As leaders of A Life Unleashed, we often hear prospective members say things like:
"I hate my job."
"I'm miserable at work."
"I've never liked my work and I'm not sure how to find something I would enjoy more."
If this sounds like you, chances are you've been in the same job or career cycle for many years. While you may have started out enjoying your work, over time you may have lost your passion and excitement.
If you hate your job, you're not alone.
Gallup polls show that 85% of Americans are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged" from their jobs, which means they're emotionally disconnected from their work.
To put in plainly, millions of people are dissatisfied with their work, hate their jobs and feel no sense of purpose or accomplishment.
But what about you? Why do YOU hate your job?
Check out these common reasons and see if you can relate.
1. You're bored out of your mind
There are plenty of reasons to hate going to work each morning, but the most common reason that people report hating their jobs is a lack of challenge.
Perhaps you're bored out of your mind doing the same tasks every day, or maybe you're getting asked to take on more and more responsibilities without seeing a corresponding salary increase.
Either way, it's clear that you're not being engaged at work, and that can make for an incredibly unfulfilling (and uninspiring) environment.
2. Your work feels meaningless
Work is an opportunity to use your skills, abilities and creativity to make a difference in others' lives or in the world. If your job doesn't allow you to do this, it can make you feel as if you're wasting your time or even abandoning your God-given skills.
There's no shame in admitting that you want the work you do to matter. In fact, it's an important tenet of positive psychology — which focuses on increasing well-being — that people who derive meaning from their work are happier than those who don't.
3. You can't stand your boss or coworkers
People don't usually leave their jobs because of the work itself. Instead, they leave because they hate the work environment, their boss and the people they work with. Whether it's unfair treatment, poor management, or a culture of negativity, the people are often what we hate most.
Now, I'm not saying you have to be best friends with your co-workers or boss, but if you can at least connect on a few levels, it will make going to work a lot more enjoyable. If you're working with people who you know would never fit in with your closely knit group of friends, it's likely going to be harder for you to build a rapport and connection with them.
Look at it this way: Most of us would never dream of dating someone who didn't share our values or whose interests were completely different than our own. Yet, somehow we'll choose to work with them for eight hours a day. Really? Is the money that good?
But, don't blow this off. If you're stuck in job you hate because of the people, it's important to examine what exactly it is about the people that's just not working for you. Is it a clash with your values? Is it a lack of integrity?
4. You hate your commute
The commute is probably one of the most underrated reasons for hating your job. But when you get down to the bottom of it, a lot of people hate their jobs because they hate their commutes.
When you have to spend hours in traffic every single day, it takes a toll on you mentally and emotionally. You're exhausted and stressed out before you even step into work, which can make you dislike your job even more.
Many professionals got a taste of working from home during the pandemic, only to realize they never want to go back to the job they hate with the commute they detest.
5. You're expected to be a robot, not a human.
We're hearing this more and more. So much so that this one deserves a solid rant.
Here it goes...
You hate your job because you're expected to do more with less. Fewer people, fewer resources, less time.
You hate your job because you feel like a cog in a wheel that never stops spinning.
You hate your job because the only thing that matters is getting things done, no matter what it costs you personally.
You hate your job because your manager expects you to be available 24/7 while they're on vacation or enjoying weekends with their family.
You hate your job because the company treats work not as something you do, it's something you are (and sometimes all there is in life).
6. You're buried in guilt and shame from all directions
When the company’s culture makes you feel guilt or shame for prioritizing your children or family -- eventually you're going to scream "I hate my job!" from the rooftop bar on Saturday night.
But the guilt comes from all directions. Every day you go into work, you feel like you’re making a bad choice — either as an employee or a parent. Your only alternative is to quit, but then there goes your income, and health insurance.
So you stay trapped in this horrible limbo, hating everyone and everything around you: your boss, the other employees, maybe even yourself.
7. Your day gets hijacked from the moment you log in
Like so many professionals, you have no control over your day, your calendar and your time. If you're like most people, you don't know how long tasks will take or how much time you'll need for specific projects.
You feel overwhelmed because you don't know what's on your plate until the last minute or until someone asks or tells you to do something. You can't manage your own schedule, which means that you never feel in control of your life and everything spins out of control around you.
8. Your work doesn't align with your values or beliefs
Unfortunately, many people simply choose a job based on how much they will get paid. They don't choose to do meaningful work. and accept jobs that don't take their personal values and beliefs into account. This leads to unhappiness and dissatisfaction, without fail.
The quick answer: don't choose your job based on the wage alone. Choose work that aligns with your values to ensure you fulfill your potential.
Fine. You hate your job. Now do something about it.
If you hate your job, don't feel you're getting enough out of life or aren't satisfied with your career, there is a way to change all this.
The first thing to do, however, is to reject the old belief that money is the only thing you need in a job. Money is important—no one will argue against that—but it's not the only thing.
Make money a natural consequence of your work, not the goal itself.
Is it time for you to quit your job to find purpose in your work? Take the quiz and find out.
Join the movement.
Join a community of professionals who, like you, feel trapped in jobs they hate but are finally doing something about it. Together, we take back our lives, rid ourselves of that horrible feeling of uselessness so many of us feel during the workday, and start living again.