Raise your hand if you’ve ever stared into a cup of coffee and wondered “why do I hate my job?”
That’s a lot of hands in the air.
Obviously, you’re not alone. Almost everyone has wondered why do I hate my job at some point. If you’re lucky, it was just a bad day, week, or month. And if you’re not so lucky, keep reading.
Before you quit your job, consider this: maybe it’s burnout.
When you’re asking yourself why do I hate my job, it can be hard to tell if it’s really the job that’s the problem or if you’re actually in burnout. They share a lot of symptoms—irritability, inability to focus, exhaustion, insomnia, and an absolute dread of Monday mornings—and one can easily lead to the other. If you’re in burnout, loving your job is practically impossible. And if you hate your job, you’re going to hit burnout much faster.
But how do you tell if you should be polishing your resume or scheduling a massage? If you want to enjoy Mondays again, you have to solve this “chicken or egg” conundrum and identify the root problem first. Use the three-step process below to help figure out where you stand and what you should do next. Because a new job won’t help if you’re in burnout and all the self-care in the world can’t fix a job you hate.
A new job won’t help if you’re in burnout and
all the self-care in the world can’t fix a job you hate.
Why Do I hate My Job – Step One
Ask yourself if you have ever enjoyed your job. Thinking back over the past few years, can you identify any 3-6 month periods where you were content and felt positive about your work?
If this answer is “No,” that you’ve never enjoyed your job for at least a few months in a row, and you’ve been wondering why do I hate my job for awhile, chances are good you need a new job or even a new career altogether.
Even if you just started six months ago, there’s no shame in it. Almost everyone at some point in their career will get a new job and two weeks later find themselves muttering under their breath, “holy sh*t, why do I hate my job?!” Most of us don’t have the guts to do something about it and endure a year or two of employment like it’s a prison sentence. You don’t have to.
What to Do Next: First, set up a free 45-minute session with me so you can get crystal clear about your personal needs for fulfilling work that fits your life. Then you can get your resume in order and get out there, or we can work together to get you there faster.
Why Do I hate My Job – Step Two
If there have been periods where you weren’t asking why do I hate my job and you enjoyed your job at least somewhat, has something changed at home? What’s been going on in your life since the last time you were content at work?
Maybe you’ve had some big changes at home, such as new relationships, breakups, financial changes, births, or deaths. Or maybe there have been incremental changes, like your kids going from preschool to third grade over the last four years, and “suddenly” having a never-ending stream of activities after school and every weekend.
Big or small, happy or unhappy, change creates stress as we adapt to our new lives and accommodate new demands on our time. But if it doesn’t get resolved, that stress can lead to one of two things:
- Burnout from trying to be a superhuman both at work and at home.
- A job that no longer fits your life and has to change.
The tricky bit is you may not know which one it is. That’s because there are so many potential reasons and solutions that you first have to identify the type of stressor: emotional or lack of time. Read the two sections below to help you figure this out.
Is your main stressor emotional?
Enduring the pain of depression, divorce, or a lost loved one can easily push you into burnout and have you hating your entire life, including asking why do I hate my job.
What to Do Next: If this is you (and the emotional pain isn’t from someone at work), a new job may be the last thing you need. At your current job, you’ve already proved your competence and built relationships. This can buy you some much-needed slack until you are able to rebuild your new normal. Instead of focusing on a new resume, look at options for support, therapy, or family medical leave. Give yourself time and reassess in 6 months.
Is your main stressor a lack of time or flexibility?
Some changes, such as caring for aging parents in your home or changes in your partner’s availability, may make it impossible to manage all of your responsibilities. This is a huge factor in burnout and can also lead to you resenting your job.
What to Do Next: First, consider what commitments you can simplify, delegate, or buy your way out of. That could mean having groceries delivered, teaching an older child to do laundry, or buying a month’s worth of family-sized frozen entrees. If that doesn’t solve your time deficit, then it’s time to talk to work. Alternative work arrangements, such as reduced or flexible hours or reduced responsibilities, can be a great help. But if work refuses to work with you, well, it’s time we talked about finding you a new job that meets your needs.
If work refuses to work with you, it’s time we talked about finding you a new job that meets your needs.
Why Do I hate My Job – Step Three
If you never used to ask why do I hate my job and previously liked it, did something change at work? This could be a change in your responsibilities, significant colleagues, your manager, company leadership, or even corporate values. Changing work responsibilities can result in both burnout and hating your job, but the other changes contribute heavily to hating a job you once enjoyed.
What to Do Next:
- If your job responsibilities are making you miserable, see what you can change. Maybe you can get more training so you’ll be able to work with less stress and more speed. Perhaps other things need to come off your plate. Or maybe you want to change back to your previous responsibilities. Your goal is to give yourself the support and care you need to get out of burnout.
- If you like what you do, but don’t like who you do it with, alternative work arrangements can make a huge difference. You might still be annoyed by your coworkers, but at least not in-person or for as long!
- If your issues include your manager, leadership, or corporate values, on the other hand, are unlikely to change over the short- and medium-term. That means it’s time to start exploring your career options and getting yourself a standout resume. There’s something better waiting for you.
Change at work can result in both burnout and hating your job.
With all of their shared symptoms, the difference between hating your job and being in burnout can be subtle. By working through these three steps, you should have a much better understanding of where you are and the factors you need to consider.
Now that you’re done asking “why do I hate my job,” it’s time to take action.
If a change in jobs or even your career is in your future and you’re confused or anxious about how to make it all happen, let me help you. During your free 45-minute strategy session, I’ll help you turn confusion into absolute clarity and get you motivated to break free and use your skills and talents to their best advantage.
By the time we’re done, you’ll know the most common obstacles to landing the job of your dreams, and I’ll map out a proven, step-by-step plan that you can either put into action yourself or you can work with me to stop asking why do I hate my job and find the work you love—faster, easier, and with support at every step.