What You Can Do When You Hate Work

What You Can Do When You Hate Work

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You’ve Been Stagnant for Some Time

You know when LinkedIn congratulates you on your work anniversary? Have you ever received one of those notifications and responded, “I’ve been here that long?!” Then, you're flooded with a thousand other thoughts about your career and your non-existent job satisfaction. How has that much time passed? What have I been doing over 

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You’ve Been Stagnant for Some Time

these past years? This is the moment you realize that you're at a standstill—and you don't like it one bit. How it feels: Stagnancy in a job can be tough to identify at first. It’s likely to feel like Groundhog Day: doing the same thing over and over and over. Before you know it, it’s been five years and you haven’t grown your skillset.

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You’ve Been Stagnant for Some Time

You have no inspiration or passion for your job. You’re stuck. What to do: We think your career should always challenge and excite you—at least a little. No, we don’t believe your career should be your life’s purpose, but it should be something that motivates you. 

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You’ve Been Stagnant for Some Time

Your career should be something you’re proud of, at some level. No matter your job title, there is always creativity to be found—in any “job” and in any “career.” If you find yourself punching in and robotically moving through your day before punching out, you’re stagnant. Find some ways to infuse creativity into your job. Are you a master organizer? Maybe you 

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You’ve Been Stagnant for Some Time

can reorganize your filing system. Have you been itching to show off your design skills? Perhaps you can zhuzh up your net data analytics meeting.

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Your Workplace Is Toxic or Hostile

Toxic work environments breed unrest, competition, low morale, constant stressors, negativity, sickness, high turnover, and even bullying. True to their name, toxic workplaces end up poisoning your professional life and your personal life. In fact, after you searched "I hate my job," you searched "I hate my boss," "I hate my co-workers," and "I want to quit."

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Your Workplace Is Toxic or Hostile

How it feels: In a word, it feels horrible. Here's the kicker. It takes very little for a workplace to become toxic. Once a company becomes toxic, it will infest every crevice of an organization. What to do: Get out. We wrote even more about toxic workplaces if you think you might be working in 

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Your Workplace Is Toxic or Hostile

one. If you're in an identifiably hostile work environment, you might report your (hopefully soon-to-be-former) workplace.

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You’re Suffering from Workplace Burnout

There’s so much to do that you’re constantly in a dizzying haze. When was the last time you even had a moment to speak with your friends? How it feels: Burnout can feel three very specific ways, depending on the type of burnout you’re experiencing. We are all likely pretty familiar with frenetic burnout. Wornout burnout is the 

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You’re Suffering from Workplace Burnout

type of burnout experienced by employees who are constantly overworked without any positive outcomes or recognition. Similarly, frenetic burnout is the burnout that employees who work in high-pressure environments feel over a long period of time. What to do: If you enjoy the function of your job, when you generally like 

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You’re Suffering from Workplace Burnout

your boss, and when you love your coworkers, burnout might be the culprit. Is there a way to better balance your work life with the rest of your life? Can you work in a flexible schedule, cut your hours, or ask your boss for more support?

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Your Confidence Is Dwindling

When you first started at your job, your confidence was soaring. You killed the interview process and you were ready to take your career to the next level. Fast-forward three months, six months, or a full year and—all of a sudden—it feels like you have run out of confidence. Do you just suck at your job? (Of course not!)

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Your Confidence Is Dwindling

How it feels: It feels bad. When your job is hurting your confidence, you might arrive to work always feeling like you’re in trouble. You might find that your Sunday Scaries start at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday. What to do: When your job is whittling at your well-being, you might be in a toxic workplace. If your 

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Your Confidence Is Dwindling

coworkers are rude, your boss is dismissive, and you are given no direction, it can be easy to feel lost, hopeless, and stupid. But, that’s not the case. Try speaking with your leadership about what you can be doing better, how to keep communication open, and how you can collaborate most effectively. See how it feels to be straightforward about your 

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Your Confidence Is Dwindling

needs while listening to theirs. Be open to constructive feedback. Alternatively, your confidence might be taking a hit because you’re letting it. Yes, yep, affirmative, there she is: impostor syndrome.

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There Has Been an Uncomfortable Change in Leadership

This is our very generous way of saying something else, which is “I hate my boss.” Listen, it happens.  All leaders are not created equally. Sometimes, you and your manager will have personalities that simply do not mesh. Other times? Your boss might be a jerk, full-stop.

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There Has Been an Uncomfortable Change in Leadership

How it feels: We’re using the word “hate” pretty liberally here, but we don’t mean to. It’s just that, when you feel so frustrated with your boss, you probably are using that four-letter word (likely alongside some other choice four-letter words, as well). In short, “hating” your boss doesn’t feel good, at all. You 

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There Has Been an Uncomfortable Change in Leadership

spend 40+ hours at work or working alongside your boss. If you are not aligned, it can be a serious stressor. When you see your boss’s name hit your inbox, you roll your eyes, your heart rate quickens, and your palms start to sweat. This is not a way for you to live. The stress of “immensely disliking” your boss is going to eat you (and your work) alive.

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There Has Been an Uncomfortable Change in Leadership

What to do: There are a few avenues you might take, depending on the situation. If this is a relationship that can be salvaged, try suggesting a 1:1 with your manager. Communicate your feelings of disconnect—and come with solutions, too. This is managing up, wherein you do the legwork to improve your collaboration with your boss.

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There Has Been an Uncomfortable Change in Leadership

If your boss is abusive or engaging in seriously questionable practices, it might be time to take the situation to HR. If your boss is HR, it might be time to move on entirely.

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Your Work Is Overlooked and Undervalued

Work can be busy. Before you know it, another year has gone by and it feels like you’ve accomplished nothing—except you know that’s not true. In fact, you’ve accomplished so much. The problem is that you’ve received no positive feedback, recognition, or opportunity for promotion.

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Your Work Is Overlooked and Undervalued

How it feels: Maybe you’re not the type of person who needs positive feedback at every turn. However, when you receive none—or when you only ever receive negative feedback—it can start to drain your confidence reserve. What to do: You have to communicate your frustration in these 

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Your Work Is Overlooked and Undervalued

circumstances. You might request an annual review where you can realign your job responsibilities and your output. It also might be time to ask for a raise. If your job description aligns with a new position (with way more responsibilities), it’s time to ask for a promotion—both in your title and in compensation.

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Your Values No Longer Align

This is a common occurrence as we progress in our careers, but it can be hard to identify in the moment. Your values will shift over time—and your workplace may or may not be able to meet you where you are now—or in the near future. How it feels: As we said, this is a tougher 

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Your Values No Longer Align

one to identify, which is also why it’s also super deflating. When your values no longer align, the career you loved doesn’t feel familiar or “right” anymore. What to do: This is likely a company culture thing. As your career progresses in an organization whose values feel increasingly misaligned with your own, it 

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Your Values No Longer Align

might just…get worse. For example, if you’re feeling that work-life balance is much more “work” focused at your organization, it will likely be even more so as you climb the ladder. At this point, take time to make a list of your own values and your goals. Next to that list, create a list of your organization’s values and demands.

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Your Values No Longer Align

If there’s an opportunity to realign, then take the steps to do so. If you find that your values have become completely misaligned, start looking for opportunities within organizations that fit your current values and future aspirations.

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