It’s a tough world out there. You need money to live, but you don’t want to spend your life doing something you hate. So what do you do?
The obvious answer is, you find a job that will pay the bills and doesn’t make you feel like you’re dying inside, right?
For many people, this is the reality of working life. They may be stuck in a job they despise, but it pays the bills, and they feel like they can’t afford to quit. This leaves them feeling trapped and unhappy.
There are many reasons people end up in this type of career quagmire. Some people may not have made any plans for their life after high school, some people may have gotten stuck in a job they never wanted to be in because it seemed like the best option at the time, and others may even be there by choice.
If you’re taking the time to read this article, there’s a good chance you’re currently living one of the situations I’ve described. Don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to deal with job dissatisfaction if you know how to handle it!
Why do I hate my job?
The first thing you need to do when taking control of your work life is to evaluate your current situation. You need to get to the bottom of what’s making you unhappy if you want things to change for the better!
Zippia recently surveyed 2,000 employees to identify the leading causes of job dissatisfaction. The most common responses were:
- Unfair pay (28%)
- Lack of recognition (21%)
- Lack of communication (19%)
- Lack of advancement opportunities (18%)
- Stress (15%)
- Boss (15%)
- Coworkers (11%)
All of these issues (and many, many more) can leave you hating your job. However, not all the problems that lead to job dissatisfaction require a resignation.
In a situation where you need the steady stream of income your job provides, it’s crucial that you determine whether your problems can be solved diplomatically. If they can be, great! Start brainstorming ways to solve them.
Here are three examples of why you hate your job:
1. I hate my job because of unfair pay
Unfair pay is the leading cause of job dissatisfaction by a significant margin. Luckily, there’s a potential solution that doesn’t require you to quit your job. Ask for a raise!
While there’s no guarantee that your request will be granted, there is a solid chance. According to data from PayScale, 70% of employees who request a raise are successful. The same study also found that 39% of employees who request raises receive the exact amount they ask for! Managers generally are given an amount they are allowed to give out as raises per year. If you don’t ask for it, it just goes unused, what is the harm in asking for a raise? It may just make you happy to have your job again!
If the money is good enough, then you probably hate your job for a completely different reason. But hey, now you have a good raise to be happy about while you figure out why you hate your job!
2. I hate my job because of stress
Stress is an incredibly common problem in the workforce. There’s good news, though! Depending on the cause of your stress, there are several techniques you may be able to use to manage it:
- Getting Organized: A lack of organization can easily lead to stress. Sometimes, all you need to do is establish some organizational systems that work for you.
- Self-Care: Self-care really boils down to taking better care of yourself. Hit the gym after work, start the day with a bit of meditation, eat some vegetables—whatever it is that makes you feel good!
- Better Communication: Communicating honestly with your manager can go a long way towards reducing stress levels. The more honest you both are about goals and expectations, the less stressed you’ll feel.
3. I hate my job because of my coworkers
Getting along with your coworkers certainly isn’t a given. If you don’t, it can severely impact your job satisfaction. Unlike the two issues we discussed previously, there aren’t always viable solutions to interpersonal issues between coworkers. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quit.
If you want to reduce the negative impact that coworkers have on your workday, it’s often best to keep an open dialogue. Address problems as quickly and directly as possible, so everyone moves past them quickly.
Alternatively, sit down with a manager to discuss ways of addressing the problems you have with your coworkers. Keep the conversation light and don’t point fingers! Simply state the key issues and ask for help addressing them.
Needless to say, you won’t be able to solve every workplace issue diplomatically. Sometimes a situation is just a bad fit! If that’s the case, it’s easy to feel trapped in the job you hate.
Don’t worry too much, though. In the next section, we’ll be talking about how to quit your job when you need the money.
How to quit the job you hate when you need the money
It’s easy to feel trapped in a job when you need the money. Luckily, there are ways to go about quitting your job that alleviate most—if not all—of the financial struggles associated.
Here are some important considerations when it comes to carefully quitting a job you hate:
Keep plans to yourself
As you start the process of quitting your job (and yes, it is a process), make sure you keep your plans, thoughts, and complaints to yourself and close friends or family members. The last thing you need is your boss finding one of your complaint-filled Tweets before you’re ready to cut ties with the company. That’s a great way to burn a bridge unnecessarily!
This advice remains important when you’re eventually interviewing for other jobs, too. Recruiters don’t want to hear you bash your former employer. It gives off the impression of disloyalty and disengagement—even if the complaints are valid!
Update your employment information
As part of the process of quitting your job, you’ll need to make sure you have an updated resume and LinkedIn profile. This goes beyond simply adding any new roles and responsibilities. It means tweaking everything from work experience to the skills you list (and how you list them).
Resumes are always a work in progress, and that means there’s bound to be plenty of room for editing and adjusting. Making sure your resume and employment profiles are in good shape is key if you want to get out of a bad situation as quickly as possible!
Start job hunting early
It’s common knowledge that finding a job is easier when you have a job. That’s why many experts recommend you start applying for jobs as soon as you’ve made up your mind about quitting and have updated your employment information.
Why? Simply put, this allows you to leverage your current role into something better without jeopardizing your income. Recruiters are suspicious about employment gaps—even small ones! If you’ve got a good job and are actively looking for a new one (but haven’t quit yet!), they’ll likely feel much more confident in your stability.
Employment search engines like Indeed or Monster are great places to start your search. Most have free signup, so you’re on your way to finding a new job in no time. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the network you’ve built up over the years. Reach out to people you trust in your industry and see if they know of any promising opportunities!
Get your budget in order
As I said above, the best way to quit your job when you need the money is by having another job lined up. With that being said, there are situations where this might not be viable! If your hatred of your job is starting to seriously affect your health (either mentally or physically), you might not have that luxury.
If that’s the case, it’s crucially important that you save up enough money to provide for yourself during your job hunt—an emergency fund if you will.
Calculating your emergency fund is simple. First, add up all of your necessary expenses for a given month. These will likely include:
Once you have your monthly total, just multiply it by six! What you’re left with is the amount of money you need to have saved to support yourself for 6 months with no income.
Obviously, the more you have saved, the better. However, the 6-month emergency fund provides a buffer that will allow you to quit your job quickly (and safely).
See how you can save $10k in 6 months.
I hate my job but need the money: Better start saving!
Once you’ve calculated your emergency fund, it’s time to start putting money away. Doing this is easy—simply cut back on spending wherever possible.
You could try one of the following:
- Canceling subscriptions (Netflix, Hulu, etc.)
- Reducing expenses (phone plans, eating out, etc.)
- Buying generic brands
It might take some time before you can make significant savings through these methods, but they’ll all pay off eventually.
If you need help to be more disciplined with saving money, try using an app to guide you and even save you money!
Remember: these are temporary sacrifices for your mental health!
I hate my job but need the money: Find a side hustle!
Having a side hustle is an excellent way to supplement your income and keep your mind occupied. You can use a side hustle to build up your emergency fund while you still have your job or to supplement your savings after you’ve quit.
There are a ton of ways to make money on the side—you just have to be creative with it! Here are a few ideas:
- Freelancing: Freelancing websites like Upwork and Fiverr are great ways to earn money by marketing your skills and talents directly to clients.
- Coaching: If you’re knowledgeable about some skill, why not put it to good use! Offer cooking lessons or sports conditioning sessions on the side and earn some extra income.
- Consulting: Consultants like the ones on Toptal can offer their services to businesses for a fee.
- Selling: Selling things you no longer need is one of the most basic side hustles out there! On eBay, Etsy, and more, people are constantly looking for good deals—someone might pay top dollar for your unneeded items.
- Airbnb: If you have a spare room in your house (or even just an empty couch!), Airbnb can be a great way to make extra money by renting it out. It’s less physically strenuous than other side hustles, but perhaps more difficult to manage.
- Uber or Lyft: If you live in a city, there’s bound to be a market for ride-sharing. Watch out for signup bonuses!
Once again, creativity is key here! There are tons of ways you can turn hobbies and interests into money-making opportunities—you just have to figure out what works best for you.
Check out these side hustles to see if they can work for you!
Even if you hate your job, quit with grace
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, quitting your job is still the best option for you. If that’s the case, be sure to quit in a way that doesn’t burn any bridges!
One of the most important rules for quitting any job is to give notice—typically two weeks. This provides time for your employer to organize their workload around your absence and allows you to properly train someone else who’ll be taking over once you leave. Giving proper notice demonstrates respect toward both yourself and your soon-to-be former employer.
If your employer asks why you’re leaving, keep your responses light, non-specific, and don’t blame others for the exit. Rather than saying that you’re quitting because you kept getting passed over for promotions, say that you’re looking for a role where you can take on more responsibilities.
This communication shows your employer that you’re thinking about the big picture and planning for the future. This could make it easier for them to ask questions, help you with references, and more.
It’s rarely easy to quit your job—even when you hate it! That being said, it’s important not to let this dissatisfaction affect the rest of your life. Instead of letting yourself get trapped by bad circumstances, do something about it!
Start with some self-evaluation, so you know what areas are weak points in the company where you work. Then reach out for help if necessary—and don’t forget that updating your resume is one of the first steps toward leaving a job behind.
Remember: quitting may seem difficult, but that doesn’t mean you’re helpless! With a little research and hard work, you can start your new and better life with a job in no time.
Do you feel like your job is weighing you down? What are some ways in which you can escape your current job and get into something better? Let us know! Don’t forget to share this article with anyone who may need it as well!