Disclosure: Some articles on this site may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Project Hot Mess may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Your alarm goes off and before you know it you roll over and hit snooze. For a blissful few seconds you don’t think about what lies ahead for the day, you’re in that euphoric daze. But then you realise you have to go to work and you come crashing back down to reality.
It’s a feeling I know all too well, the dread that comes with having to go to work when you hate your job. It feels like there’s no end to it and you struggle to get through each day. It eats the happiness out of your days and you know this can’t be all there is.
So how do you cope when you hate your job?
Whether you’re waiting for something better to come along, or you’re working towards a goal (like starting your own business or saving up to travel), there are times when you just have to keep going to a job you hate. But it’s okay. You can get through it.
Firstly, you need to determine if it is actually your job you hate, or something else in your life that’s manifesting in hatred for your job.
5 Signs You Hate Your Job
You may find you have all or none of these signs, this isn’t an exhaustive list. This is a list of some of the most common signs of people who hate their jobs and how it affects their day to day lives.
1 – You Have Monday-itis, Every Single Work Day
You know that feeling when Monday comes around and you joke that you need to swim in coffee before you start your day? If you’re feeling like that every single workday, then perhaps it’s more than simply trying to get back into the swing of things after your days off.
Ask yourself why you’re feeling like this? Pay attention to what it is that is making you feel dread and exhaustion when it comes to going to work. Is it work itself? Are you simply exhausted? Or are you genuinely dreading your job?
2 – You Find Any Excuse To Take A Sick Day
If you need to take a sick day from work in order to just realign your zen, I totally get that. Sometimes mental exhaustion is worse than physical exhaustion and we need to look after our mental health just as much as our physical health.
But, are you finding any excuse to take a sick day? Even if it means you’re losing pay because of it?
Got the sniffles and blown your nose a few times? Sick day. Coughed once? Sick day. Feel a headache starting? Sick day.
Have a think about your usual pattern when you take time off work and ask yourself if this is normal for you? Or are you avoiding work?
3 – You Feel Physically Sick At The Thought Of Going To Work
There is a belief that your gut is like your second brain, it is full of nerves that send information to our brain and our gut and brain have this big chat without us even knowing… and then we feel sick. But why?
When we are facing something we don’t want to do, or that makes us nervous, or that we fear, we trigger the release of cortisol in our ‘fight or flight’ response. You may not even realise you’re doing it. But your body is pretty smart.
Your brain registers that there’s a cortisol release and it gets to work. For some people, the hormone cortisol can make them feel physically sick and even vomit. For others, it may cause shakes, nervous behaviour or make their heart race.
With your gut being super sensitive, a lot of people experience gut related issues when powerful hormones are triggered. In addition, when cortisol is released, it tells the body to shut down unnecessary functions, and the digestion of food is one of them. So, the body may try and get rid of the food you’ve just eaten in another way – cue feeling sick.
4 – You Don’t Feel Challenged In Your Job And You Find Your Job Boring
When you find your job boring, it can be difficult to get yourself motivated to keep going back. Perhaps you’ve reached the end of your tether in this job and that’s why you’re feeling bored?
Or maybe you’ve mentally checked out and just couldn’t be bothered anymore?
If you once loved your job and were excited by the challenges you faced, ask yourself if this is no longer a challenge, are you bored, or do you simply not care anymore?
5 – All You Seem To Do Is Complain About Work
The words we use are powerful and when we are feeling low and hating our jobs, then the words we use reflect this.
When you talk about work with others, what kind of words are you using to describe it?
When you’re at work and talking to your colleagues, what words are you using in your conversations?
Often it can be easy to slip into a negative spiral when everyone around you is talking in a negative way. If everyone you work with talks negatively about work, and all conversations at work are of a negative nature, then that can spill out into how you speak about work too.
Ask yourself, do you actually feel this way about work? Or is it simply because every conversation at work is negative?
So, if you’ve determined it really is your job you hate, then you need to work on how you can deal with hating your job, and how you can cope with the situation.
1 – Choose Your Attitude
You may not be in a position to choose whether or not you have to go to work – but you can choose your attitude towards it. Going to work feeling angry and annoyed is not going to make you love your job again.
Yes – some days being all happy and cheerful will be forced and some days all you may be able to muster up is a neutral approach but either way, you’ll feel a lot better about your job than you would if you allowed yourself to be angry.
Even faking a smile can make you feel better (or watch funny cat videos on YouTube).
2 – Remind Yourself Why You Are Doing Your Job
We all have a reason to work. For some it may be because they love the ability to have their own career, for others it may be the social interaction they get outside of the house and for some it may be because they have to financially. Whatever your reason, remind yourself of it each day.
Tell yourself in the mirror each morning “I am going to work today because…” and above all make it positive. If you are going to work for financial reasons then say to yourself “I am going to work today so I can provide for my family and save for our holiday in October.”
You can also surround yourself with little reminders. Put a photo of your ‘why’ somewhere you can see it at work or even have it as the screensaver on your phone or computer. The little reminders throughout the day will definitely help.Put a photo of your ‘why’ somewhere you can see it or as a screensaver. Click To Tweet
3 – Give Yourself Something To Look Forward To In Your Workday
We all want something to look forward to, even if it is an awesome lunch. Make sure you have something each day that you can work towards and remind yourself of. Perhaps you go to the gym after work and love it, maybe you could organise a lunch date with friends during the week or it could even be as simple as getting up at 3pm, making yourself a coffee and having a cupcake to go with it (a healthy one of course!!).
4 – Set Goals and Reward Yourself
Based on the same principle as above, set yourself goals around your job and reward yourself when you achieve them. It could simply be ticking off your to-do list at work for a whole week or having a positive attitude about your job for a week. Then reward yourself. The reward doesn’t have to be huge – it could be a magazine or a book, it could be that you get to spend an hour sitting at a café you love having some time out from the world.
5 – Eat Healthy and Avoid Alcohol
As tempting as it may be to turn to food for comfort or a glass of wine at night to relax after a stressful day, neither of these options are going to help you when it comes to your feelings towards your job.
Eating CRAP (Carbonated drinks, Refined sugars, Artificial sugars, colours, and flavours and Processed food) makes us feel like crap, and while it is okay on occasion, when you are in a position where you hate your job and are overly stressed it can be easy to resort to eating these kinds of foods for comfort.
As for alcohol, it reduces our quality of sleep and as we all know, makes us feel sluggish the next day (that’s putting it nicely). This is certainly not going to benefit you when it’s time to get ready for work in the morning and you’ve had a bad night’s sleep and you’re nursing a hangover.
I’m not saying you have to totally give up your nightly glass of red wine, after all that can help reduce stress and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone). Just be mindful of how much you’re consuming. If your nightly glass of wine is more like a nightly bottle of wine you may need to rethink your approach.
6 – Vent When Needed To Appropriate People
While having a good old fashioned whinge at work might not be the most appropriate, getting things off your chest to friends or family outside of work may actually make you feel better. Keep in mind, it’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity and if you only talk negatively about your job, then your only thoughts towards your job will be negative.
Hot tip – set a timer and whinge away. Once the timer goes off, shift the focus to saying more positive things (even if it’s as simple as ‘I am grateful for being paid this week’). This helps keep a reign on the amount of venting and negative speak you have about your job.
7 – Get a Side Hustle
Everyone loves a good side hustle! Not only do they give you an opportunity to earn more money (yay) but it can also give you something to focus on outside of your job.
You’d be amazed at how much more tolerable your work environment can be when you’re dreaming about the next move you’re going to make in your own business. And never underestimate how motivating hating your job can be when it comes to growing a new business.
8 – Talk To Your Boss About Alternative Working Arrangements
Being stuck in a job you hate is not ideal, but is there anything you can do to modify your work environment that may make it more enjoyable? A lot of workplaces have flexible working conditions if you just ask.
Perhaps working different hours in the day (starting early and finishing early), working from home for a day or two during the week or even reducing your hours to part-time hours are just some ways that may help you love your job again.
Be sure when approaching your boss about it you don’t mention that you want to change things because you hate your job – remember you need to sell it to them as to how it would benefit the company.
9 – Ask For Help
For the majority of us, hating our job is just a phase we go through. All things in life have their ups and downs and it’s impossible to expect to love your job every single day. This can be even more of the case when there is conflict within the work environment. However for some, their unhappiness in their job spills over into the rest of their lives and they can’t separate themselves from their job anymore.
For those who are finding it difficult to differentiate between job dissatisfaction and general unhappiness with their life, seeking help from a medical professional can assist in regaining this balance. This may be your GP, a counsellor or psychologist or even calling a helpline like Beyond Blue (in Australia). Just talking to someone can help you work through any problems you’re having.
I’ve been in jobs I’ve hated before, and I mean more than just not wanting to go to work. It’s important to talk to people and not bottle it all up. Even having a friend or family member you can vent to can make you feel so much better.
Have you ever had to work a job you hate before? How did you cope?