What to do when you start thinking “I hate my job”

We have all heard it from a friend or colleague.

Tue, February 25th, 12:21


Some of us have said it. The phrase “I hate my job” is a lot more common than it should be and causes a lot more damage than a few cases of the Monday blues. Doing a job you hate every day will affect your engagement with your work, your interaction with colleagues and your emotional wellbeing.

If you’ve found yourself thinking that you hate your job recently, you’re not alone. A report released last year by consulting firm Gallup found that there are twice as many unhappy employees than happy ones worldwide. The question is, how do you get from hating your job to doing something about it?

Ask why                                                                          

Before you can solve a problem, you need to figure out exactly what it is. It’s more likely that you hate certain parts of the job, rather than the job itself. Ask yourself if there are certain aspects of the role that fill you with dread? Do you put off the same tasks or the same meetings all the time? Think about the reasons you took the job in the first place. It’s possible you have outgrown the role without moving on in your career. Maybe it’s just a personality clash with a colleague. There are solutions to each of these problems.

Make positive changes

If there are certain tasks that you simply hate doing, discuss them with your manager or team leader. You may be able to adapt your role to better suit your skills. Even if this isn’t possible, you can get a lot of value out of discussing your role with your manager. If they can’t give you a simple solution, they should be able to discuss your career goals and opportunities for progression from your current role.

Even if you don’t want to talk to your manager about it, do some research into career progression within your current company. Think about your career goals and identify how you can get there through internal progression. Simply setting a clear goal may make it easier to deal with a job you hate.

Look for a new challenge

Of course, the tasks you hate may be your core duties or there may be no natural career path for you within your current role. If that’s the case, you may need to take more drastic action. That doesn’t mean marching into the office on Monday morning and handing in your notice, but it may mean it’s time to start looking around.

Again, this comes down to your overall goal for your career. Whether it’s a particular title, a favourite company or a set of responsibilities, make sure your goal is specific enough to explain in a single sentence. That sentence will guide you towards which role to apply for, or where you need to upskill. It’s vital that you only look for roles that fit your ultimate career goal. It’s no good leaving a job you hate just to start another one you hate even more.

Everybody hates their job a little bit, from time to time. If it’s just a bad day, or a bad month, it will hopefully blow over. However, if it really is the job that you hate, you can make a positive change. The first step is deciding to do something about it.

Eoin Keenan

The Irish Times