Tips To Use When You Dislike Your Job But Can’t Quit
Here’s a tough situation that sounds familiar:
You hate going to work and hate your job, but for one reason or another, you can’t quit.
The worst part?
Your job is a huge part of your life. And when it’s not right, it can feel like it’s ruining your life.
There’s no sugarcoating it.
And as if that’s not enough, I’m sure you’ve heard your fair share of advice on what to do when your job sucks.
And I’m also sure that most of that advice has told you the same thing over and over again:
It’s well-meaning advice, and I won’t try to argue with it. But, the bottom line is that we don’t all have the luxury of packing up our stuff up and waving goodbye whenever the going gets tough.
…and so that advice leaves you thinking, “What can I do in the meantime?”
Step 1: Know You’re Not Alone
You’re not the only one in the “I hate my job” club.
52% of people say they aren’t happy with their career choice. And actually, here are some popular career-related Google searches:
Does anyone like their job?
Employees who hate their jobs
How do I stop hating my job?
With popular searches like that, you should know that you’re not the only one feeling this way.
Step 2: Take Stock of Where You Are
It’s important for you to know what actually makes you unhappy about your job. Don’t just talk about how terrible you feel or how much you hate going to work.
Ask yourself this:
Is it my employer or my position? Is it the company culture or coworkers?
Is it the pay or the working conditions?
Knowing what you don’t want is the first step in getting what you do want.
We tend to get so wrapped up in how much the job sucks, that we neglect to get down to the root of the problem. These things can be fixed with the right plan.
Step 3: Make Your Plan
I get asked all the time:
What should I do before leaving a job?
The short answer is this:
Position yourself to be in the best possible financial position you can be. Why? Because most people are unhappy at work but need the money. You probably do too.
So here’s what you do:
1. Start with a budget
You need to know exactly how much you have coming in and going out each month.
Your budget is your best financial tool. It will help you find leaks in your spending and put together a plan to pay off debt. As John Maxwell says: “A budget is you telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.”
2. Identify the Leaks in Your Budget
Little by little, small expenses add up. And those small expenses are destroying your monthly budget.
Step 4: Choose Your Words Wisely
When you hate your job, it can be easy to fall into office politics and gossip.
And while you may think you’re just talking when you and Amy both agree that you’re “looking for something else” – it can cause major problems down the road.
Step 5: Start Your (Secret) Job Search
Start by cleaning up your social media profiles so you can put your best foot forward.
You never know who you might’ve added to your friend’s list that could be a big influence at your next job.
Put some (or all) of your social media profiles on private too. Not everyone needs to see what you’re doing on Instagram.
Step 6: Make Sure Your Resume is Actually Seen
Have you ever submitted an application and immediately gotten a generic rejection email that said:
Thank you for taking the time to apply for XYZ. At this time, we are declining to move forward with your application.
These days, companies rely on Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to pre-filter resumes.
The ATS works by scanning resumes for keywords then giving your resume a “grade” of how relevant it is to the job.
Step 7: Learn What You Can
I once heard someone say:
“A smart person thinks about the skills they need for the NEXT job.”
This applies to everyone, not just people who hate going to work because they can’t stand their job.
Think about it.
Step 8: Grow Your Network
Strong personal networks don’t happen at the watercooler.
The smartest thing you can do when you hate your job is to quietly build your professional network.
So commit to spending 15 minutes each day on typical job-searching activities.
Step 9: Don’t Check Out on Your Current Job
Unless you’re really good at fakin’ it till you make it, this step can be really hard. Especially when leaving work every day feels like you’ve just been let out of jail.
So when you hate going to work, the last thing you want to do is show up and pretend everything’s just peachy.
Step 10: Try to Find Pleasure Outside of Your Job
Here’s the deal:
A stressful job will impact your work life and personal life.
And before you know it, you’ve let that job take every little bit of fun out of your life.
When you’re at home, you’re worried about work. Sunday night rolls around and you’re dreading starting the work week all over again.
When you’re with your friends and family, you can’t help but think about what happened at work that day. You start losing motivation to make plans, create memories, and invest in yourself.
Again, you’re not alone.
Step 11: Give Yourself Time
Having a job you dislike is draining, but don’t let it suck you dry.
Be your own biggest cheerleader. Take care of yourself. Get sleep. Make time for the things you enjoy. And lastly, don’t underestimate the power of persistence. You will find something better.
Why is it so hard to quit, and even harder to stay?
We’ve all had to stay at a job longer than we wanted. It’s usually because of these things:
Yep, bills, debt, and the cost of living can put the fear of God in us all.
I hear it all the time:
I want to quit my job but I need money.
When there’s a lull in the job market or you realize you might have to take a pay cut elsewhere – it can leave you feeling trapped.
2. Feeling like all jobs are the same
Anyone who’s ever disliked their job has felt this way.
It leaves you questioning:
What if every job is like this?
I wonder if every boss acts this way?
It’s a normal feeling, especially when you’ve been burned in the past. Plus, you’re probably no stranger to hearing your friends and family complain about their jobs, too.
So the thought of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire isn’t exactly motivation enough to leave.
3. Fear of starting over
Your comfort zone is where your dreams go to die.
Applying for new jobs is scary.
Interviewing is scary.
The first day is scary.
4. Feeling like a crappy job is okay
You hate your job, so what?
It’s life. Millions of other people hate their jobs too.
Besides, it pays the bills and helps support you and your family, so it’s worth the sacrifice, right?
While I admire the perseverance, I think that level of perseverance would take you much farther at a job you actually enjoy. So don’t let any of these excuses hold you back.
Start your plan and work your plan. What are you waiting for?