Do you hate your job? Have you thought about the reasons why you hate your job? I’ve had jobs where I literally couldn’t wait to get to work, to interact with co-workers and customers, to face and overcome daily challenges, and to be compensated well for my efforts. Then, I’ve had positions that were just the opposite and I hated them. Just going to work was a chore and when I got there, things only went downhill. I literally DREADED going to work each day.
Reasons you hate your job
Many of these reasons relate to your boss and studies show that up to 80 percent of all people who voluntarily quit a position do so because of their boss. I’d wager that number is actually higher and that even those who are involuntarily terminated, got themselves into that position because of their boss!
1. You feel trapped.
It’s one thing to have a job you don’t like. It’s quite another to be quasi-prevented from leaving it for some reason. You may feel trapped by the geographic location, the (lack of) upward mobility, by the industry, or by the compensation structure you currently enjoy. I know people who feel trapped in a certain profession because it’s “the only thing they know how to do.” I know others who won’t quit a job they hate because their families are too accustomed to the good salary they’re bringing home, even though he despises his job. It’s killing him slowly but the family doesn’t care; they just want their iPods, vacations, cell phones, toys, cars, and status symbols so their friends don’t think they’re poor.
2. Your boss doesn’t respect you.
She may be too busy to notice the great work you’re doing or she may be clueless about what it is you do anyway. Many times bosses DO get to their positions not because of merit, but because of connections and networking. Maybe they happened to play tennis with your company’s CEO and were offered a job. The result: your boss may not understand anything you do, or even worse, may not understand why. Bosses who are clueless tend to be micro-managers and overall, they’re just awful to work for.
3. Your boss is a jerk.
He micro-manages your every move or he second guesses absolutely everything you do and every decision you make. He challenges EVERYTHING, not because he wants you to be the best, but because that’s just his perspective: no one knows more than HIM! Maybe he takes credit for your work or delegates the best assignments to anyone but you.
4. Your workload is over the top.
If anything gets done, you’re the one doing it and you’re pulling much more than your own weight. Co-workers get away with laziness and zero productivity while you plod along doing what’s right simply because that’s who you are.
5. Your boss is clueless.
Maybe he got the job because of a relative. Maybe he’s a great golfer and had some connections. Maybe he came from another completely different industry — manufacturing to retail or construction to pharmaceuticals. No matter, your boss understands neither the nuances of your industry nor the major differences between his former company and the one you’re working at now. He expects to run a retail holding company like he ran the auditing department in a manufacturing facility or a string of restaurants and it just doesn’t work.
6. You’ve lost respect for your boss.
She made some decisions that made you feel uncomfortable from an ethical standpoint and when you mentioned it, she belittled your ethics. “Business is business my friend,” she replied. Maybe she uses vulgar language or makes snide remarks about other managers or department heads, particularly about their race, ethnic origin, religion, or disability. Maybe she has outright lied to you. At any rate, your respect for your boss has gone down the drain and complaining to human resources? Ha! Let me know how well THAT works out …
7. You aren’t compensated fairly.
You’ve been told that “times are tight” or that “you haven’t been with the company long enough” or “you make more than your counterparts” or “ask again at year end” or “you’ve peaked in your earnings capability.” You’re frankly sick and tired of being put off when you’re continually making solid contributions with no financial recognition. Maybe you’re making the same amount as you were when you started … 4 years ago. Maybe your benefits are pitiful or non existent.
8. Your co-workers are driving you crazy.
Not enjoying the people you work with can make or break your professional life. You probably spend as many or more hours with these people as you do with your own family, yet you find yourself continually avoiding Pamela’s office so you don’t have to hear another story about her “perfect” grandson, or steering clear of Randy because he’s always in a bad mood, or acting like you’re on the phone when Claudia tries to get you to donate to her daughter’s school project … again. Maybe it really stems from the fact that they skate by on their seniority or the fact that they know just enough to keep them employed.
9. You’ve lost your passion for the work.
It was interesting for a while, but after a few years, the monotony is about to drive you crazy. If a job can be mastered in 2 years and you do it for 10 years, you don’t have 10 years experience, you have 2 years experience 5 times in a row. You feel like your brain is turning to mush and that you’re losing your edge. The job just has no meaning to it anymore.
10. You need more training, but can’t get it.
Your boss won’t approve the training you need to do your job better. She thinks everything you do is simple and easily mastered, though she probably never did it herself or did it under a completely different set of circumstances and in a completely different market … 20+ years ago.
11. There’s no upward mobility.
You’ve gone as far as you can go and the next promotion could be many years, even decades away. As a result, your career goals feel like they’re on hold indefinitely and no matter what, you can’t seem to generate any momentum, drive, or opportunity and you’re becoming frustrated, bored, or even depressed.
12. The job is as boring as it can get.
Yeah, you’re good at it, but you could do it in your sleep. You’re no longer inspired and the work is just plain boring now. Nothing new ever seems to happen and no one seems interested in keeping up with the industry or acquiring new customers. It’s tedious, mundane, and repetitive and it’s driving you up the walls.
13. The company’s ethics and morals don’t match your own.
More than just losing respect for the boss, you’ve lost respect for all aspects of management and the company. Maybe the company has mistreated employees or customers in the past and prefers to just sweep it under the rug – or worse, laugh it off as if it were nothing. Ever worked for a collections agency? I have and there are few things worse than that gig.
14. It keeps you from doing what you really love.
If you’re already nodding your head, chances are pretty good your current job is keeping you from doing something you’d love to do, or something you’d much prefer to do. Your current job is sucking the life out of you and taking all your energy and time. If that’s the case, it’s no wonder you resent your current work.
15. You’re embarrassed to tell friends or family what it is you do for a living.
You pray daily that Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs doesn’t show up to film you. It would just be too embarrassing. Your father asks, “I spent how much on that accounting degree and you’re doing WHAT?” Maybe your company has engaged in some business practices that, while not illegal, have nonetheless landed on the front page of the newspaper and you’re constantly having to defend or explain things to family and friends. Maybe the company is slowly dying on the front page of The Wall Street Journal every week and your in-laws or friends are expressing concern.
16. Your work is about nothing but the bottom line.
Every decision is about return on investment, from which copier to buy to whether you should fly or drive to the seminar 650 miles away. There is no consideration given for the human element to business. The company squeezes the same people, products, and processes for next quarter’s profit – and then wonders why it all seems so much harder the next quarter, and the quarter after that, and the quarter after that, and the year after that.
17. The lines of communication are clogged with personalities and turf wars.
Office politics can drive you crazy, no matter who you are. Some department heads withhold information because they know that information is power and they don’t want to give up power. Maybe you’re constantly waiting on return emails, permission, or communication and it seems like you have to pull an alligator’s teeth to get anything done.
18. You haven’t been informed of your bosses expectations.
Who is really in charge around here? Your boss never explains what’s expected of you or your position. As a result, you get yelled at, get the silent treatment, or get the “whatever” treatment.
19. The targets you’re given keep changing.
When your boss finally DOES give you some expectations, they seem to change as you get close to them. You’re told that your number one priority is customer service and you begin getting fabulous reviews only to be told that your labor costs are out of control. You get your labor costs down only to hear that your inventory is too high. You get your inventory down only to find out that customers are upset that you don’t have what they need and that you’ve hired cheap labor to work the sales counter so now your customer service reviews are tanking. It’s a vicious cycle.
20. You’re stuck in a cubicle alone all day long.
Some people do enjoy working alone but few people look forward to being a hermit in a cube. When you ask a fellow employee how their weekend was and your boss’s head pops up over his cubicle wall while he gives you the evil eye that says, “You aren’t being paid to socialize, get back to work” — yeah, it’s time.
21. The company has ridiculous, inflexible policies and bureaucratic red tape.
When transferring products from one location to another to satisfy a customer means four signatures and waiting on a one week approval process or when simply hiring a part-timer means a three week wait on reference checks, drug tests, personality tests, and an 8 interview process, you know you’re working in red-tape land. Having to fill out three forms and get the approval of four different departments to buy a box of copier paper makes you want to pull your hair out.
22. The company believes that employees are dangerous and lazy.
And since employees have been told they’re lazy for so long, they naturally decide to live up – or down – to those expectations. The company demands to know what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re speaking with, and why. True, in some industries that information does need to remain secure, but not here. Further, it seems like the company is in constant “Gotcha!” mode. You begin to believe that the main reason the Policy and Procedure manual is 6 inches thick is so they can always, at any time, find a reason to fire someone.
23. The company believes customers should be kept at arm’s length.
No one in upper management meets with customers because they should only come in contact with people in the sales department. Customers usually reciprocate this lack of trust and never share their needs or the frustrations that might lead to new business, customers, products, or partnerships.
24. Your boss’ attitude is “I can always replace people.”
It’s a good thing he feels competent in that area … because he will probably be replacing a lot of them. What he continually fails to realize is that employees are customers too. They talk with their friends and families and when they’re mistreated or disrespected, they share those experiences with others in their social circle. Word gets around.
25. Your boss doesn’t understand that you don’t work in another department.
She constantly want you to do someone else’s job, create MIS reports, check up on a co-worker’s projects, or do something that either SHE or someone ELSE should be doing.
26. Your boss allows himself to be bullied by other department heads.
He doesn’t have the stones to stand up for himself, or you for that matter. He is constantly being bullied or pushed around by his peers. You see it, his peers see it, your coworkers see it, heck, even HIS boss sees it. But neither he nor his boss are willing to do anything about it. Other employees laugh about it behind his back.
27. All her preferences are critical.
You’d think an artery was spurting blood if she doesn’t get what she wants, when she wants it, the way she wants it. Some things certainly do fall into the “critical” category, but not everything. When everything’s a priority … nothing’s a priority.
28. The policies and rules just keep on coming.
Call me cynical, but when a company appears to have a fetish for creating new rules, you’re probably working for Attila the Hun. Few, if any, of these rules truly matter, especially since the company has been operating profitably for several decades without them. No, the new rules are created just to justify that new auditing position. All these rules make it easier to find something you’re doing wrong and replace you with someone younger who makes less money.
29. Your boss is past clueless and has drifted into being truly incompetent.
He makes high promises for sales and profits but never meets with customers; makes stringent demands for productivity and efficiency but never commits dollars to execution; makes grandiose promises about transparency but hides her every move; or makes big noises about change but never does more than reshuffle the same old deck of cards.
30. Priorities are in all the wrong places.
If you’ve ever been told, “Just give me something to tell MY boss about this,” you know what I mean. Your boss only wants to keep his own butt clean – forget what’s the right thing to do – he can only see how something affects HIM. His priorities focus on trivial matters rather on people and profits. He isn’t concerned about the long term viability of the company, only about his own position within the company and the community.
So the big question is:
What are you going to do about this job you hate?
It’s one thing to identify what it is about your job that you despise, it’s another thing entirely to create an action plan to deal with it.
- Are you going to approach your boss with your concerns or are you going to wallow in gossip and self-pity?
- Are you going to launch a REAL job search effort or are you going to retreat to the security of your semi-monthly paycheck?
- Are you going to stand up for yourself or are you going to once again, cower in fear?
If you’re a boss, your question is this:
Can your employees pin these negatives on YOU?
What are you going to change from this point forward? Face it: you don’t have to be a jerk to get things done. You hate it when YOUR boss does these things to you, so don’t pass them downhill. Grow up.