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I think we can all relate to this at some stage in our lives. When you hate your job but can’t quit!
It’s so frustrating and not at all a fun place to be!
I know this feeling all too well…
But what exactly are you expected to do when you hate your job but can’t quit??
You could look for another job, of course. But I’m sure you’ve already thought about this because it’s an obvious answer. But not always the answer.
I know the EXACT feeling of hating being at work, and it’s truly the worst.
For me, the only thing that kept me going in my previous job was knowing that I wouldn’t be there forever and I would plan an escape.
I vividly recall standing at the photocopier machine with my boss yelling from down the hallway and thinking “how is this my life?” “how can I get out of here for good??”
For years I would get home and release all this pent up frustration and anger at my job situation. I hated being there. I was miserable at home because I knew I’d be faced with the same thing the next day, and the next and the next…
It didn’t matter what job I was in or how well it paid, I hated being at work and having to answer to someone else. Plain and simple.
But I understand it’s not an option for everyone to just walk out one day because you don’t like it anymore. There are bills to be paid and mouths to be fed. I know how it feels to be trapped but unable to just get up and leave.
It’s truly soul destroying being stuck at a job you hate. It sucks the life and energy out of you!
I’ve never thought a job was worth anything that compromised happiness and health. What’s the point if you’re feeling so miserable all the time?
Be sure to save this post to your “Hate My Job” Pinterest board here so you can always refer back to it when you’re feeling miserable at work.
WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS WHEN I HATE MY JOB?
So now you’re probably asking well “what can I do when I hate my job?“, “how can I escape these bad feelings day in day out?“
I’m going to give you some tips for when you want to change jobs but can’t right now to help improve your situation. And I’m also going to show you some realistic options and an escape plan if you just want to get the heck out. I’ll show you some of what I did to escape my own prison cell (aka office cubicle) too.
So let’s look at what you can do when you hate your job but can’t quit, yet.
Before we get started, I’ve included some “hate your job but can’t quit” memes at the end of this post. These would cheer me up at work when I was feeling down and I hope they help you do the same 🙂
Now let’s get started!
FIGURE OUT WHAT’S MAKING YOU SO UNHAPPY AT WORK
Let’s be honest, work can be pretty damn tough sometimes.
It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel stuck in a rut.
But you’re not alone! According to this survey, 50% of Americans dislike their job due to these top 3 reasons:
— Unfair Pay
— Under Appreciation
— Lack of Communication
So the important thing is to figure out what’s making you so unhappy at work. Is it your boss? Your co-workers? The work itself?
Because once you get to the source of your unhappiness, you can then start to make some changes.
If your boss is the problem, maybe it’s time to have a talk with them about your concerns. If your co-workers are bringing you down, maybe it’s time to find some new friends at work! And if the work itself is just too mundane, maybe it’s time to start looking for a new job.
Whatever the source of your unhappiness, there are ways to find a solution even if it doesn’t reveal itself straight away. So don’t give up hope just yet. There is always a silver lining!
TALK TO YOUR BOSS ABOUT YOUR CONCERNS AND SEE IF THEY CAN BE ADDRESSED
When problems come up at work, it’s worth checking if they can be fixed. Because if you’re going to have to be there awhile longer you might as well try and make it easier for yourself.
Maybe your boss is breathing down your neck or you feel like you’re being passed over for opportunities? Maybe you’re feeling under appreciated and like nothing you do is good enough.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to first try and talk to your boss about your concerns. After all, they can’t address what they don’t know about. I know it may seem daunting, but approaching your boss is actually pretty easy if you keep a few things in mind.
First, try to schedule a meeting when they’re in a good mood and don’t appear to be too flat out and stressed (this is what I would do with my previous boss).
Second, come prepared with specific examples of your concerns. Preparing is key to be able to confidently and professionally raise your concerns. Know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
And finally, be polite and respectful throughout the conversation. If you follow these steps, you’ll have the chance to be able to have an effective conversation with your boss about your concerns without it ending in tears.
MAKE A PLAN TO FIND ANOTHER JOB, EVEN IF IT MEANS TAKING A PAY CUT
It’s no secret that the job market is tough right now. With so many people out of work, competition for jobs is fierce! Thanks covid…
Even if you’re employed, you may be worried about losing your job. The best way to protect yourself is to have a plan in place for finding another job, even if it means having to take a pay cut.
The first thing you want to do is assess your skills and experience.
Are you good at something? Is there anything you really enjoy doing? What are your strengths? If you could start your dream job what would it be? Once you know what you have to offer, you can sign up with companies that have jobs that interest you.
Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that are outside of your comfort zone either. Sometimes the best opportunities come from unexpected places.
Who knows, you might end up making more money than you ever thought possible with something totally new!
SET BOUNDARIES FOR YOURSELF – DON’T STAY AT WORK LATE OR ANSWER EMAILS ON WEEKENDS
It’s easy to get caught up in the never ending cycle of work. I’ve been caught up in it before and it leads to burnout pretty fast!
You told yourself you would only answer a few emails on your day off. But before you know it, hours have passed and you’re still working away.
Or maybe you’ve been working late every night for weeks, and you’re starting to feel burnt out.
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to set some boundaries for yourself. This means setting limits on how much work you’re willing to do outside of normal business hours.
So next time you’re tempted to answer an email on a Sunday afternoon or stay late at the office, remember: your time is valuable, and you deserve to take a break!
FIND WAYS TO ENJOY YOUR FREE TIME OUTSIDE OF WORK
Picture this – you’ve just clocked out of work after a long day. All you want to do is veg out in front of the TV with a pizza and zone out for a few hours.
But then you remember that you’re an adult and soaking up hours of TV can be just as bad for mental health. So you drag yourself outside, thinking of all the things you’d rather be doing instead!
Don’t get me wrong, a little telly for some escapism isn’t a bad thing at all. But when you’re using that to escape all the time and staying indoors it can become unhealthy.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your free time outside of work. And even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person, here are a few ideas:
- Take a walk around your neighborhood or go for a hike in a nearby park. Just being present in nature helps reduce stress levels and improves your mood! 🌳
- Visit a nearby city or town that you’ve never been to before. Exploring new places is a great way to learn more about the world and you might even find yourself a new favorite hangout 🧋
- Attend a local festival or fair. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a food festival, music festival, or art fair. Sometimes spending a day eating junk food and riding rides can bring out the kid in you again and you can forget about your worries for the day 🍭
There are plenty of ways to enjoy your free time outside of work that don’t involve binge watching Netflix. Give them a go and see for yourself!
You might also enjoy my post on 10 free activities you can do in your spare time.
LEAN ON FRIENDS AND FAMILY FOR SUPPORT WHEN YOU HATE YOUR JOB BUT CAN’T QUIT
Friends and family are essential during tough times. They provide a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, and a mouth to tell you when you’re being ridiculous! Seriously though, lean on your friends and family for support during this tough time.
I can’t thank my family and friends enough for helping me get through my bad days at work when I was stuck there and hating life.
They’ll be there for you when you need them, whether you just need to vent or you need help with something practical. And if they can’t be there in person, they’re only a phone call away. So don’t be afraid to reach out – your friends and family want to help!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE READY TO QUIT: ESCAPE PLAN
It’s not always easy to admit when we’re unhappy at work. We often feel like we should just suck it up and be grateful for the paycheck, especially in today’s economy.
But if you can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong and you dread going to work each day, it’s time to take action.
This is especially true if any of the following thoughts are bouncing round your head:
“I’ll feel guilty if I quit my job”
“I hate my job but I can’t afford to quit”
“My job pays well but I hate it”
“What to do when you hate your job but can’t quit”
“My job is making me depressed but I can’t quit”
Sometimes you can try everything under the sun to fix your misery at work. But it won’t matter because you know deep down that working for someone else is never going to make you happy. So, you need to start planning your exit strategy.
You don’t have to jump ship right away, especially if you can’t afford to. But knowing you have a plan in place will make you feel better and get you through the days at work.
So let’s get to work on a plan of escape!
1. GET TO KNOW YOURSELF
Before you do anything you’re going to want to learn a bit about yourself. Character traits, strengths, weaknesses, passions etc.
To help with this and to speed up the process, you could take a personality test. It only takes around 15 minutes to complete and I personally found it really helpful. It helped me to learn more about myself so I could determine what sort of work I actually wanted to do in life.
This particular test shows your results using “the Big Five” major factors of personalities. These are:
- Openness to experience
- Natural Reactions
Be Honest with Yourself
Make sure you’re open and honest with yourself while taking this test. Otherwise the results will be skewed and it won’t have the desired effect!
I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’m an ambivert – someone who is in between an introvert and extrovert.
One of the reasons I found it so hard to work in a traditional office setting was because I didn’t enjoy talking to and working with big groups of people. Everyone around me seemed to be full-on extroverts happy to discuss their personal lives at large and expected me to do the same. I even thought there must be something wrong with me and questioned why I was different!
Taking the personality test helped me understand that being the way I am isn’t a bad thing! It just meant that certain jobs weren’t suited to me and I’m a lot more productive working alone or in a smaller group.
The truth is I can be pretty shy until you get to know me. And some jobs want the loud and proud type, which I was not!
I’ve also never been one to do what everyone else is doing, a “sheep” as they say.
Once you understand more about yourself, your likes and dislikes, it will make your life a lot easier when you’re searching for potential career opportunities.
2. EMBRACE WHO YOU ARE
Once you free yourself from what society (or your friends and family) expects of you, you’ll be able to make better decisions for yourself.
When you embrace and accept who you are, this often leads to new doors being opened to exciting opportunities. Ones you may never have otherwise thought about!
Now it’s time to start looking at your options for careers. Whether that means finding a new job altogether or starting down the non-traditional work from home jobs route.
Once I learned there was nothing wrong with my personality, I started looking for alternative work solutions. I could think so much more clearly and be more at ease with myself!
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” — Steve Jobs
3. FIND OTHER CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
After taking the personality test, I read up extensively about my personality traits online. This really helped me because I could then search for suitable jobs that matched my personality.
I recommend you do the same because it will really help you learn about what jobs you will actually enjoy doing and that will suit you.
Search high and low about your personality type to learn as much as you can! Remember: knowledge is power.
During my own personal discovery, I learnt that ambiverts do well with a balance of being able to work independently and also sharing their ideas with others. Jobs like teachers, marketing managers, creative directors, writers and virtual assistants are all suitable jobs for ambiverts.
With blogging, I get to do a range of all of these things given there are so many different aspects to blogging.
I never in a million years thought about blogging for a career! Especially given it wasn’t something that fell into any of my family’s or society’s expectations of me.
Working online has opened up opportunities I never thought were possible. And to think it all started with a personality test!
I hope this motivates you to start your own self-discovery and learning more about yourself and the endless opportunities out there.
If I hadn’t broken the status quo and stayed in my job with no plans to escape, I would never have found the happiness I have now. I’ve just never been all that into the corporate life and office politics. Instead, I love the idea of financial freedom so I can create meaningful memories with my friends and family. This is what truly matters to me!
4. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR JOB PAYS WELL BUT YOU HATE IT
I’m sure many of you are thinking about staying in a job that pays well, but you hate it!
Some of the best advice I ever followed was from Steve Jobs. I found this quote while I was searching the ends of the internet about what to do when I hated my own job. Even though the pay was good!
It really got me thinking, especially the “don’t settle” part.
When you don’t like something, you change it right? But if you can’t change it right away, change the way you think about it.
In this case, you love the pay but hate the work, or working environment.
By taking a personality test, researching your character and personality traits and searching for suitable jobs. These will all help you to figure out exactly what you want to do for a living.
You’re on the right path already, so stick with it!
I gave transcribing jobs and blogging a shot once I worked out my personality type and job suitability.
After getting the hang of balancing online gigs, learning all about blogging and how to use WordPress etc. I realized these were what had been missing from my life! Something that I finally enjoyed doing and actually got excited about and learning something new every day.
Whether you’re passionate about gardening, traveling, cooking, renovating, DIY’ing, comedy, crafts, baking, reading poetry. Whatever it is you need to work out what it is you enjoy the most.
When I was working all this out myself, I had to shush the voice in my head that came from my parents and peers about what their idea of a successful career was. Jobs that paid well in areas like law, medicine, banking, finance, I.T. etc.
I had to tell myself that these are someone else’s views of what “success” and “the right path” looks like. This wasn’t an easy task when you’ve been given the same message all of your life!
5. DO I QUIT MY JOB TO CHASE MY PASSIONS??
The short answer is NO.
It would be foolish to quit your job to chase your passions in the hopes that it will all ‘somehow work out’.
We all have bills and need to put food on the table.
Instead, spend some time in the evenings and on weekends to pursue your passions, hobbies and interests.
This is exactly what I did which led me to online transcribing jobs, and then later starting this blog.
It’s been a long journey to get to where I am now and I’ve invested a lot of time learning all I can about online jobs and blogging.
To make anything a success you need to invest the time and energy in both yourself and what it is you’re pursuing.
As quoted by Warren Buffett “the most important investment you can make is in yourself“. The rest will follow.
Invest Your Time
Once you start investing your time, effort and money into whatever it is you’re most interested in and passionate about, you’ll start to see some positive changes. When you’re laser focused on finding ways to leave your job, you’ll be amazed at how fast time has gone and what you’ve learnt in that time.
Try different things to work out what you enjoy doing and search the internet to see if your existing skills, hobbies, passions and interests can be profitable.
If you find there are plenty of things that interest you but you don’t yet have the skills, then you can invest in a course in that area. These days there are many, many courses that you can take that are affordable and can be completed in a matter of days, even hours!
So don’t be put off if you don’t yet have the skills in a certain area you’re interested in.
If you’re interested in learning a new skill or advancing existing skills, here are a couple of popular choices for course platforms that you can look into:
- Skillshare – Best for longer term, ongoing learning.
- Fiverr Learn – Best for quick courses to learn about something new.
6. HOW TO QUIT YOUR JOB WHEN YOU’RE BROKE
No matter how much you hate your job, think seriously before you hand in your resignation and skip out the door into the sunset!
Because it won’t be very fun when you suddenly have no income or anything to fall back on. And you’ll likely be more stressed than what you were at your job.
So, it’s important to take the steps to financially secure yourself before you quit.
Maybe you’re lucky enough to have the financial support from your family or friends while you find other work. But if not, read on to get tips on how to secure more money in the bank:
— Pay off any debts you have before leaving your job (particularly consumer debt).
— Try to live a frugal lifestyle and build an emergency fund. Ideally this would be up to 6 months’ worth of living expenses.
RECAP ON WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HATE YOUR JOB BUT CAN’T QUIT
When it comes to dealing with a job you hate but can’t seem to quit, my approach is simple: just start.
Whether you’re feeling stuck in a dead-end position or just burned out from years of overwork, the first step towards creating a better situation for yourself is making a plan and taking action.
Let’s recap on the above:
1: Determine the reason you hate your job. Can your situation be improved at work?
2: Take steps to see if things can be improved by talking to your boss etc.
3: Get to know more about yourself by taking a personality test and researching your character traits online. What do you want out of life and what brings you joy?
4: Discover other career opportunities. What matches well with your personality? Transcribing online and starting a blog opened my eyes to more opportunities outside of work!
5: Follow Steve Jobs’ career advice. When you hate your job but can’t quit yet, get motivated by reading blogs, doing online research and self-discovery.
6: See if your existing skills, hobbies and interests can make money. Start investing your time and energy into learning new skills and building on existing ones.
7: Take action by securing yourself financially so you can quit your job. Pay off debt, build savings, live a frugal lifestyle and find side jobs for extra income.
NOW IT’S UP TO YOU! YOU’VE GOT THIS ONE LIFE, SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL LIVE IT ON YOUR TERMS! DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY FAVORITE ‘HATE YOUR JOB BUT CAN’T QUIT’ MEMES BELOW FOR A LAUGH OR TWO!
HATE YOUR JOB BUT CAN’T QUIT FUNNY MEMES
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