You’ve rationalized many times over why your job isn’t that bad. It may even sound impressive when you describe it to others. We can’t blame you. So much is tied up in our jobs—our income, our health benefits, and a part of our self-esteem, to begin with.
But when you can’t shake that feeling that something isn’t right—or when you know what it is but you’re too scared to say it aloud—it might be time to take a good look at what’s going on and ask, “Why do I hate my job?”
It’s likely that you know the difference between a bad day and a bad job. Use this article as a means to have an honest conversation with yourself. Whatever you decide to do in regards to your current position, we’re rooting for you!
1. Your Body is Saying So
Stress can creep up on you so gradually that you don’t even realize when and how it happened. Your job creates a constant state of back pain, sleep troubles, stress, and an upset stomach. You can’t stop thinking about work and you’re irritable. Things that never bothered you before now seem monumental. What your body might actually be saying is, simply, “I hate my job.” If the common denominator for stress is your job, it’s time to go. No one should sacrifice their physical and mental health for work.
2. When You’ve Maxed Out Your Learning
Maybe you’ve been at your company for a few years and you feel a sense of pride when new employees look to you for guidance. It’s always great to know the ropes of a job, and you can certainly get satisfaction out of being an expert in your field.
But maybe that means you’ve maxed out your learning. If you feel bored to tears or take no pride in your knowledge, you should move on and learn something new. Learning new things has been highly correlated with happiness. When you learn something new, you get in “flow” with your personal goals and dreams. Follow the excitement and see where it leads you! Keep learning—it’s easier than you think!
3. When Sunday Scaries Turns Into a Depression
None of us are strangers to the old Sunday Scaries. Weeks are long and we all feel the drag of work from time to time. If you’re an office jockey, your mood may look like a veritable line graph as the week progresses. You start on Monday at the lowest of the low, practically crawling into work. Tuesday is no better, and, oftentimes, it’s worse. But on Wednesday, your mood starts to brighten a little. By Thursday, you spend half your day googling weekend plans and by Friday, you’re happy to be alive. Low to high, down to up. Every time.
A lot of people feel down after they’ve had a great weekend and have to go back to work on Monday morning. But when it goes from “Ugh, I wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow” to absolute dread, it’s time to go. Life is too short to hang out in a job where all you do is look forward to the weekends.
4. When You’ve Simply Stopped Caring
No one can be 100 percent efficient, 100 percent of the time. Even if you’re motivated to do something, it’s normal to take a break. In fact, you’re probably more efficient if you take a break—one study shows that the equation of productivity is 52 minutes of work and 17 minutes of rest. Odd numbers, but true.
There are many reasons that employees stop caring and find themselves not wanting to work. The most common reason is that, for one reason or another, they just don’t like their jobs. Guess what? That’s a completely legitimate reason. If it feels like pulling teeth just to complete your basic job description and you do the least amount of work to not get fired, you’ve got a problem. See if there’s a way to spice up your job or move to a different role. If not, it’s best to leave on a high note before your work suffers too much.
5. When You Don’t Admire the People Above You
Here’s one sure-fire way to know you should change how you spend a quarter (or more) of your week: look at what your manager and higher-ups are doing. If what they do doesn’t appeal to you, then there’s nowhere for you to grow within the company. If the leadership at your company is lacking (to put it kindly) there’s a good chance that it’s just not the place for you to learn and grow—especially if you want to shift into a leadership role eventually.
Bad leadership is like a chronic illness for an organization—and it has lots of ugly symptoms. Here are just a few:
- No work-life balance
- No long-term plans or viable career path
- Frequent turnover
- Bad behaviour (passive-aggressive, jealous, micromanaging, and much more)
- No boundaries
6. When the Financial Stability of the Company Becomes Questionable
If you’re in a dying industry, there are tons of people quitting, or restructuring seems to be happening every quarter, start looking for new work. The company is finding ways to save, and your salary may be next.
Here’s a fact. Despite what your company says on their fancy career page, when the bottom line falls out, they will likely cut employees to cut costs. Make sure to protect yourself in times of duress by planning a possible departure.
7. When You Feel Undervalued
You worked hard on a project that either greatly improved the company’s position or completely avoided risk, yet no one said thank you. Or maybe you do small things because you want to brighten someone’s day, but now it’s come to be expected. If your efforts and ideas are undervalued, it’s time to start looking for work that makes you feel better.
8. When You Read Lists Looking for a Reason to Quit Your Job
Sometimes you get a gut feeling and just know the job isn’t right for you. You can write out all the pros and cons to convince yourself that it’s not so bad but, deep down, it feels like you’re smashing puzzle pieces together to make your job fit with your personal life. It’s just not suited for you, and that’s okay. Time to start penning that resignation and look for your new job.