Have you ever asked yourself, why do I hate working? Is it the people, what I do, or is it something else entirely? Studies show that people are becoming less happy with their jobs and personal life. According to the General Social Survey,
On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 represents “not too happy” and 3 means “very happy,” Americans on average give themselves a 2.18 — just a hair above “pretty happy.”
While that may not sound bad to some, it is considered a significant decline from the happiness levels of the early 1990’s. When you dive into the numbers further, spending time on the internet, listening to music alone, and using social media are all activities correlated with unhappiness.
Interesting enough, these are all activities found on your computer or cell phone. Another interesting point is the fact that these activities are all things that most people perform while working.
Here’re 3 questions to help you reflect why you hate your job and what you can do to turn things around:
1. Are You Focusing on the Negative Only?
I can say for me personally, the podcasts I listened to would cause me to hate working. As I listened to other entrepreneurs talking about their journey and the success they found, I started to question my own commitment. Was I interested in living my dream life or did I just want to talk about it?
The same can hold true for someone surfing social media or listening to music to pass the time. As you experience the successes and emotions of others, you immediately start comparing that to the life you are living. When you see someone taking a vacation, purchasing a new vehicle or growing their family, you start to feel inadequate.
What you may have noticed is these activities usually cause you to focus on what you do not like about your job. In my case, I did not like the fact that it was keeping me from starting my own business. For you, it may be the same, or it could be something completely different.
However, if you want to start loving your work again, you are going to need to focus on the things you love.
By focusing on the positive, you allow yourself to remember why you took the job in the first place. If the pay was 10% higher than the pay at your previous job, then that is something you should remind yourself when you face difficult situations. If you took the job because of the proximity to your home or the work-life balance, then focus on that aspect of your career.
By continually reminding yourself about what you dislike about your job, you are only going to further hate working.
When you focus on the negative, you may ask yourself:
- why do I stay in this job
- why is my career stagnant
- why do the worst people keep getting promoted
- do I really need to deal with this nonsense
The answer is usually because you feel stuck in some way. As much as you hate working, you hate the idea of not working even more.
Fear of failure is something each of us encounter. However, avoiding failure is almost always going to lead to regret.
2. Are You Staying with an Indifferent Employer?
Who you work for and the culture they help create plays a decisive role into whether you enjoy or hate working. Studies show that 92% of employees are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer. Now think about this for a moment, 92% of people do not enjoy their jobs. 92% of people are not satisfied with their career advancement or salary, but they are more willing to stay at their job anyways.
Empathy is nothing more than someone’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Nevertheless, the reason that empathy is so vital to whether you hate working is because everyone wants to feel accepted and appreciated.
When you tell your supervisor your dreams and ambitions, it is nice to have someone who wants to help you achieve them. Even if they are not always successful in their endeavors, it is nice to know they care. A recent Gallup survey said that 37% of employees would consider quitting their current job if their new job allowed them to work remotely part-time.
There are plenty of reasons working from home is enticing to so many professionals. If you have a family, then working from home could allow the flexibility to attend to families matters in a more effective way.
If you live in a city with a lot of traffic, then working from home could help you to avoid sitting in rush-hour every morning and evening. Wouldn’t you hate work less if you weren’t stuck in rush-hour traffic everyday?
Empathy helps employees feel valued. When you express concerns or difficulties and someone is interested in helping you to alleviate that pain, it feels good. Once more, the end result is not always as important as just knowing that someone cared enough to ask you how you are doing. Feeling valued in your work is a sure way you can ensure someone enjoys their work, even though they may be dealing with the same office politics in other aspects.
If you find yourself in a work situation where empathy is lacking, then I encourage you to start volunteering and helping others. Helping others is a great way to prevent you from hating work because it forces you to focus on the needs of others. And if you volunteer through initiatives that take place in your office, then you will be able to connect with coworkers. These relationships could add a dimension to your work life that helps you to enjoy your working.
If your company does not have any volunteer opportunities, then this could be a great occasion for you to start one. In addition to you getting to spearhead a project that you are passionate about, this is a great chance for you to showcase your leadership abilities to the company. As you build relationship through these opportunities, you will be able to position yourself for new openings within the organization.
3. Are You Not Doing What You Truly Love?
The equation to go from, “I hate working” to “I love working” is based on doing more things you love and less things you hate.
Finding what you love is not an easy task. You have likely left your first love back in your adolescent days. Once you became an adult, you figured all your decisions should be based on being a responsible adult. While this sounds good for a lot of people, this is ultimately what causes so many people to hate working. They are doing what they think everyone else is doing, and in a way they are. The problem is they are getting the results that everyone else is getting.
If you want to change your results, then take a moment and think about your dream job. Write down as many things as you can about what makes this your dream job. This can be anything from the location, salary, responsibilities or industry.
Next, take a few moments and list anything your current role has in common with your dream job. While it may not seem possible, you are going to find that your current job does have some things in common with your dream job. Once you list the commonalities, see if there are any opportunities to do more things you love in your current position.
This can include anything from shadowing other groups, changing departments, or just shifting your focus in your current role. If your job is 60% client interactions and 40% administrative work, but you do not enjoy interacting with clients – see if you can adjust your schedule so that is 60% administrative work and 40% client facing.
It is important to speak with your supervisor about your dream job and see if they can assist you in making your dream a reality. If you discover you are not qualified for some of the responsibilities you want to take on, then work with your supervisor to create a plan that closes the gap.
If you feel your supervisor is not necessarily the best person to help you grow your skill-sets, then reach out to someone in your network. This could be a coworker or a friend from a previous employer.
The goal is to grow your current job into your dream job so you can enjoy working again. While this may not be accomplished overnight, by committing to making these small changes in your mindset and action, you will find yourself turning hate back into love and contentment.