According to Gallup, 70% of the American working population and 85% of the worldwide population hate their jobs. That’s a staggering number of people walking around dissatisfied with the quality of life they live.
Human beings are a species of habits – we become the things we repeatedly do. That means that when you repeatedly have to do a job you hate, you become a person to hate. Is it any wonder that the number of people suffering a range of mental health issues have increased.
When you do more of the things that you love, your body rewards you by releasing happiness chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. It is like your personal stash of never-ending “highness” – it feels like you are walking on clouds. However, if you do the things you hate and they eventually become a habit, the direct opposite happens. Your body goes under stress and releases the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin.
Any stressful situation – be it something environmental like a toxic work environment or a job you hate, or psychological like the insecurity and worry of losing your job – can cause your body to release these stress hormones that lead to several psychological changes. Some of the responses to stressful situations include increased heart rate, tense muscles, sweating, and quickened breathing. Typically, these responses work together to become the “fight-or-flight” response that mammals have evolved into a survival mechanism. When faced with life-threatening situations, these near-instantaneous progression of physiological responses and hormonal changes can help you fight off the threat or retreat to safety.
However, in non-life threatening situations, like stress from work pressure, your body overreacts to these stressors as there is nothing to fight or run from. The body stress response is made for a situation where a tiger crosses our ancestor’s path; the released cortisol and adrenaline pumps more energy into our bloodstream to escape the dangerous situation. Not for when your current employer is making you miserable at work.
Over the years, researchers have researched the reasons these reactions occur, how they do, and the long-term effect that the continuous exposure to stress has on one’s physical and psychological health.
They have discovered that the repeated activation of the “fight-or-flight” response causes a lot of damage to the body, including contributing to high blood pressure, the formation of clogs in the artery, and mental health issues like depression, addiction, and anxiety. It can also contribute to the onset of obesity, both directly (by causing people to eat more) or indirectly (by decreasing sleep and exercise time).
This chronic stress state is very unhealthy for your body and mind, especially if you are exposing your body to it 24/7. Your body will try to equilibrate this biochemical unbalance and you will crave unhealthy sources of happiness like drugs, sugar or junk food (sugar and fat are releasing lots of dopamin). This leads to a vicious cycle that can be hard to escape.
I Hate My Job but It Pays Well
So you find yourself doing a job you hate, but you are wary of quitting for a new job because the pay is good. Depending on who you ask, that is called “comfortable misery” or “golden handcuffs.” The words are used to describe the financial incentives that businesses offer employees to keep them at their current job.
Due to fear of the loss of prestige or financial stability, the financial incentives make it hard to leave, even though they are unhappy with the job, because. However, the big question that employees have to answer is whether the pay is worth the reduced job satisfaction they get. It may look like a delicate situation because either choice will involve a lot of sacrifice. If you leave your job, you lose your financial security and if you stay, you remain unhappy and unfulfilled. However, many people have managed to work their way free from the dilemma and ended up in a better place.
The key is to make the right choice by doing some introspection and practical financial homework.
What Should I Do Now?
1. Find out the true source of your unhappiness – your career or job.
Sometimes, the problem is the dissatisfaction that comes from working in a toxic environment and the solution to the problem can come from finding a new job. At other times, the problem is your career choice – in that case, the solution is to consider moving to a new career.
Network with other people that are in the same positions at different firms to get a feeler of how it is for everyone else. Also, consider getting a career coach to give you career advice on how to have a smooth career change.
2. Boost your savings.
Even if you figure out your next steps before you quit (if that is what you decide to do), there is a high chance that you wouldn’t immediately get a new position to replace the current position you plan to leave. Also, if you work in a high-pressured job that doesn’t give you enough time to figure out your next moves, you might have to survive on your savings until something better comes along. Either way, you are going to have to cut back on expenses, or make more money to increase your savings. The average job search takes between 4-6 months; you should have a plan on what to do and how you would live on your savings from the moment you turn in your two-weeks notice to when you get a new job.
Having enough money will ensure you don’t lose courage and run back to your old job, especially if you have decided to leave.
3. Figure out your next step of actions.
Sometimes, you may not get the chance to do this before you leave your job. Some people prefer to quit first and figure out the rest as they go on. Irrespective of the order you take the following steps, they will help you transition into your next job.
Think about what you love to do or good at: If there is a special thing that makes you happy and fulfilled. What is that one thing that you are so good at, it doesn’t feel like a job when you do it?
Write down the dream job you always wished to have from childhood: Sometimes, our true path is the one we used to dream of as kids before logic, reason, and judgment set in. Also consider the careers that appealed to you in high school, college, and after college.
Take a breather to actually consider your options: You need stillness and silence to find the answers that you seek. You will not be able to do that by constantly throwing yourself head first in a fast-paced environment. Answers will only come when you are relaxed.
Explore the values that are more important at this point of your life: The values you hold are more important for life and career satisfaction – even more important than passion and interest. What is more important to you? Perfect work-life balance, high income earnings, giving or helping others, or is it high prestige? How would you make a transition such that these values are at the forefront of your life?
Why Do I Hate My Job All of a Sudden?
It can happen because the passion and zeal you used to have for your job is no longer there. Your work no longer offers you the same level of comfort and fulfillment that you used to get. Now it has become a monotonous chore that bores you or leaves you irritated
I Hate Working in General
Another Gallup research, which combined the data from 30 separate studies from over 1 million participants shows that a large percentage of the workforce, predominantly millennial, are checked out. They do not put energy or passion into their work; each workday, they just show up, indifferent about work, to clock their hours and collect their salaries.
There are so many reasons why people hate working and their work engagement is low, but here are some of the reasons you might be experiencing it.
1. You have unrealistically high expectations of what your daily work life involves: Most people create this imagination of what it would be like to finally get a job and work for stable income. Our realities usually fall short of the ones we imagine and when they realize this, they become completely disillusioned with work.
2. Impatience: People expect to climb up the corporate ladder within a short time. They want their career advancement to come in months, instead of years and become frustrated when it doesn’t happen.
3. Social media has distorted your reality: Each time you click on your social apps, everyone seems to be having fun. Work is going great; they earn six-figure salaries. Their private life is also amazing; they are jet-setting across the world to meet renowned faces. Then there is you, struggling to make headway in the career path you have chosen.
4. Work doesn’t have any compelling reasons for you to stick around: At the end of the day, if it looks like the benefits you get from working do not measure up to the amount of time and resources you put in, you might feel discouraged and tired of working. That’s why employers try to entice their workers with incentives like health insurance, upward mobility, and new opportunities for career growth.
What to Do When You Hate Your Job and You Can’t Quit?
1. First, find the source of your unhappiness.
Sometimes, your problem might not even be your job. It might be something else causing the dissatisfaction but the lack of motivation follows you to work and makes it look like your job is the problem. For instance, if you are having issues in your relationship, always fighting with your partner before you leave for work, there is a high chance that the feelings you harbor from that argument will spill over to work. Some people also use work as a filler for whatever emotional deficiency and dissatisfaction they feel. It is important to tell if your personal issues are affecting your work or if you really do hate your job.
2. Set boundaries.
Boundaries are important, especially if you work in an organization that promotes a toxic work culture. For instance, you can be clear about the hours you are available and unavailable for work. Communicate clearly about your boundaries and ensure that they understand you.
3. Detox from negativity.
Take some time off to remove all the negativity associated with your job. Do not vent about your bad day or your horrible boss who cannot take no for an answer. Don’t ruminate or stew about the many reasons you think your job is terrible as they keep you in a cycle of negative thought patterns that cancel out the positives. Distancing yourself from the negativity associated with your job will help you see your situation more objectively.
4. Think of your job as a launching pad.
Instead of consuming your time with just work, also focus on developing new skills and bettering your old ones for future opportunities. Use your job as a learning tool, what skills do you think recruiters and hiring managers in your field are looking for? How can you add that to your resume and LinkedIn profile? A good resume and cover letter play a huge role in determining if you get a job offer or not.
5. Remember that your job does not define you.
Don’t tie your self-worth to your happiness at work. You are so much better than what your job title defines. Don’t forget your values and what you stand for. Let them guide you as you remain at the job you can’t quit.
What Should I Do if I Hate My Job?
1. Reconnect with your job and learn to love it.
Chances are that there was a time you were once in love with your job and you can find that love again. When you begin to feel stuck at a job that you used to love, it’s you – not the job – who needs to change.
Shift your mindset from focusing on the negatives and embrace the positives. Why did you choose this as your day job? What did you love about it? The more answers you can give to these questions, the more you begin to feel connected to your job again.
Always ask yourself, “where can I do more?” Don’t be hasty to quit a job you don’t like; it might not solve the problems if there are deeper issues to explore. Instead, explore the ways you can do more at your current job. What do you feel is missing and in what ways can you tap into that part?
Find inspiration in your work. Who were the people you looked up to early in your career? Why did they inspire you? What qualities do you admire about them? Have they ever found themselves in a similar situation as yours? How did they make it better? How did they begin to love their jobs again?
2. Change it.
In every situation, there are choices to be made and this isn’t any different. You can either choose to wallow in self-pity or you can take ownership and change what you don’t like about your job.
Are there tasks that you would rather avoid but you can talk to someone about changing, delegate, or outsource? Then do just that. If you would prefer to switch from full-time employment to part-time, you can talk to someone about it. Are you finding your daily commute difficult and would love a remote option? Also, talk to your superiors about it. If there is one thing we can take away from the current COVID-19 pandemic, it is that productivity does not reduce when you have to work from home.
3. Leave it.
If you would prefer to leave for a job that you like, that option is also on the table. You can find a new job with improvement over the last one but there is a likelihood that you will also struggle with work after a while.
On the other hand, you can start a side hustle and aim for freedom with your own business. More people are already hopping on this train and choosing to start a small business online. The searches for “side hustle” have increased by 1,900% in 5 years. Shopify also reported 48% YoY subscription revenue growth last quarter, which the company attributed mostly to new merchants starting ecommerce sites. The r/Entrepreneur subreddit has never been more popular, now boasting over 850k subscribers. As a result, demand for products that make it easier to start a business is at an all-time high.
Psychological Effects of Hating Your Job
Some of the psychological effects of hating your job include:
- Weight gain
Hating Your Job Depression
Working at a job you hate makes you more susceptible to mental issues, including depression, sleep deprivation, anxiety, and worry. Research also shows that if you work a job you hate in your 20s and 30s, there is a high chance of your developing mental health issues later on in life. If you already have a preexisting mental health issue, a job you hate can be more dire.
Why You Should Not Work for a Job You Hate for Money
We want to enjoy a lifestyle that promises the security of money but what happens when it comes at the cost of a happy, fulfilled life free from mental health issues? A wealthy lifestyle, backed by a job you hate, will always be empty. We all deserve more from our lives than the excitement that comes from clearing cheques and the bills they cover.
Why You Should Do What You Love
There is a concept called ikigai which means finding fulfillment in doing the things that have value to you. Ikigai is important because it stops the bitterness and hatred that comes with living a life without fulfillment. It encourages you to find pleasure in doing the things you love, no matter how little.
- When you do what you love, you live a happier, more productive life.
- You develop higher self-esteem because you keep reaffirming that you know what you’re doing.
- It improves the quality of life you live. Your overall health is better – mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
- You become more proactive and motivated to keep doing those things.
- Your work no longer looks like a chore to you, and it begins to come quickly for you.
- You always learn and find ways to improve.
Start a small business online
You can turn your skills and passion into a digital business. New Digital Technology allows you to work on what you love and earn income from that. We call that the new Passion Economy.
Passion business ideas:
A) Start freelancing on the side and help other entrepreneurs thrive. Freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr help you sell your skills as a freelancer.
B) Turn your skills and passion into a business. Here are some ideas.
- First pick a niche you want to focus on, then choose a descriptive and catchy name for your blog.
- Buy a domain and get web hosting for your blog.
- Install WordPress and find the perfect WordPress theme or template.
- Personalize the design of your blog to match your taste.
- Add some important WordPress plugins and add-ons.
- Launch your blog and start engaging your readers with their favorite content.
Example of niches:
Nerd Fitness makes $50k/month.
One Step 4ward has made $2m dollars with blogging so far.
Budget living and travel:
Club Thrifty makes $20k/month.
Infoproducts or online course:
- Find topics you’re passionate about.
- Produce content and choose the right online course platform.
- Promote your online course business.
An example includes School Of Calisthenics.
- Plan your show.
- Find your podcast hosting.
- Setup your equipment.
- Start recording.
- Publish your podcast.
Become a YouTuber
There are several ways to make money off YouTube, the easiest being the ad revenues your videos generate. In summary, all you have to do is create your channel, upload your content for free, build your subscriber count and increase the number of views on your videos and the checks would start rolling in.
Click here to learn how to be a YouTuber.
Pewdiepie is one of the most famous and successful YouTubers with over a hundred million subscribers who tune in to watch his video games commentary.
Instagram influencers (like the name suggests) influence trends on Instagram. Businesses hire them to build awareness about their brands and products. You can learn how to be an Instagram Influencer here.
Huda Kattan is worth $610 million and is one of the most popular Instagram Influencers.
Email newsletters are a cool way to provide your subscribers with real-value content. Companies, especially those aligned with your content, then pay for you to advertise them to your loyal readers.
The Skimm generates as much as $75,000 per daily newsletter send, with a base of more than 1.5 million subscribers.
Sell videos and live events
Setting up an online business selling videos and live events is now easier and more profitable than ever. The onset of the pandemic has made many more people switch to the online video experience and people would pay good money for a niche they enjoy.
Print on demand
Print on demand is a business model where you work with a supplier to customize products like t-shirts, tote bags, or hats, with your designs and sell them on a per-order basis under your brand.
Start your own online shop
An online store allows your customers to shop through your catalog and order your products online. It could represent anything from an e-commerce store, a small local store, a major retailer, or an individual who sells products through a third-party site.
Frequently asked questions
What to do when you hate your new job
First figure out if the problem is your job or you then take the appropriate steps to make corrections.
How to take a year off work to find orientation
If your current job has an option for a sabbatical, read up on the company’s policy, research, and choose the kind you like. Then ask, but ensure you broach the subject at the right time.
What to say when quitting a job you hate
Even though you don’t like the job, do not give in to the urge to vent your frustrations. Do everything above board and most importantly, do not burn bridges.
Is it better to be fired or to quit?
It is better to quit. Any subsequent employer would want to know the reason you were fired and it could be a stain on your record.
Can hating your job make you sick?
Yes. The stress that your body enters from doing a job can make you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally sick.
Can I quit my job due to stress?
It is advisable to do so. We spend almost all of our waking hours at work. If your job is stressing you, it means you spend a large percentage of your life in unfavorable conditions.
What are signs of job burnout?
Reduced performance, emotional exhaustion, alienation from anything related to work, and physical symptoms like headaches and stomach ache.
What to do if I hate my job but need the money
Money should not be a motivator behind remaining at a toxic job, but if you must stay, you should first learn how to love your job again. If that doesn’t work, consider leaving.
Should I quit my job if it makes me suicidal?
Absolutely! No job is worth your mental health.
How do I quit my job if I can’t afford it?
Create a plan of action to execute once you quit your job and start working towards it now. More importantly, save more towards those moments before you get a new job.
Why do I hate every job I have?
Because your expectations for your job do not match the reality you live. You should try doing more of the things you love.
Should you feel guilty for leaving a job?
No, you shouldn’t. The company will have no problems getting replacements for your position.
Is my job affecting my mental health?
A poor quality of experience at work will affect your mental health. People stressed out from work are likely to experience anxiety and depression.
Is it okay to quit a job immediately?
Barring any extenuating circumstance, it is best practice to give two weeks notice before quitting.
The world has moved beyond tolerating a job you hate to make ends meet. No job is worth the fulfillment and satisfaction you should be getting out of your life. It is now easier to transform your career and, in the process, transform your life into one with extraordinary outcomes in joy and peace.