What To Do Right Now If You Hate Your Job

by Hank Coleman

What to do when you hate your jobIt is a hard thing to get up every morning when you hate your job. Far too many Americans are stuck in jobs they hate, dead end jobs, or work where they aren’t fulfilled. According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only 29% of workers age 31 to 61 years-old say that they are very satisfied with their job. That’s a lot of other people in the workforce who either hate their job or just thinks that it is okay.

So, what can you do if you hate your job? There are a few things you can do or moves that you can make to help position yourself to either transition to a new job or make the one you have more bearable.

What To Do Right Now If You Hate Your Job

Start planning your exit ahead of time

Now is the time to start planning your exit before you want to actually leave. You should be laying the ground work to get out months if not a year ahead of time if you believe that you are going to be hopelessly miserable in your job.

Look for college courses to take

One of the best things that you can do is to start thinking about your dream job or career. How do you get there? Taking college courses can help you find out what you really love to do and whether or not it is right to start pursuing.

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Accentuate the positive in your job

Find the good in what you are doing in your current job. It all cannot be bad. There has to be some positive parts about your current job. If you find those and latch onto them, then accentuating the positive aspects will make whatever time you have left in your job much more bearable.

Look for the positive people around you

There is nothing that I hate more at work than to be around negative people. They tend to spread like wild fire and change my mood as well. I stay away, far away from people who are overly negative. It is definitely the vocal negative people that will bring you down, and you might be better off simply steering away from them.

Find a part-time job that you love

Have you always want to do something else? Can you take a part-time job doing it while you still have your day job that you hate? I know what you are thinking. Why in the world would you take on more work if you hate your job? But, learning the ropes on something that you have always wanted to do will make your transition that much easier. Also, you can see if your dream job actually fits what you have in mind.

Identify and isolate what you hate

What exactly do you hate about your job? Can you pin point it? Is it the commute, your coworkers, your hours, or some other factor that drives you nuts about your job? If you can isolate it, you have a great chance of knowing what changes you should ask for. Or, you know what you want out of a job when you start looking again.

Don’t quit your job too early

Plan your exit from your job with due diligence. Do not just wing it and quit in a furry. For one thing, you won’t qualify for unemployment if you simply quit your job. Plus, you may need to use your current boss or employer for a reference. Jobs are like life insurance. You don’t want to drop one before you have another one lined up.

Stay professional as you exit

Be sure that you give your employer a two week notice. Like I said earlier, you want to be able to use your last job as a reference.

Don’t let on that you hate your job

Don’t go bad mouthing your company or boss and letting people know why you are quitting. If you show your cards too early, you can find yourself being ostracized or even given the crappy tasks that no one wants to tackle.

Look for a transfer in your company

If you know what is driving you nuts about your company, you can often ask for a transfer if your company is large enough. Many companies have different sub-cultures. So, if you didn’t like one side of a company, maybe there are others that more fit in with what you are looking for in a job.

Hit up your network contacts

The time to build your network is before you need them. The time to hit them up for help of course is when you finally figure out that you hate your job and can’t take it anymore. Now’s the time to use them quietly to start laying the groundwork for your exit into another job that you are more suited for which will make you happier.

Brush up on your resume before its needed

You should have a resume ready to go at all times. Like updating your asset allocation, you should review your resume about once a year and update it with new job titles, responsibilities, awards, and other important references. The more updating you do to your resume along the way will make it that much easier when you need it and won’t have time to make a hundred changes at the last minute when all your efforts should be focused on job searching.

What about you? Is there any other advice that I missed? Granted, I know that you, the reader, do not hate your job. But, maybe you have heard from a friend how they handled a job they hated.

About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.

Hank Coleman has written 525 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar

Great advice, especially about working a part-time job that you love. It helped me get through the work day and figure out if my dream job was actually what I wanted to be doing with my life!
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Money Beagle

Great advice. I think it’s important to find out what you don’t like about your job and look at what led to that…did you miss seeing something when you were hired? Were you lied to? Did leadership change? Try to look at these things so that you can potentially spot triggers or warning signs to keep an eye out for in future job decision making.
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Sean @ One Smart Dollar

I think planning out your exit is a smart move. You just need to make sure that if you find a new job that it will have the same pay and benefits. You also need to make sure that you wont have the same hatred for that job a year later.
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John S @ Frugal Rules

Great advice, especially in regards to planning your exit and looking for the positive people around you. If you’re leaving with no job to go to then you need to make sure you’re making the right move and have what you need to make it. Connecting with positive people in the office can be a great help, as the negative ones will just increase your misery. You want to make sure you make a rational decision, not an irrational one.
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Tackling Our Debt

All excellent tips!

I have had times where I have left one job with another one already lined up and other times where I left without having anything new lined up. But I never left a job that I didn’t like on bad terms. A few of the jobs I left had exit interviews and even in those interviews I didn’t really say why I was leaving (if it was because I wasn’t happy).



I work as a marketing agent in a small firm, at times get rough. My side business is the only thing can soothes me. Its good to be in an Entertainment business too.
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Elizabeth @ Simple Finance

When I left my job (that I HATED), made sure my finances were in check before I even told my boss I was on my way out. Then, I gave them a flexible end date, so that they could hire someone before I walked out the doors for the last time; I did that, more than anything, as a courtesy to my coworkers. I didn’t want my boss (who was a jerk) to make them work 60 hour weeks to make up for my absence!
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stev@ expertinsurance

Very useful advice! All the given tips are the best for our career. I am also newbie in job after completing my college. I will surly follow all of it. I will make positive atmosphere around me and stay atleast 2 years in same company. Additionally, I will surly updates my resume for bright future. Thanks Hank Coleman for such a great help.
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