What To Do When You Hate Your Job

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Table Of Contents

Have you ever had a case of the Sunday Scaries? You know, that dreadful feeling that sets in on Sunday evenings when the next day's job looms large over your peace of mind? It’s a common feeling for those of us who might be struggling with job satisfaction. 

If you aren’t happy with your job, you aren’t alone. 70% of Americans aren’t happy with their career. 

In this article, we’ll explore practical steps you can take if you find yourself dreading your workday more often than not. From identifying the root causes of your dissatisfaction to making impactful changes—or even planning an exit strategy—we've got you covered. Let’s dive into some strategies that can help transform your work life from miserable to manageable, or maybe even enjoyable!

If you want the quick answer: take the Advantage Mapping Foundations Course to learn how to find work that aligns with your unique ADVANTAGES so you can be your best at work and at home.

What To Do When You Hate Your Job

Let's dive into specific action steps and strategies that you can take today to find work you love.

Build Your Trampoline

Personal finance gurus all talk about "a safety net." I hate that. A safety net only helps you when you're in trouble. A proper savings system can also be an offensive strategy to propel your growth.

Aim to have 6 months of cash in the bank. If you can't do that, start figuring out how to generate side income and use that as your savings vehicle.

Building your trampoline will provide you with options and choices, rather than feeling stuck in the job you hate. 

Determine What You Dislike About Your Job

When you find yourself dreading the thought of another day at work, it can feel like you're trapped in a cycle of negativity. Start by pinpointing exactly what you dislike about your job.

Is it the monotonous tasks, the lack of growth opportunities, or perhaps the workplace culture? Identifying these pain points is crucial.

You might start by reflecting at the end of each day on the moments that felt particularly draining or frustrating. Keep a journal to track these reflections and look for patterns over time. This can help you understand whether your dissatisfaction stems from the nature of your work, the environment, or even the people around you.

This understanding is the first step toward making meaningful changes. That's exactly why I created the Advantage Mapping Foundations Course. It's designed to help you map out your skills and passions, align them with the right career opportunities, and transform the way you feel about work. By clearly identifying what you dislike and why, you can begin to explore roles or industries where your passions and skills are better aligned. Don’t settle for a job you hate; let's uncover what truly motivates you and carve a path to a career you love.

Determine Your Unique Advantage

It's not just about identifying strengths or skills; it's about understanding how you create ADVANTAGE in the world.

Why? Because advantage implies not just the skill, but execution - how you uniquely solve problems, innovate and bring value unlike anyone else.

Shift Your Perspective: Think beyond "I'm good at X." Ask yourself, "How do I turn X into a winning edge?"

That's critical thinking. That's a deeper level. Go there.

This is where Advantage Mapping comes into play.

Advantage Mapping is a system I designed to help you chart your unique blend of skills, experiences, and passions to pinpoint your competitive advantage. Here's a quick breakdown:

  1. Identify your underutilized talents
  2. Connect these talents to real-world problems you're passionate about solving
  3. Leverage this intersection to carve out problems you are uniquely positioned to explore and win

This process transforms your hidden strengths into your strategic advantage, ensuring you're not just another player in the game, but a game-changer.

Actionable Steps: Leveraging Your Advantage

Now, let's transform insight into action. Here's how to make your newly discovered advantage work wonders for you:

  1. Inventory Your Advantages: These are any and all areas where you do things better than others. Don't forget the topics you are naturally curious about or things you do regularly that others struggle with.
  2. Define Your Circle Of Competence: Use your advantage to carve out a specific space where your talents shine brightest. Think: what problems can I solve better than anyone else?
  3. Expand With High-Odds Skills: Pinpoint any gaps in your knowledge or skill set that, once filled, will make your advantage even more formidable.
  4. Experiment And Iterate: Apply your advantage in small, real-world tests. Learn from each attempt to sharpen your edge further.

Remember: leveraging your advantage isn't a one-time task; it's a continuous journey of growth, adaption and strategic action.

Start small, think big and take the first step today.

Get Space At Work

If you want to change the trajectory of your career, you need to get some space first.

I personally used these tactics to not only gain some separation, but carve out autonomous time to design my way out of corporate altogether.

Decline All Optional Meetings

If it says optional don't go. Get over that voice in your head that says, "but are these marked optional, but my boss is really keeping a tally?"

You need to free up valuable time to focus on tasks that truly matter. This approach not only increases your autonomy but also allows you to prioritize work that aligns with your goals and responsibilities.

Prep 5-10 Minutes Before a Meeting to Show You Are Prepared

No one does this. The bar is so low. Use this time to review the meeting agenda, jot down any questions or contributions you plan to make, and ensure you're familiar with the relevant information.

By doing so, you not only demonstrate your commitment to the meeting's success but also show that you're proactive and self-reliant. You're showing your boss he doesn't have to worry about you. This increases your leverage to ask for more autonomy because he knows you can handle your shit.

Manage Up

Create a one-page document that shares:

  • Project summary
  • Status
  • Work done in the last week
  • Next up milestones
  • Roadblocks or help needed
  • Upcoming decisions

Consistently share this one-page document with your superiors, and link to archives of past installments. When you get untimely questions, train your bosses to refer to the document.

Over time they'll be less likely to disrupt your workflow with constant inquiries, allowing you to maintain your autonomy and focus on your work effectively.

Push Back on Meetings That Aren't Aligned with Your Objectives

I did this all the time when I'd be invited to a meeting with 14 other people who were all equally not creating value in that meeting.

I would estimate the amount of money being spent on that one single meeting. I'd take everyone's estimated hourly rate and multiply it by the 1 hour.

Then I'd convert that amount into our company's products, in our case homeowner's insurance policies. Then I'd ask my boss if this meeting was worth X homeowner's policies, or if it was more important to spend an our on my objectives.

This process definitely made my boss reconsider how he was allocating resources!

Give Your Boss Alternatives

This is a sneaky negotiating tactic. Highlight the opportunity cost of what he's asked you to do. The above meeting strategy is a form of opportunity cost analysis, but you can use it in other ways too.

Explain that the time spent in the meeting could be used for tasks that directly contribute to your projects, which, in turn, benefit the company's goals. then ask him to decide.

Set Your Communication Preferences and Timelines

Set clear expectations of your preferred communication channels and response times.

  • Define urgency levels
  • Establish boundaries
  • Nudge people into your preferred channels

Here's how I did it:

  • Established that I communicate through phone, email, chat and only during work hours (because I get all my shit done between these hours)
  • If you need me now and will take a quick second, call me ON THE ACTUAL PHONE
  • For more information/reading email me, but I check email only twice per day. If urgent, follow up with a phone call to make sure I know it needs attention.
  • For mid range urgency, and low information needs - chat works, but expect a response within 2 hours.

This can feel robotic, but it's designed to not allow communication creep, and protect your time. So you can choose your own creative work, or choose to not risk looking awkward.

Your choice, but growth, freedom and sanity are on the other side of looking awkward at work.

Taking a step back to get some space at work can provide the clarity needed to reassess your career path and envision what comes next. The Advantage Mapping Foundations Course leverages such moments of clarity, helping you to strategically map out your skills and passions, and guiding you towards a career that truly aligns with your aspirations.

Conduct Micro-Experiments

How do great investors and even gamblers tip odds in their favor to make great decisions?

They make a series of micro decisions to "test the waters" and acquire more information instead of making one big binary decision.

Then when they have a series of positive signals, they bet heavier. You can do this with your time, attention and money.

Thinking in bets is a decision-making approach popularized by author and former professional poker player Annie Duke. Essentially, it involves viewing decisions as bets, acknowledging the inherent uncertainty in outcomes, and assessing them based on the quality of the decision-making process rather than just the result.

At each bet you are acquiring information that helps you decide if you need to continue, go bigger or stop.

This framework is helpful when navigating big decisions like career transitions and transformations.

How can you bet small, and find out more about your path options before committing?

By considering the probabilities, learning from both micro-successes and micro-failures, you can ultimately become more adaptable and resilient in your career journeys.

Key takeaway? Stop making one giant decision, and start building a process to make lots of micro decisions that get you the information you need.

In my Advantage Mapping Course, I walk you through exactly how to conduct micro-experiments in a way that is unique to you.

Always Be Networking

Always. Be. Networking. But networking implies some tit-for-tat transaction. My networking is about building real relationships, showing value, and being there with your skills, talents and abilities for others. When you do that, the opportunities come to you.

Talk and share online. Take those conversations offline. Have coffee (or tea like me). Invest in relationships. Not when you need them, but all the time. Do this and you'll be shocked at how opportunities find you.

The Advantage Mapping Foundations Course gets you access to the UnBREAKable Community for a full year! The UnBREAKable Community is an incredible place to network with other career breakers who are building freedom, income, and aligned opportunity by looking at work, and themselves, from a new angle.

Update Your Resume

Updating your resume can feel like a breath of fresh air when you're not happy at work. It’s like clearing the cobwebs and preparing for new opportunities. 

When you update your resume, you’re essentially taking stock of your skills and accomplishments, which can boost your confidence and help you see your professional value more clearly. 

Plus, having an updated resume ready to go means you can jump at new job opportunities without delay. 

If you need help updating your resume, check out our guide to the best resume writing services

Focus On Your Wins

Focusing on your wins or gains, as highlighted in The Gap and The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Ben Hardy, can be an effective strategy to combat the dissatisfaction that comes from a disliked job. By acknowledging and celebrating your progress, rather than fixating on unmet ideals, you cultivate a sense of accomplishment and forward movement. This shift in perspective can significantly boost your morale and job satisfaction.

Examples of wins or gains to focus on might include successfully completing a challenging project, receiving positive feedback from a client or colleague, mastering a new skill, or achieving a personal productivity goal. 

Even small daily successes, like managing your inbox effectively or contributing meaningfully in a meeting, can be seen as gains. 

Each of these victories, no matter how small, helps to build a narrative of success and personal efficacy, providing motivation and a buffer against the negative aspects of your job. 

By measuring your progress incrementally and appreciating these wins, you not only enhance your current job satisfaction but also lay the groundwork for future achievements.

In the UnBREAKable Community, we have a community thread where we share our wins! It is powerful to focus on your personal wins and celebrate the wins of others.

Romanticize Your Workday

Romanticizing your workday is about creating an environment that elevates your daily routine, making it more enjoyable and engaging even when you're not in love with your job. By introducing elements that add personal pleasure or aesthetic value, you can transform an ordinary day into something more delightful and bearable.

Here are some examples of how to romanticize your workday:

  • Decorate your workspace: Adding personal touches like plants, inspirational quotes, or art can make your space more inviting and pleasant, helping to improve your mood and productivity.
  • Dress up for work: Even if you don’t need to leave the house, dressing up can boost your confidence and make the day feel more special and less mundane.
  • Plan a midday treat: Whether it's a walk in a nearby park, a special lunch, or a coffee break at a favorite café, having something to look forward to can make the day seem shorter and more enjoyable.
  • Keep a gratitude journal: Take a few minutes each day to write down things you’re grateful for about your job, even if they’re small. This can help shift your focus from the negative aspects and foster a sense of contentment.
  • Change your commute: If you commute, try a different route, listen to a new podcast or audiobook, or use the time for quiet reflection or meditation. Making the commute more enjoyable or productive can set a positive tone for the day.

By incorporating these strategies, you’re not just passively enduring the day but actively crafting moments of joy and satisfaction. This approach can not only make the present more bearable but also help you cultivate a more optimistic outlook towards your work life.

Journaling about your ideal life can be a powerful exercise to romanticize your workday, allowing you to envision a day filled with tasks and interactions that truly bring you joy and fulfillment. The Advantage Mapping Foundations Course builds on this by helping you identify and align your career with those visions, turning what you've romanticized into achievable, everyday realities.

Common Reasons For Hating A Job

If you hate your job, you aren’t alone. Here are common reasons that individuals hate their jobs. 

  • Lack of fulfillment: Many individuals feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction when their job doesn't align with their personal values or doesn't make use of their skills and talents.
  • Poor work-life balance: Excessive overtime or inflexible work schedules can lead to burnout, leaving employees feeling like they have no time for personal pursuits or family.
  • Inadequate compensation: Feeling underpaid can diminish motivation, especially if the paycheck doesn't reflect the amount of effort and hours put into the job.
  • Unsupportive work environment: A workplace that lacks teamwork or supportive management can make employees feel isolated and undervalued.
  • Limited career growth: Jobs that offer little opportunity for advancement can make employees feel stuck and unenthused about their future prospects.
  • Lack of recognition: When hard work and achievements are consistently overlooked, it can lead to feelings of frustration and a decrease in job satisfaction.
  • Misalignment with company culture: Feeling out of sync with the company’s values, norms, or social environment can make it difficult to enjoy going to work.
  • High-stress levels: Jobs that entail constant pressure can lead to anxiety and stress, impacting an individual’s overall mental and physical health.
  • Uninteresting tasks: Engaging in monotonous or unchallenging work can make each workday seem dull and endless.
  • Poor leadership: Ineffective or unethical management can create a toxic workplace environment that is difficult to endure.
  • Burnout: Chronic workplace stress can lead to burnout, characterized by emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and a feeling of reduced professional ability.

Bottom Line

Embracing a career that fills you with excitement and purpose may seem daunting, but it's entirely within your reach. By first understanding what you dislike about your current job and then actively seeking solutions through targeted resources like the Advantage Mapping Foundations Course, you're not just enduring a daily grind—you're stepping towards a future where your career aligns with your deepest passions and skills.

Remember, change is possible, and it starts with the decision to take control of your professional journey. Let this course be your guide to a more fulfilling and rewarding career path.

Take action today and get started with The Advantage Mapping Foundations Course.