I Hate My Job, What Should I Do?

There's nothing worse than hating your job, but recent surveys suggest you are not alone. In 2020, the Conference Board's Job Satisfaction Survey showed job satisfaction at 56.3%. A CNBC survey showed 27% of employees were not happy at work, and a Gallup found 14% of employees were miserable at work and actively disengaged. A 2021 study by Microsoft, found that 41% of the workforce is considering leaving their company this year. This recent trend has even been named “The Great Resignation” by pundits & economists. So if you're currently in this position, maybe it's time to look for something else.

Stay Classy

Even though you are planning on leaving your job, it is important to stay professional at all times. It's easy to get caught up in emotions when you hate your job, but it's important to remember that acting in any way that could be perceived as unprofessional can come back to haunt you. Also, don't broadcast your dislike of your job to the world. Instead, talk to your family and close friends about things and plan a way forward with their support.

The last thing you should do is get caught up complaining at work to colleagues and managers; it looks unprofessional. Perhaps most importantly, don't get on social media and have a rant about the company. Most new employers do their due diligence on new employees, and checking out their social media is part of that process. There's nothing more off-putting to a new employer than a disloyal employee who's prepared to tell the world. 

Plan to Leave, But Don't Just Quit

People say it's easier to find a job while you're still employed for a reason; it's true. But, unfortunately, there are several preconceived ideas around people who have left their jobs to find a new one. Many of them are unfair, but there's little you can do about them.

If you quit and then look for a new job, new potential employers may correctly or incorrectly draw the following conclusions:

  • You were fired
  • You were about to be fired 
  • You are someone who quits when the going gets tough

The other reason for staying in your job is that it puts you in a stronger position when negotiating a salary at a new job.

The Practicalities

Looking for a new job is time-consuming, so you want to give yourself the best chance possible of securing a new job quickly and without wasting too much of your time. A couple of things you can do before you start are getting your LinkedIn profile and resume updated and looking good ready to start your job search.

It is important to keep in mind that while a company still employs you, and you have obligations to them, don't use their resources in your job search. Instead, make sure you do any searching on personal devices in your own time.

When searching for jobs, remember it's a small world, especially if you want to remain working in your current industry. There is a strong possibility that the fact you are looking for a new job will get back to your current employer. Given this, it is worth considering being upfront and talking to them first. If it is just your job that you hate, maybe the company can accommodate you and look at moving you to another area that is more in line with your career goals, especially if you are an outstanding employee.

Treating your current employer with respect speaks volumes about who you are as a person. For prospective employers, it gives them a valuable insight into what they can expect from you if they were to hire you. It is also worth remembering that no one knows what the future holds, and in the future, you may need a favor from your current employer. They will be much more willing to help you out if you have treated them with respect and been upfront and honest.

Using Online Tools

There are several companies that offer online tools to help you track jobs and organize your career search. These tools can make your job search easier and help you keep on top of the companies and jobs that you have applied for. Some tools you can expect to find include:

  • Chrome extensions that let you save job applications to a central dashboard;
  • Information relating to keywords to include in your resume to get past Applicant Tracking Software
  • Notation capabilities so that you can add notes to individual applications.

Start Applying For Jobs

Once you are confident that finding a new job is your best course of action and all your information is up to date, you are ready to begin your job search.  

There are several online job sites that are a good place to start. Check out the different job search engines and platforms. Often there are job boards specific to certain industries so take time to investigate the ones that are focused on the areas you want to work in.

It is worth tailoring your resume and cover letter for each job you apply for, as it shows prospective employers you have taken the time to read the job application properly. This way, you can highlight the skills that you have that are specific to the job advertised.

It is easy to become disheartened when looking for a new job, especially if you are unsuccessful at first. Keep in mind that a couple of hundred people are applying for each job, so don't get disheartened if you are not immediately successful. The length of average job searches varies significantly by industry, experience, and situation. But it’s normal for a job search to take several months or more to complete.

There will be a job out there for you; it's just a case of finding it. The first job you get offered may not be the best to meet your needs. Take your time and remember the job-hunting process is as much about you interviewing and considering companies to see if they are a good fit for you. The last thing you want is to end up at a new company hating your job.

Once you make your decision to resign, check out our guides on How to Resign From a Job and How to Write a Professional Resignation Email, so that you can leave as gracefully as possible. 

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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