What to do when you hate your job!

“I hate my job!” – We have all said this before. Whether it’s a part time role at McDonalds, a call centre role, a management position or as a small business owner, there will always a moment that you say to yourself, “I hate my job! So what? There’s nothing I can do about it!” The key is determining the source of your distain, and the triggers of your unhappiness. It may be as simple as a decision made which you didn’t agree with, a change of management, a new recruit or change in business direction.

My philosophy with work and one’s career is that ultimately you need to be happy with not only what you are doing but where you are working and who you are working with. With the amount of time you spend at work these days increasing, it is more than ever so important to be happy in your workplace. If you’re not happy, do something about it! The easy solution would be to resign, however with a highly competitive employment market, it’s probably not ideal to “jump ship” every time that you feel unhappy. With that in mind, it is important to first determine the source of your angst and ensure measures are taken to combat your frustration and distain.

Factors that may contribute to your dislike with your role;

New management

The introduction of a new manager may bring a new direction. Clear and open communication with your manager may solve this. It is important that you understand the vision and direction of the business, and how you and your role will contribute to the overall success and goals. If this isn’t communicated clearly, you may feel lost or disengaged with the company and with your role.

A new staff member

You need to determine why this particular person is causing you so much angst. Is it a clash of personalities? Are their values or work ethic unaligned to yours (do they believe ‘near enough’ is good enough, or are constant ‘clock watchers’)? Are you threatened by their skills and experience (are they older, more experienced or more qualified than you)? Did they get a position that you were seeking (did you apply for their role but were deemed unsuitable)? Most of these can be resolved through clear conversations, but if that fails, seek a transfer to another department.

If you answered no to the above question, and your unhappiness in the role has been present for a significant period of time, you need to ask yourself the following questions and essentially determine whether the angst is worth it in the long run.

The duties/responsibilities of your role have changed

This may occur with a change in management or direction of the business. You may be required to undertake more tasks, the focus of your role may change or you may be required to undertake tasks that are completely new for you. Again, communication and understanding play a big part in the transition of this change. If the intentions of the business are clearly explained and your concerns are addressed, (hopefully) a lot of the negativity may cease to exist!

The company/business has relocated or you personally have moved

When you initially commenced in the role, the short journey to work may have been a breeze, however if you or the business has moved location, the commute may be taxing to you and your lifestyle. Although the actual hours of your role may not have changed, your total hours spent commuting plus work would have a significant increase. This may add stress, pressure and anxiety to your personal life and therefore the negative will present itself to your work and role.

The factors that may affect your enjoyment at work could be endless, however to determine these, you may ask yourself some of the below questions.

  • Why did you accept the position?
  • Is the position what you envisaged?
  • Have you had significant changes in your personal life and therefore this has transferred to the workplace?
  • Do you have personalities in the office that don’t align with yours?
  • Are the expectations/management styles in the office to harsh/unrealistic?
  • Is this a role or business that you see yourself a part of for the long term?


Whether or not one of the points above describes yourself or your current situation, the main thing to ask yourself is, “what are you going to do about it?” You may be able to just “put up with it”, but there will absolutely come a point in time that the situation will make you hit breaking point. Communication is such an important factor in all these situations. Clear, open, honest and transparent communication between all parties should elevate most of these angst’s.

If all else fails, live by my belief that “life is too short to be unhappy – do something about it”!