Do you feel miserable on Mondays and are convinced you hate your job?
You’re not alone.
Many people are in the same shoes as you and wondering, “What should I do if I hate my job? Should I just quit?”
According to a global survey by Gallup, only around 15% of the world’s full-time workers (which makes up around one billion people) feel engaged at work.
If you hate your job and work eight hours a day, five days a week, you spend 33% of your day working and feeling unhappy.
So, sadly, hating your job can cause you to feel like you hate the rest of your life.
That’s discouraging, for sure.
But does it mean there’s no hope at all? Of course not.
You may feel like there is absolutely nothing you can do other than quitting right now, but there are quite a few steps worth taking to gain clarity over the situation before you make an irreparable decision.
I know that feeling stuck has a lot to do with what you do for a living. I’ve been there before and know how it feels.
But listen… You have the power to make a shift that leads you down the path of success and happiness without having to make radical decisions right now.
And in this post, I’m giving you actionable steps you can take before you storm into your boss’ office yelling, “I QUIT!”
11 Steps to Take If You Hate Your Job
Working a job that takes a toll on your mental health and overall well-being shouldn’t be the norm.
And even though sometimes the only solution you can think of is quitting, there are other steps you can take.
These steps will help you see things more objectively, use this experience as a learning opportunity, and make sure that, if you decide to quit, you’re doing so clear-headed and not driven by frustration.
1. Journal and reflect
Getting to know yourself better is one of the best ways to really understand what’s going on at work.
Unfortunately, some people mistake feeling burnt out over a temporary situation for hating what they do for a living.
For example, you might love your job but are overworked and overwhelmed by it for different reasons.
If so, journaling can make a big difference and help you uncover the real issue.
Focus on asking yourself powerful questions that will help you get in touch with yourself on a deeper, more personal level.
Journaling consistently will help you learn more about your values and what path you wish to take in life.
It’ll help you see exactly why you hate the job and what’s the best solution for you right now, according to what matters to you.
This is important because it helps you put things into perspective; what do you value more:
- Your values or your family’s financial stability?
- Fighting for what’s right or letting some things slide for the sake of peace?
- Your freedom or feeling safe?
There are no right or wrong answers here.
Plus, as you spend more time with yourself, you can dig deeper to discover if you genuinely hate the job or feel burnt out.
Or if you want to quit or maybe work on building a better work-life balance.
The best part?
Journaling daily for a week or two will not only help you find the answers you’re looking for and see things more clearly, but it will also help you feel better almost immediately.
If you’re looking for a journaling tool to help you get unstuck and understand yourself better, the Self-Discovery Bundle is an excellent option for you.
With this set of journaling workbooks, you’ll get to ask yourself the right questions to help you uncover:
- why you feel the way you do
- what you want to do with your life
- what’s stopping you from taking action
Check it out here.
2. Take a break
If you feel so sick of your job you don’t even want to think about it, it may be a sign that you need a break.
When you think you hate your job, it’s likely due to stress and a lack of proper work-life balance.
So, take this as a sign that it’s time for you to reduce your workload or find things outside work that bring you joy.
Take a day or two to focus on the now instead of thinking about work and all the reasons why you hate it.
Doing this can help you open your eyes and realize that either your job isn’t as bad as you thought or that you can take it anymore and are ready to design a plan to quit.
3. Talk with someone you trust
Talking to someone you trust can make a difference when you are in a rut.
Vent to a close friend willing to lend an ear.
If that doesn’t work for some reason, consider hiring a coach or getting professional help.
But no matter who you choose to talk to, letting your thoughts and feelings out can feel like a huge weight is being lifted off your shoulders.
Plus, your confidant might have been in the same situation as you and the past and could offer solid advice for your specific situation.
4. Focus on what you can control
It’s common for people to spend too much time focusing on things out of their control.
But what if you focused solely on what you CAN control?
Instead of saying, “I hate my job so much, I wish things were different,” you could say, “What can I do to make my job a bit easier or better?”
Brainstorm all possible solutions to the problems you’re facing and come up with a realistic plan to make them happen.
Talk with people who can make you improve and implement your plan.
Doing this will not only help you start liking your job more, but it could also open doors for you at work.
And if there’s nothing at work you can control, then work on letting it go. Let go of the fact that, for now, there’s nothing you can do to change your work environment.
That’ll leave you with two options: You either learn to tolerate what’s happening or leave.
Focusing on what you can control and doing your best work can boost your self-esteem and give you more confidence. Not to mention peace of mind.
And that can create a self-confident loop that’ll either help you overcome challenges at work better or decide to quit if that’s your only option.
#5. Connect with coworkers
Don’t hesitate to contact coworkers to see how they’re feeling.
If you’re dealing with things that feel unfair or toxic at work, you’re probably not the only one feeling this way.
Some of your peers may hate the job as much as you.
Does this mean you need to go on a venting spree? No, not necessarily because you wouldn’t want your complaints to backfire.
However, you can ask a few of your trustworthy coworkers how they’re feeling about work lately.
If some are willing to open up to you, be honest while remaining respectful.
You may have the opportunity to vent your frustrations while listening to theirs and finding common ground with them.
Knowing you’re not alone in how you feel can help validate that what you’re experiencing is real and make the changes your work environment requires.
#6. Work on yourself
A couple of months ago I went through a rough patch at work. I was new at it and even though the big majority of my peers are amazing people, there were two of them that were very difficult to deal with.
It was hard for me at first because I let their mean comments get to me and hurt me, but I slowly started to understand that this was the perfect time to remember that what others say is a reflection of them, not of me.
Of course, I also stood up for myself when necessary and talked to the right people about how these two were creating a toxic environment and making me hate the job.
But after focusing on myself for a couple of weeks, I started to grow a thicker skin and didn’t pay attention to them anymore.
Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one in that situation and they were fired. But even if they hadn’t, I think I had learnt valuable life lessons anyway.
Amid the chaos, working on your self-growth and development might be precisely what you need.
I’m not saying that what happens at work is your fault for not working on yourself enough, but taking the time to improve yourself and your skills is always a great way to spend your time and find the answers you’re looking for.
Understand that it’s perfectly fine to feel lost and confused at the moment but that you won’t always feel this way.
Find things you can do to improve yourself, such as participating in an activity you enjoy, like painting or bicycling.
Journal and analyze your entries to see where you’re falling short and what you’d like to improve about yourself.
Maybe you’ve been watching a bunch of TV lately, or you’re not working out or moving your body enough.
If that’s the case and you care about it, design a plan to build better habits.
The bottom line? Gain new skills, read books, and work on learning new things.
Working on yourself is an excellent distraction from the stress of your job and can help you get further in your professional and personal life.
7. Be the change you want to see
This may be a good time to reinvent yourself.
If you notice toxic traits in your coworkers, you can work on being the bigger person.
How can you be intelligent about the situation?
What can you do to improve your emotional intelligence and lead by example?
AsAs I mentionedre, there are many things you can’t control, but there’s one yocan for surean: how you react to things.
Although it may sound cliche, working on changing yourself first might create a wave of change at work.
8. Make room for hobbies
When was the last time you participated in one of your favorite hobbies?
If it’s been longer than you can remember, now is the time to focus on changing that.
Getting into hobbies that bring joy to your life can help you with that balance.
Look for things to do that you can thoroughly enjoy, such as swimming, cycling, skating, painting, or even thrifting, and give it a try.
9. Start a side hustle
There has never been a better time to start one, so don’t be afraid to start a small business on the side.
There are many options that go from the simplest things, like pet sitting to shopping for other people’s groceries, offering rideshare services, and even selling homemade goods online.
To more complex projects like creating a YouTube channel to teach what you know or starting an agency that offers services you’re passionate about.
Starting a side hustle is an excellent way to add another income stream that may come in handy if you wake up one day and say, “I’m done. I quit.”
Here are some resources that could help you get started:
- 100+ Best Side Hustles: Ideas to Make $500+ in Your Spare Time
- What is Passive Income + Ideas for How to Make It!
10. Browse job offers
It doesn’t hurt to start looking at other job offers and opportunities that might be more fulfilling.
While browsing offers, you can get a feel for the current market and if it’s worth quitting your current job.
And that can help you decide if it’s best to quit, make a career change, or even hold off on leaving because of a lack of job prospects.
You never want to quit on a whim without knowing if you will have a way to support yourself after.
11. Design a plan
If none of these steps bring you the peace you need, start planning to quit and find a different job.
If it brings nothing but misery, you shouldn’t have to force yourself to stay there any longer.
You deserve to find a job that brings joy to your heart.
I know that changing jobs may sound unfeasible and even simply impossible.
But keep in mind that changing jobs just looks different for everyone and will depend on various factors, such as your skills, passions, and financial situation.
For some, it’s possible to quit and take some months off to find something else.
For others, learning new things and gaining new skills is necessary to get the job they want.
What does it look like for you?
If you still don’t know what to do with your life, now is a good time to reflect on that and see where your curiosity takes you.
Get organized and focus on creating your exit plan with a detailed list of steps to make a successful career switch.
4 Things to Consider Before You Quit
Before quitting your job, there are a few things you need to consider to avoid disappointment, frustration, and added stress.
You probably want to hear you should quit now and chase happiness.
And I get you. Trust me; I’ve been there.
But before you go through with it, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the minimum amount of money I need each month?
- Calculate anything you’re financially responsible for, such as rent, car notes, groceries, utility bills, and more. Determine how much money you need each month to survive.
- How long can I afford the cost of living without a job?
- Ask yourself if you can afford the cost of living, even without a job. Although it’s possible for some people who may have a hefty bank account or a spouse who works, not everyone can afford to quit.
- Do I have a backup plan lined up?
- It’s not always the best decision to quit when you don’t have anything lined up for yourself. If you don’t have a job offering or a side hustle, how will you afford to pay for anything?
- Do I have financial help from someone else, such as a partner?
- Is there someone supportive at home who would be able to cover expenses if you couldn’t do so anymore? For example, if you have a partner who works full-time, they may not mind you quitting your job to pursue something else. However, you need to think about what would happen if you don’t have anyone else to foot the bill for all your expenses.
The Bottom Line
Hating your job can take a massive toll on your mental health.
It can even cause you to feel like you hate your life as much as you hate the job.
Follow these simple yet effective steps that encourage you to focus on getting to know yourself even better and building a solid foundation to make the right choice.
Try to find that ideal work-life balance and stop overdoing it.
By taking action now, you can keep your job from consuming every bit of your life while realizing that quitting isn’t the only option you have.
Of course, you can leave your job if you hate it that much. But try to dig deeper and see if there’s more to it before putting in your resignation.