What to Do When You Hate Your Job

A recent survey revealed that 80% of people hate their jobs.  This means that 4 out of 5 people you shake hands with are miserable.  They live with incongruency.  In a world of immense choice, they choose to work in a situation they dislike.  So 4 out of 5 people are showing up trying to be happy, pretending and merely persevering.  Chances are that this is you.

Living your life hating your work can have a few reasons that are understandable:

  • Lack of transferrable skills
  • Providing for your family
  • It is a truly temporary assignment
  • A rite of passage

There are many other reasons I find less appealing:

  • You are scared
  • You are lazy
  • You lack imagination
  • You are checked out

People don’t say these things.  You have to turn off the sound and just observe.  Sadly, fear and laziness are epidemic.  If this is you, then sound advice is irrelevant unless you can acknowledge that this is the real motivator for why you choose a hateful job.  Get real with yourself first.

If you are already there, then here are some things you can do:

  1. Redeem your time.  What if you were able to commit 10 hours a week to your next gig?  How about 5?  Your habits may be holding you back.  Turn off the TV.  It’s a total waste of time.  Instead, spend an hour or two a night reading.  Go to the bookstore and browse around.  Where you tend to browse is a good indicator of your passion and interests.  Buy a book.  Commit to reading it.  Fill your mind with ideas and visions of new possibilities for your life.  Biographies are great for inspiring.  Marketing books will help you understand what is happening in the new economy.
  2. Build something!  If your grandparents wanted to build something, they had to take on a lot of risk.  It usually involved infrastructure such as hardware and square footage with employees.  It’s the new economy.  With cloud computing and virtual talent and workspace you can take very little risk and build something great.  Need a roadmap on how?  Check out the book on Build Something!  There’s little excuse when all the tools and opportunity is there today.  Being an entrepreneur means getting started.
  3. Tell people a date.  When are you going to change your situation? When are you going to launch your product, build something or quit your job?  Tell others.  Accountability is what moves you along the path of your dreams.  It’s difficult to be incongruent.  Let your word be your bond.  Name a date specifically when you will change.
  4. Write.  Write for yourself.  Write for an audience.  Of course you need to build an audience.  Writing helps you clarify your thinking.  It forces you to get clear about what you believe and what you want to go after.  Nothing stops you from publishing today.  The internet gives you free access.  Put yourself out there and start getting your thoughts out there to the world.

You have choices.  If something is holding you back from acting, then get clear with yourself.  It’s a very short life to waste it on misery day in, day out.

Try going to a nursing home sometime or visiting with the elderly.  They can remember their youth and how fast it passed.  The terminally ill can help you gain perspective quickly as well.

I have been with those near the end of their lives.  It is sobering and highly motivating.  There is a countdown to your own life.  Letting the world push you around rather than making something happen is a sad existence.  Hate your job, but love your life.

What is holding you back from changing your situation?  What would it mean if you could apply these tips?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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