If you’re reading this, you probably regularly think or say ‘I hate my job’.
Maybe you think you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no opportunity for advancement. Or you’re working long hours for little pay. Perhaps you simply can’t stand your co-workers or your boss.
Whatever the reason, hating your job is a feeling that many people can relate to.
What to do if you hate your job
If you really hate your job, your first reaction is likely to quit. But there are several things you should take into account before handing in your notice:
1. Make changes at your current job
Instead of just quitting, you could transfer to another department or branch that better meets your work needs. Or you may be able to communicate with your manager to turn your current position into a more fulfilling role.
You might even fix your situation by negotiating a hybrid or fully remote work schedule.
2. Evaluate your financial situation
Quitting your job without another one lined up is possible, but could also be a risky move. Before you consider leaving a job, reflect upon your current financial status.
Here’s our advice if finances are a big factor in whether you quit your job or not:
Here are some finance-related questions to think about before making any big decisions:
- Do you have enough savings to cover your food and living expenses while you look for new employment?
- Do you have other people besides yourself to look after?
- Are there debts you need to pay off?
- Will you give yourself a deadline for finding a different job?
If you’re unsure whether you can find another job with a salary that matches your requirements, try weighing the pros and cons of staying in your current position.
Think about how much money you need to live comfortably. If your job is paying significantly more than you need, it may be worth staying for a while longer.
Have you tested the job market and found that you couldn’t change jobs without a pay cut?
You may want to consider taking that cut if job satisfaction is more important for you than money.
After all, people who hate their jobs are more likely to experience negative health effects, including anxiety, depression, and heart disease.
By contrast, those who have good jobs tend to be healthier.
3. Think about your long-term career goals
Is your current job putting you on the path to where you want to be? If not, quitting may help you get closer to your goal.
On the other hand, if you’re not sure what your career goals are, quitting without a plan could leave you feeling lost and uncertain.
To ensure you’re making a smart decision, consider how long you’ve been working there before leaving:
- If you’ve only been on the job for a few weeks, it may be worth giving it some more time to make sure you aren’t overreacting to a new challenge. If you’re truly miserable, however, you can leave. You’ll need to decide whether to mention the job when you update your CV.
- If you’ve been in the role for several months and are still unhappy, it may be time to start looking for other options.
4. Consider your short-term milestones
Even if you’ve decided you can’t take it anymore and are going to quit your job, you may want to hold off for a bit.
If you can handle another few weeks or months, you might be able to get to your next bonus or a company activity that you’ve been looking forward to. Plus, that extra time gives you an opportunity to update your CV and start job hunting.
5. Account for your personal life
Do you have any major life changes coming up that could make quitting your job easier or harder? For example, if you’re expecting a baby, you may want to stay in your current job for the stability and childcare benefits.
After you’ve viewed your situation from all possible angles and have decided what to do, either:
If you’re still not sure what to do, scroll down to read our advice on dealing with specific reasons for hating a job.
How to cope with a job you hate
Dealing with a job you hate is tough. Whether it’s the company culture, your boss, or the work itself, feeling motivated when you’re not happy with your situation is difficult. However, there are several ways to make the best of a bad situation:
1. Find a good thing about your job, even if it’s small
Try focusing on something good about your job, which can be anything from a pleasant co-worker to a shorter commute.
Once you’ve identified something positive, focus on that aspect of the job and try to forget about the rest. Focusing on the positive can help you to appreciate your job more.
2. Build good relationships with your co-workers
Having friends at work can make the 9–5 grind more bearable. Start participating in company activities — or organise some if your company doesn’t have any.
3. Communicate with your supervisor or manager
Openly communicating with your boss by addressing issues head-on may also help with a bad situation.
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re unhappy with something at work. Be honest and respectful, and you may be able to find a solution that makes everyone happy. If not, at least you’ll know you gave it your best attempt.
But if your boss is the reason why you hate your job, try to understand why you hate your employer. Is it because this person is constantly micromanaging you? Or because they’re taking credit for your work?
Once you know the reason, start looking for ways to fix the problem. If your boss is micromanaging you, for example, try taking control of the situation by sending them daily updates on your progress.
This method can build trust between you and your boss, and they’ll ideally stop checking in with you constantly because they know an update is coming.
4. Set boundaries between your work and home life
When you’re finished with work for the day, make an effort to leave your work problems behind. Giving yourself space to develop a more fulfilling personal life can change your perspective of your work troubles.
5. Get help from a mental health professional
It’s possible that your hatred of your job is coming from something within you, rather than from your work conditions.
For instance, maybe you have imposter syndrome and aren’t confident enough in your abilities. In that case, working on developing a growth mindset and improving upon your skills can be a goal to work on.
Or if you struggle with anxiety and/or depression, you may need to deal with that problem before you can get a clear picture of how you feel about your job.
6. Make an exit strategy
Planning to leave a job you hate will make it feel temporary (and therefore more bearable). To plan your exit, you can:
- start searching for a new job
- get the key work-specific skills you need for a new job by taking courses
- polish your CV and write a good cover letter (look at cover letter examples from your industry for ideas)
Looking for a quick but helpful video on this topic? This TikTok summarizes the steps you should take to help you cope with a job you hate:
@resumegenius Hating your job sucks, but before quitting, here’s what you can do to help you cope with it 💪 #careeradvice #corporatetiktok #ihatemyjob ♬ Darling – Trees and Lucy
How to go about quitting a job you hate
If you’re sure that leaving your current job is the right move for you, here’s how to do it:
1. Figure out what you want to do next
Think about what you want from your next job. Once you have a good idea of your goals, start looking for new opportunities. When you find jobs you want, take some time to learn:
- how to make a standout CV that targets a specific job
- how to make a cover letter to go along with each CV you send
2. Land your next job first (if possible)
Ideally, you’ll be able to get hired at your next company before quitting your current job. We don’t recommend leaving your main source of income until you have a new one ready — unless you have enough money saved up to get you through a long job search.
3. Resign in a professional manner
Once you’ve accepted a new job offer, the next step is to resign from your current position.
Remember to be professional when quitting a job, even if you hate it. You don’t want to ruin relationships with people who you may need to use as a reference for your CV in the future.
So write a resignation letter that’s courteous and positive. In it, thank your employer for the opportunity and say that you’re resigning for personal reasons.
Be sure to give your notice at least a few weeks in advance (your contract might specify how much notice you should give) so that your employer can find your replacement.
Frequently asked questions related to hating a job
We prepared three answers to commonly asked questions to help you navigate the ins and outs of hating your job:
- How do you answer ‘What do you hate about your job’?
- How normal is it to hate your job?
- How do you enjoy life when you hate your job?
1. How do you answer ‘What do you hate about your job’?
When answering the question “What do you hate about your job?”, being honest and authentic about your feelings and experiences is important.
However, you should also remember to be tactful and respectful in your response, as you don’t want to offend or disrespect your boss or colleagues.
One way to approach this question is to highlight any challenges or difficulties you have faced in your job, but also to emphasise the positive aspects and opportunities that your job has provided.
Here are some examples of ways you can answer the question ‘What do you hate about your job?’:
One thing that can be challenging is the long hours that are sometimes required. However, I understand that some situations require more time for our team to meet strict deadlines and I’m willing to put in the extra time in order to succeed in my role.
There are certain tasks that I find less enjoyable, such as data entry or filing paperwork. However, I understand that these tasks are necessary for the company to function well and I try to focus on the bigger picture and the impact my work has on the team as a whole.
I find it frustrating when there’s a lack of clear communication or direction from management. However, I try to be proactive in seeking out guidance and clarification when needed, and I’ve found that expressing my concerns and working with my manager to find solutions has helped to improve the situation.
2. How normal is it to hate your job?
It’s normal for everyone to have days or even weeks when they don’t enjoy their job as much as others. Disliking your job at times is a natural part of the ups and downs of work life.
However, consistently hating your job isn’t good for your mental health or the organisation you work for. If you find you’re consistently unhappy at work, consider a job change or find ways to make your current job more enjoyable.
Some potential strategies for improving your job satisfaction might include:
- setting clear goals and priorities
- finding new learning and development opportunities
- speaking with your supervisor or manager about how you can make your work environment more pleasant and productive
If you find you’re still unable to make changes within your current job, then it may be time to consider a job change.
3. How do you enjoy life when you hate your job?
Finding ways to enjoy life despite hating your job can be difficult, but you should make an effort to find happiness and fulfillment outside of work.
These efforts might involve engaging in hobbies or activities that you enjoy, such as:
- spending time with loved ones
- engaging in hobbies or interests that you enjoy
- forming a strong support network of friends and family that help you feel connected and valued
- getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well, and finding ways to manage stress (e.g., doing meditation or therapy)