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I Hate My Job: 9 Things to Try Before Quitting

An employee shouting at the computer in frustration.


I Hate My Job: 9 Things to Try Before Quitting

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Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of quitting your job whenever you want to. Or there are other aspects of your current job that make it worthwhile for you to stay there for now. In the current pandemic situation, many people feel stuck with jobs they don’t like for fear of loss of stability and health insurance. If you keep thinking to yourself, “I hate my job,” there are a few things you can try on a daily basis to improve your situation before committing to quit.

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

Having thoughts like, “I hate my job and want to quit,” or “I hate my job, what should I do?” is certainly a matter you should take seriously. The first thing you should do is figure out just how much you hate your job.

For example, some people have a few bad days in a row or one specific situation that they dislike, like a particularly difficult or stressful project. On the other hand, if you really do hate the job itself, then that is a different matter.

The main way you can tell the difference is by asking yourself questions about the situation. Ask yourself why you hate your current role and how long you have been feeling that way. If you’ve been wanting to quit for a while and your work gives you zero job satisfaction, then it’s likely that what you’re feeling is not just a short-term thing.

In the event of long-term dissatisfaction, figure out whether you can leave and when. Sometimes, you may not be able to do so due to certain circumstances. Other times, you might want to stay as long you can while looking for a new opportunity to pursue. This way, you don’t have to worry about risk.

Figuring out why you dislike your job could help you understand the situation more as well. It might be a toxic work environment. You might have a completely unreasonable boss. Perhaps you have coworkers that won’t leave you alone.

Infographic on 9 things you can do before quitting your job.

Either way, there are tricks you can use to make your work more bearable, regardless of the why.

Tips for Keeping a Job You Hate

Here are some suggestions for dealing with a day job you hate before deciding to quit.

1. Take Time to Process with a Journal

It doesn’t strictly have to be a journal. What matters is that you get your thoughts down somewhere and out of your head. It could be a personal video log, for example. The point is to make sure it’s private and for your eyes only, and that you express how you really feel. That way, you won’t stew and get unbearably angry and upset to the point of breaking down.

2. Meditate

The science behind meditation is rather solid. It only takes a few minutes per day to do, and you could enjoy significant mental benefits as well. In particular, if you are feeling angry or upset about a situation at work that is genuinely unfair, meditation can help you let go of it, even for just a little bit.

One common meditation technique is to imagine your thoughts landing on leaves on a river in your mind, and then watching them flow down the river and out of sight. If you can get yourself to fixate less on something that is unfair to you while acknowledging that this is the case, then you can help ease the negative emotions you’re feeling.

3. Always Look Forward to Something Good

This can be anything you want. Maybe you enjoy your lunch break. It’s possible you’re excited about a new movie that’s coming out on Netflix or somewhere else. There could be a meeting, remote or otherwise, that you’re looking forward to after work. If you do this, getting through the workday will be easier since you’ll view it more as a temporary situation until you get to the part that you like.

4. Have an Escape Plan

This doesn’t necessarily involve the near future, but it means that you’re looking forward to finding a way out of the situation. It could be applying for a new position within your company, a new job with a different company, or starting your own small business.

It could be thinking about your career change, including taking classes on the side, updating your LinkedIn profile, talking to recruiters, or trying out job interviews. Whatever it is, if you can’t stand your job anymore, taking steps to change your situation can give you something to look forward to.

Closeup up an employee looking for a new job on the computer.

5. Use The Job You Hate as a Means To Grow

In the meantime, you might hate it, but your job is still something you do every day. Try to make the best of the situation by turning the pain points into opportunities for you to develop skills that are needed to cope with them. This only requires a switch in perspective. The skills in question could be anything from practicing serenity and patience to navigating a chaotic work environment, to handling monotonous tasks in a precise and professional manner.

6. Get a Side Hustle

It doesn’t have to replace the job you hate, but who knows? Your side work hustle could become a new job, or a new career, eventually. Having something to do on the side to increase your income will make your main job more tolerable in some ways. In fact, hating your job can be a great motivation to get going with a new business instead.

7. Achieve Work Life Balance

Do not allow the negative thoughts about your job to seep into your private life. It is very important to remember that you are not your job, and not to attach your identity too much to the work you do. A solid and rewarding family and social life, hobbies, and volunteering activities can successfully counterbalance a less-than-satisfactory work experience until a better opportunity comes along.

8. Negotiate

If your trouble is with a coworker, it’s always possible you may be able to have that tough conversation with them to settle your differences. You may never become friends, but you might be able to create some kind of peace treaty. Talking to your boss could also help the situation. Working fewer hours or even just different hours could make the job easier to manage. Maybe it would be possible for you to work from home, given the situation.

9. Find Help

In cases where you hate your job so much that it’s causing serious problems, you may need a close friend for some perspective or even professional career advice to help you find new means of employment.

Recognizing That It’s Time to Move On

No matter what, you absolutely need to move on at some point. If you never stop thinking about work even on weekends, or if you feel signs of stress like shaking hands or declining physical and mental health, then you may need to walk out the door quickly for your own sake and on behalf of your friends and family.

Fortunately, there are companies out there like Lensa to help you find your dream job and get out of a bad situation. You’d be surprised just how much better you’ll feel just from taking the simple step of looking for a new role.

Team Lensa
Team Lensa
Team Lensa is a group of HR specialists, career counselors, and tech enthusiasts dedicated to helping job seekers navigate the employment landscape through actionable tips and insights.

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