company
- Taking a sabbatical to recharge your batteries
- Reducing your hours to part-time hours to help you focus on a side hustle
- Speaking to HR about the problems and challenges your facing
It’s essential to consider the alternatives before making any rash decisions.
I can’t say I’ve always followed that advice, but then again, sometimes I’m pretty impulsive.
Most importantly, you should start focussing on your escape plan.
Look at the bigger picture
What are your overall goals?
Do you want to be financially free, escape the 9 to 5 or just find a job that makes you happy?
Whatever they are, spending time to nail down your long-term goals will give you something to focus on.
And when you start positively thinking about the future and all the potential opportunities you could create, you will immediately begin to feel better about your current situation.
Confide in friends or spend an afternoon at the weekend brainstorming your long-term goals.
It could focus on setting up your own online business, starting a blog, or traveling the world.
Whatever they are writing or typing them down in black and white will be the first step you take to making those goals a reality.
Remember your value
If part of your thinking I hate my job so much is that you feel undervalued because of a shitty boss, you should never forget that it says more about your boss than you.
Everyone contributes different things to a workplace, and it’s up to a manager to recognize those different skillsets and help bring them to the surface.
Often managers are under stressful workloads themselves, and it comes out in their management style. Most managers don’t know how to manage people and then people like you and me end up bearing the brunt.
But there are two key things you can remember that will help you get through the day.
- You Are the Best Person for This Role
The first thing to do is to remember why they employed you in the first place. Your boss thought you were the best person for the job, and it doesn’t matter whether your working in Fortune 500 company or stacking shelves at the supermarket.
Something about you persuaded them that you were better than everyone else who they interviewed.
Even if work seems unmanageable and you hate your boss, always remember that you are the best person for this job.
That doesn’t mean you have to stick it out until your 104 years old. It just means you can have the confidence and strength of mind to walk into work each day with your head held up high.
- Everyone Wants To Succeed
The second thing to remember is that most people want to succeed; they want their teams to succeed and they want the organization to thrive.
It’s just that their version of what success looks like can differ so radically from everyone else that they end up acting like a bottle-neck: blocking talent, opportunities, and freedom of expression.
While that won’t change anything about your situation, it’ll give you the mental headspace to look at things objectively.
You can remove the emotion and give you power over a job you hate because you can start looking at things logically (including your ultimate escape plan!)
Switch up your perspective
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that there’s always somebody worse off you.
Of course, there is; but there’s no point in thinking about all of the misery in the world – anyone can switch on the news for that. And besides, wallowing in that kind of thoughts will only make us feel worse.
However, I will say that sometimes remembering the basics does help you get through the pain of a difficult job, especially when you’re almost crying in frustration and thinking ‘I hate my job’ every day.
You might live in a part of the world where you don’t have access to all of these things; and if you do then I’m not gonna lie, you’ve got a slightly steeper hill to climb. But without sounding too cheesy, you’ll just end up stronger for it.
And those basics include:
- Access to the internet – as of January 2021 still only 59.5% of the world are active internet users.
- Access to safe drinking water – 1 in 3 people globally do not have access to safe drinking water
- Global extreme poverty rose in 2020 for the first time in over 20 years
Ok, so I kind of just told you that there’s always somebody worse off than you.
But it works!
Try to switch up your perspective and notice just how much you have in life.
You might need to distance yourself from anyone whose really negative in your life and focus on surrounding yourself with positive people. Trust me, it makes a difference.
If you make friends with generous, grateful, respectful, and kind people, your outlook on life will slowly start to change.
Whatever you focus on expands
This one tip alone will serve you well throughout life because you change your reality when you change your point of view.
Start a side hustle
The motivational tips and quotes are useful, from a mindset point of view, but they don’t achieve anything unless you take actual, practical steps towards changing your life.
Throughout this guide, I have avoided suggesting that you try and make your job or your employment situation work.
That’s because if you’re thinking ‘I hate my job’ there’s usually a good reason for that.
And very rarely can it be solved with a 15-minute meeting with HR. Remember HR is there to serve the company’s needs, avoid lawsuits and get the maximum amount of human resources squeezed out for the minimum amount of cost.
Yep. HR is not your friend.
I mentioned at the beginning of this guide that I’ve had around 12 jobs in 15 years.
That’s because I kept going from one organization to another, believing that the work would change and the toxic nature of the office would suddenly evaporate when I found the perfect workplace environment.
It wasn’t until I actively started focussing on creating passive sources of income that I realized I could potentially be my own boss.
No one understood what I was trying to do, especially my own family, even when I was earning more outside work than from my job.
So if you do start creating passive sources of income, don’t tell your family. They just won’t get it.
I’m not here to tell you precisely what kind of side hustle you should set up (real estate and blogging worked for me).
The point I want to get across is not that it’s possible to make money outside of work (there are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to do that) but actually that you should let yourself believe that it’s possible.
We’re brainwashed from our very first meeting at school with the Careers Advisor to believing that we have to fit into some predetermined little box that very specifically limits how we can contribute to society.
It’s a hoax.
You can contribute, focus on your future and make money at the same time. You just have to believe you can.
Focus on your future
It’s time to start focussing on your future and recognizing the fact that putting yourself first doesn’t do anybody else down.
If you create a business or start a blog, you could add a massive amount of value to the world that begins to change somebody else’s life.
For example, not all real estate investors are greedy landlords that don’t maintain their properties. (Ok, most are, bad example) But I spent just under 25k on my last flat, providing the tenants with a brand new Kitchen and bathroom and completely redecorating even though the previous condition was perfectly functional, just a little dated.
And I was only motivated to start blogging after reading all the fantastic blogs online from bloggers who are absolutely killing it, using their experiences and advice to help change other people’s lives.
Why thinking ‘I hate my job’ could change your life
Thinking ‘I hate my job’ every day is not the end of the world. It could be the thing that motivates you to change your life.
I know because, for many years, I was in your shoes.
It took me a long time before I realized that whilst sure I hate my job, I was also the only person who’s ever going to do anything about it.
It’s a big risk to start an online business, start a blog or try to create passive sources of income.
And most people get institutionalized and go into work each day, clocking in and out, taking the ‘safe option,’ and complaining about work without actually doing anything.
But if you do that, the risk is that you might wake up one day and wonder what happened to your life.
So which is the bigger risk?
I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you that leaving the office world was the best decision I ever made.
Life is short. Make sure you don’t risk it all.
▶︎ hey, I’m Tom
I’m here to help you sort out your finances, make money online, start your own blog, build freedom and literally walk to the beat of your own drum.
Life is short, start living it your way.
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