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I Hate My Job - What Should I Do?

Updated on May 28, 2012

I Want to be out Enjoying the Sunshine

Sitting at your desk in the summer you may long to be out enjoying the sunshine
Sitting at your desk in the summer you may long to be out enjoying the sunshine | Source

I Hate My Job

We've probably all thought it at some time or another - it maybe a moment of passing discontent because it's summer and you'd really rather be playing cricket, gardening or sitting outside the pub having a drink.

However, it may be something that you think everyday rain or shine. In which case, perhaps it is time you paid attention to your thoughts rather then grumbling away to yourself and everybody around you - go on, admit it - you have been grumbling to anyone who will listen.

A Quiz to Pass the Time

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What Should I Do?

Well, you could keep doing what you're doing, search out a bit of entertainment by popping in to talk to Allison in the next office, looking at random things on your computer or perhaps by taking the quiz here and then get up tomorrow to repeat the cycle.

I'm Going to Quit my Job

You could just quit your job in a fit of pique, but this will probably put you in the desperate situation of urgently needing a job and having to accept one which may be no better or even worse than the one you have left

Or you could sit down and have a serious think about what you are going to do to improve your situation. After all you’re the one it’s affecting, nobody else is going to solve the problem for you.

Identify the Problem

The first question to ask is “what specifically do I not like about my job?” There are loads of potential answers to this; here are some possibilities:

  • You like the work itself but find the boss unpleasant to work for.
  • You really like the people you work with but you don’t like the tasks you have to do.
  • You like most of the work but you really hate one bit of it.
  • You are bored of the job because it doesn’t challenge you anymore.
  • The job is actually fine, but the weekends or your days off are much too short and you want more time to yourself.
  • The job is ok but you don’t feel like you earn enough money.
  • The ethos of the company has changed and you don’t feel comfortable with the direction the company is going in.
  • You've realised you have a burning desire to travel the world, write a novel, help people who are less fortunate then yourself.

There may be two or three answers which apply to you.

changing your career may require you to apply to college or university to retrain.
changing your career may require you to apply to college or university to retrain. | Source

What is the Solution?

Once you have identified what the problem is you can then seek a solution. The answer might be very simple and lie outside of work; for example if you want to write a novel, what is stopping you? Why don’t you set aside an hour a day to write. You could spend your lunch hour writing or write instead of watching another hour of TV. If you’re bored with your job, but actually find it quite convenient and it pays the bills, consider spending your free time in a more rewarding way by volunteering or learning a new skill.

The answer might lie within your current workplace; if you don’t find the job challenging anymore see if there is any additional responsibility you can take on or if you are meeting your monthly targets easily, set yourself some tougher ones. If you hate one bit of your job why not talk to colleagues, see if there’s someone who likes the bit you hate but has a task which they would happily swap with you. If you want to keep your job but have more free time look at your essential expenses and see if you can afford to work less then ask your manager or HR department if you could job share.

You may need to start job hunting if 1 or 7 apply to you. The good news is that because you are already in a job it is usually easier to get a new job then if you weren’t working. Set yourself some time each day to search and apply for jobs.

If you hate the work, but like the workplace you need to think carefully about what you might like to do. You may need to test out some ideas for example if you think you might want to work with animals you could volunteer at an animal rescue centre to see if the work really would suit you. You may need to retrain which could take considerable dedication on your part for example by taking part time courses, studying for a degree by distance learning in the evening and weekends or even returning to college or applying to study at university full time.

If you want to earn more money it may be reasonable to ask for a raise – but before you do check out how much other people in your job and approximate location earn. If your salary matches theirs it is probably unreasonable to ask for more. Look into other ways to top up your income, for example in the UK the ‘rent a room scheme’ allows you to let a furnished room in your house and earn up to £4250/year tax free from it.

Write an Action Plan (and carry it out!)

By When
Reveiw Date
Apply for 3 jobs each week
Update CV or Resume
End of this week
End of June
Check various recruitment websites for new jobs every day
End of July
Identify any area where I need to build my skills
End of next week
End of June
Send out speculative CV's and a covering letter to ten companies I'd like to work fo
Identify 10 companies
End of next week
End of August
Find out the name of the recruiting manager for each company
End of next week
End of August
Write a covering letter
End of June
End of August
Post out the CVs and letters
First week of June
Follow up letter and cv with a phone call
End of July
End of August
Example Action Plan

Are you still here? What are you waiting for? Take Action!


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    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you jantamaya, it's not easy making changes, but bite sized chunks or steps is the way to go.

    • jantamaya profile image

      Maria Janta-Cooper 5 years ago from UK

      Great article! You've given a step by step instruction how to be active and improve the own job situation. Voted up!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thanks Marcy, I think it's vital to try and take control, although it can be tough when there are very few jobs advertised - but sometimes looking to make small changes within the job you have or outside of work can help.

      Writer20 - thanks for reading and I empathise with your comment, where I live - Burnley Lancashire in the UK is a notorious employment blackspot too.

      I'm glad you liked the schedule Amy, it does help sometimes to get it down on paper.

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nice job! I like the schedule - it helps make the steps more concrete.

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Because of the lousy economy here there are not many jobs around, at least on the west coast.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I like the practical advice here, and the way you've listed action items with suggested timings. Most of us have had the "I hate my job" syndrome before, and taking action is the best way to take control of the situation.