I Hate My Job: 7 Things to Try Before Quitting

black man yelling "I hate my job" in frustration while working at his desktop
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Sometimes you don’t have the luxury of quitting whenever you want to, or there are other aspects of your job that make it worthwhile for you to stay there for now. If you are thinking to yourself, “I hate my job,” there are a few things you can try on a daily basis to make your life easier and see if you can make it work before you commit to quitting.

What to Do When You Hate Your Job

If you’re having thoughts like, “I hate my job and want to quit,” or “I hate my job; what should I do?” this is certainly a matter that you should take seriously. The first thing you should do is figure out how much you hate your job.

For example, some people just have a few bad days in a row or one specific situation that they hate, like a particularly difficult and 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 you hate the everyday parts of your work, then it’s likely that what you’re feeling is not just a short-term thing.

In the event that it’s a long-term kind of hate, you need to figure out whether you can leave and when. Sometimes, you may not be able to do so due to the situation. 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 so much could help you understand the situation more as well. It might be a toxic workplace, for example. You might have a completely unreasonable boss. Perhaps you have coworkers that won’t leave you alone.

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 job you hate.

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.

bearded man meditating under a tree outdoors

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 a 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 transfer within your company, for example, or finding something else to do at the same company. It could be beginning to think about a career change, including taking classes on the side. Whatever it is, if you hate your job, knowing that you at least have a chance to get free from it at some point, or change it in some way to make it easier, could go a long way towards coping.

5. Get a Side Hustle

It doesn’t have to replace the job you hate, but who knows? Your side hustle could become a full-time role 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.

6. Negotiate

If your trouble is with a coworker, it’s always possible you may be able to negotiate 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 different hours or even just fewer hours could make the job easier to manage. Maybe it would be possible for you to work from home, given the situation.

7. Find Help

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

Lensa Insights

Lensa Insights

Work is changing faster than an angry retrovirus. For jobseekers, that means one thing: adapt or die! Lensa Insights is your survival guide, offering actionable career tips to keep your future in focus.

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