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What To Do If You Hate Your Job

Things you can do if you hate your jobIs Friday at 5PM your absolute best moment of the week? Do you find yourself not enjoying Sunday afternoons because you’re already thinking about having to work the next day? Do you spend a good portion of your time and energy complaining about your job? Are you completely stressed out because you feel trapped in a job or career that isn’t what you thought it would be? What do you do if you hate your job?

Do You Really Hate Your Job?

Before you write off your job completely, figure out why you hate it. Is it because you aren’t being challenged? Are you being challenged too much? Are you missing time with your family? Do you have to work with difficult people all day? Make a list of all the reasons why it seems that you hate your job. When I did this, I found out that I don’t actually hate my job. I just hated the amount of time it took me away from doing other things.

Make Changes That Will Make Your Job Better

If you hate your job because of a horrible co-worker, can you move to another department or change schedules? If you hate your job because it’s boring, are there other skills you could learn to make it more challenging. If you hate your commute, can you work from home part of the time or move closer to your employer. Is there a way to make your job better?

I Don’t Make Enough Money At My Job

Money is a huge reason why many people hate their jobs. People who feel valued and are paid what they are worth are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. I also believe that people who can afford their lifestyle are much less likely to hate work. When I made $25,000 a year as a resident, I felt rich because my expenses were very low. If I’d had a mortgage, car payment, and several credit cards to pay each month on that salary, I probably would have felt like a gerbil on a wheel.

Since you can’t always receive a higher salary just by wanting one, you’ll have to take a really hard look at your lifestyle. If there is not enough money because of too much spending, this is something that is changeable. Even if you’re working like crazy to pay off debt, there will be and end date at some point, so hang in there. Controlling your spending and living within your means is really the only way to make your salary work long term, no matter how much you make.

Anyone can pick up a side hustle to earn more money if cutting expenses is not enough. A side hustle can also do one of two things. It might make you realize that it’s possible to turn a part time job you love into a full time gig. It could also be a time suck or not very enjoyable. In that case, you might realize your job isn’t so bad.

Is There Something Else You Hate That Makes You Blame Your Job?

I think lots of people, self included, can be upset about some circumstance in life that is out of control and turn that feeling into job hate. In my case, it was loads of debt that seemed impossible to pay off. Until we had a plan to pay off the debt, I took my feelings out on lots of things that weren’t really the problem.

You’ll see this with people who complain all the time about work but never make any effort to change things. It’s much, much easier to blame a boss or a job or a client for your ill will when it’s really a situation you created or are dealing with that seems too hard to manage. It’s completely acceptable to complain about work. It’s not so easy to confess bad habits.

What Should I Do If I Really Hate My Job?

If you’ve really studied the situation and you do hate your job AND there is no apparent solution, you don’t have to be miserable. While it might be fun to tell your boss to Take This Job and Shove It, that is probably not the best plan.

You can choose to accept that your job is what it is. Find your happiness in other areas. Sometimes learning when to stop beating your head against a wall is tough, but if you can, you’ll certainly have less headaches. Having a job you don’t enjoy that pays the bills is always a million times better than going into debt every month because you can’t make ends meet. There are a ton of crazy things I’d love to change about my government job, but it doesn’t work that way, so I try to take the good and leave the bad at work.

If you aren’t able or willing to accept the status quo, you need to form a game plan to make changes with your job situation.

  • Decide if just changing employers will work or if you need to change what you do.
  • Start building up an emergency fund. I’d recommend at least 6 months of living expenses in liquid savings before quitting a job without another one lined up.
  • Decide what else you’ll do to earn a living and if that will require more training, education, or even moving to a different area. It does no good to decide to be a marine biologist if you live in Kansas.
  • Begin creating multiple streams of income through investing or side hustles.
  • Don’t burn bridges. Vow to be the best employee you can be while in your current job. You never know when a client, co-worker, or boss might be helpful in the future.

One good thing about the way today’s work force is structured is that few of us are in a traditional 30 year pension job. We can leave when we want and are responsible for our own income and retirement. If you hate your job, it’s very possible to change. Just make sure it’s for the right reasons!

Have you ever known anyone who really loved their job? What things make a wonderful job? Is is money or something else?


Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Miles


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Last 5 years ago, I was working as a personal secretary in one of a company here in our city. The first year was still fine, but after one year and a half I had some trouble with my boss. I knew it that it was so complicated and it’s impossible to fix with him, so I politely asked and gave him my resignation letter.

  2. I think it’s important to not do anything rash. If you are starting to hate or even dislike your job, it’s best to just spend the next few months really evaluating where you are at in your career and what changes you should make. Listing out exactly what aspects of your job you hate is a great first step. I think you should also write down what you enjoy about your job and see how you can move towards finding a new job that takes what you love and gets rid of what you hate.

  3. “…you need to form a game plan to make changes with your job situation.” The best place to start in making changes is to read “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller. One of the best books I ever read and one that helped jump start my wife and I on major changes we wanted in life.

    • You have certainly changed your job situation! I will have to check that one out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I completely agree that you should not burn bridges. No matter how unhappy your job makes you or even your co-workers, you never know who can and will help you down the road. I left a job six years ago and even though I couldn’t stand a number of my former co-workers, I stayed in touch with them over the years and then two years after I left, they found a great internal job for me.

    • You never know who will know someone or have a connection or get asked a question about you. Living in a small town, I am all too aware of how a bad attitude or act of rudeness stays with people for a LONG time.

  5. I’m working on that “do not burn bridges” in my final month of work (already given my notice), but my bosses have become somewhat cruel to me recently. Just trying to be a bigger person!

    • I’m really sorry to hear that. It’s unfortunate that employers take it personally when someone gives notice. Hang in there!

  6. I think your advice to keep your lifestyle costs low is golden. Especially if you have debt, since debt can be an enormous anchor that tethers you to a job you may not like. If you can get yourself out of debt and have lower lifestyle costs, you’ll have more ability to do things like quit a job you hate.

    • Debt really does take away all your choices and leave you with no option but to continue working in a job you hate. I don’t ever want to feel trapped by debt again.

  7. Come to think of it, there is maybe one person I know that truly loves their job. Everyone else either simply likes their job and doesn’t mind it, or they really don’t like it. I think being around and working for great people is key. You have to enjoy being there and doing what you do, and sometimes coworkers can make a huge difference with that. Living below your means so you don’t get so attached to the salary that you can’t leave is good advice, too. When I left my last job I made sure to have an emergency fund in place.

    • Coworkers can make or break a job, and I’ve seen the pecking order do a number on a less seasoned employee. You can do things to fit in, but sometimes that can be a deal breaker.

  8. I really hated my last job. I was there for 3 years and had to beg for 1 week of vacation…it was ridiculous. I’m thankful for that job though because if I didn’t hate my job so much, I would have never started my company! Now I’m stress free and work for myself!

    • That’s a really good way to look at it. You can thank your job you hated for getting you where you are today!

  9. My girlfriend truly loves her job. She is working for a charity, doing work that she believes in. She works in a beautiful location, in a relaxed and laid-back environment and has a large degree of flexibility in her work schedule.

    The flipside is they don’t pay very much – which is the only real frustration she experiences.

    That said, I’d love to do something like her – only I’m focusing on achieving a strong financial footing before I look at lower paid yet more enjoyable career options.

    • I think anyone can do their time in a mediocre job if it means spring boarding into financial security. That’s why living below your means is so important.

  10. If you hate your job, then you should focus on getting a new one. If you are someone who hates every job you go into, then you really need to look into why that is the case. I have met some who complain about every job they have had, but it all goes back to how they handle those jobs. It isn’t the job, it is them.

    • I’m afraid there are too many people like that. If you look at job history it shows a change in employers every couple of years and there is always a reason the employer was bad or the coworkers were bad, etc, that’s a person I’d not want to hire.

  11. I think many times it’s all about mindset. When we feel trapped in a job because of our financial situation, we start to resent it. As we’ve paid down our debt, we both really seem to enjoy our jobs more and get more done on our side hustles. When you have the freedom to leave your job, it’s a lot easier to stop hating it.

    • I agree 100%. When you feel trapped, it’s easy to hate whatever you are doing. I am not quite in a position to walk away from work, and I don’t really want to yet, but it will feel great when that’s a valid option.

  12. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

    ― Confucius

    Who am I to argue!

  13. This used to be me, especially the not enjoying Sunday afternoon because I was already dreading Monday. I just felt undervalued and as if I was barely contributing to anything important. Now, I love my job! It is fulfilling and offers a lot of challenges. For all those who hate their jobs, start just sniffing around for something new. I managed to leverage my side hustle of freelancing and my blog into a full-time gig (that isn’t a FT freelancers) and seriously love it.

    • That’s wonderful to hear. I’m glad you took the initiative to make change instead of sitting around complaining!

  14. Awesome advice Kim! This has always been a major challenge for me on and off over the years. One of the rules I’ve tried to stick by is ‘never make a major decisions when my emotions are running high’. It’s always after the difficult week, or the uninteresting project, or the inspiration of seeing someone start their own business that can set this off for me. I just want to walk out the door that day, and tell myself this is how I permanently feel about my job. But then I have days where I’m just buzzing at work, because I love my team, or solve a great problem, or really help a client.

    I think keeping perspective as you said is so important, but so hard to do when you’re emotional. You can get blinded to the good things around you when you just focus on hating your job. Do you get to work inside a nice building, rather than digging ditches all day? Have you made any friends through your work? Does at least 1 person value what you do, and thank you? Are you getting paid enough to provide for your family and shelter them, rather than being out on the streets? It can be hard to really get perspective when times are tough at work, but it’s a skill definitely worth practising. Work on being grateful for what you have, and / or make a change – it’s all in your control.

    • That whole second paragraph is what I try to tell myself when I get discouraged about working. I really have no reason to complain, ever!

  15. Great advice Kim! My last job was one that I hated, for a variety of reasons. It was finally me getting physically ill when I walked into the building that convinced me it was time to start making some changes. Life is just too short to be in something you hate. Like others have said though, I’d watch the attitude as it can be easy to convince yourself that it’s the job when it may be you as the individual.

    • I think you did it the right way by having savings and having a good idea that your home business could work. I’m sure there were days when you just wanted to walk out before everything was in place.

  16. I believe having a great work and life balance makes a job more appealing aka loveable. When one or the other takes over too much time, it gets frustrating. Great tips and being debt free will make leaving an unfulfilling job easier.

    • Having a good balance does make most everything more enjoyable. When I worked all the time, I don’t think I really enjoyed time off because it seemed so rushed.

  17. Good post and advice! I think too many times, people say they hate their jobs and think the only solution is to find another one. But the grass is not always greener. And sometimes, you can make changes which is make it so you don’t hate your job anymore.

  18. I do not really hate my job, but I find that it really gets in the way of a lot of stuff. i just do not have the time to go to work.

    But the paycheck is nice…

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