What to do When You "Hate" Your Job

Waking up every morning to go to work is difficult for many of us, and not being a morning person doesn’t help either. Getting up everyday for a job you don’t like is even harder.

According to a survey carried out by Capital One, the majority of Canadians, some 69%, are very satisfied with their current place of employment and do not plan on leaving anytime soon (Wright, 2014). This number is quite high and reflects well on Canadian workplaces. That is not to say that all of the remaining 31% absolutely hate their job and want to quit immediately. However, there may be a small (but nonetheless important) percentage of employees out there who are experiencing extremely low job satisfaction and are thinking about leaving their job or career as a solution to their current dissatisfaction.

If you are an employee who is unsatisfied with your job and are considering quitting, think about doing a bit of reflection before you submit your two weeks notice. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are:

  • Is it really my job I’m unhappy with?

It is really easy to blame our emotional state on things in our environment, especially on our job that causes us stress. However, there might be other things going on that we are failing to recognize. We bring the stresses of our homes, relationships and personal struggles with us to work. If these are the causes of our dissatisfaction, then quitting and finding another job will likely not solve the problem.

  • What brought me here?

Was it the salary? Short commuting distance? Fun workplace environment? Look back at why you wanted the job you work at in the first place.  This might remind you of why you may want to continue working where you do, or it might spark some re-evaluation of whether or not your job situation aligns with your present values.

  • What is my career plan for the future?

Sometimes we just have to take a less favourable path for a short time to get to where we really want to go. Perhaps the reason you continue to work at a job you are not completely satisfied with is because it will equip you with the experience and opportunities to get to your dream job. On the flip side, the job might actually be holding you back from where you see yourself a few years into the future. Do a check-in with yourself to decide whether your job is helping or hindering you from achieving your career goals.

If you are still undecided about whether you want to remain at your current job or whether moving on and finding something else would be of more benefit to you, try taking these steps that may help you make your final decision:

1. Talk to your supervisor

This might be the last person you want to talk to about your work-related doubts, but approaching them with your concerns may be worth it. Chances are they have already had a few dissatisfied employees in their office. This is a simple process called giving feedback. By sharing your dissatisfaction with your supervisor, he/she may be able to give you advice, or you might be surprised to hear to that several other employees have reported the same issue that you did, and your supervisor is already working on a plan of action. Make sure to frame what you share as feedback, rather than as a complaint or using it to blame someone.

2. Look for job opportunities at your workplace

If you have been working anywhere for more than a few months, you've already put in a large amount of effort to learn the policies and procedures of your workplace, and you have probably made some great connections at your work. Why leave this all behind? You don't necessarily have to leave your current company to find a new job. Talk to HR or someone who could connect you with internal job opportunities. You are more likely to get the job than someone who is new to the company because you already have a whole set of workplace specific skills that will help get you started in your new position. 

3. Volunteer

If you have the luxury of some free time, volunteering at a workplace or job area that interests you could be a good alternative to officially quitting your job and moving on. Volunteering for a company usually requires less commitment than working for them, which means you can explore the role without feeling too much pressure. Maintain your current job and do some volunteer work/job exploration on the side to discover whether you are really seeking something different.

After some reflection, if you recognize the need for some individual strategies, check out more information here, or contact us with any questions or for other resources!


Wright, L. (2014, July 24). Canadians quite happy with their jobs, report says. The Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/business/2014/07/24/canadians_quite_happy_with_their_jobs_report_says.html

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