Here’s What to Do if You Hate Your Job

A checklist of how a person might feel about a job. "Really, really hate it!" is selected.

If you’re like most administrative professionals, you spend at least eight hours a day at work. In a perfect world, everyone would have a job they love. But we all know that’s not reality. What if you hate your job? Is it best to stick it out? Change jobs? 

Read on for help figuring out a solution.

Change your environment

Before jumping to the conclusion that the only way to improve your situation is to change jobs, explore the options that exist with your current employer. 

If you’re having problems with your supervisor or a coworker, for example, the first step is to meet with the person to explain your frustrations and try to work things out. 

Let’s face it, though; that’s probably not an easy conversation to have. You must approach the meeting very tactfully. Be honest — with yourself and the other person — about the ways in which you may be contributing to the situation. (Has your attitude changed as your frustration has grown?) Be careful about making ultimatums that you’re not willing to see through (“If things don’t change today, I’m out of here!”). And be prepared that, despite your best efforts, your words may fall on deaf ears, and the relationship will remain problematic.

If this doesn’t work out, all is not lost. Talk to the HR department to see how they can help. If you truly hate your job, a skilled HR professional may be able to work with you and a colleague to improve a toxic relationship, for instance. Companies do not like losing valuable administrative employees and will often go to great lengths to keep the best admins on board.

(Hate your job because you feel underappreciated and underpaid? Download your free copy of the OfficeTeam Salary Guide to find out how your salary stacks up against what other administrative professionals earn. We track compensation data for more than 60 administrative positions.)

Change your job description

Perhaps the problem is not a person, but the job itself. If you hate your job but love the company and have a strong history of excellent work, you may be able to change jobs within the organization. 

If you have outgrown your position and no longer find it challenging, talk to your supervisor about increasing your responsibilities or moving to another position. Keep in mind that this option may depend on the size of the company — there are more spots to move to in a larger company — and whether your skill set is transferrable to another position.

Change your mindset

As you weigh your options, ask yourself: Do you really hate your job, including all aspects of it? Or just certain portions? 

Perhaps it pays a good salary and offers excellent benefits. Maybe you enjoy a sense of friendship with your coworkers. Or maybe your boss is incredibly understanding about your responsibilities outside the office and lets you start work late or leave early to attend to family needs.

Remember that everything is relative. Survey your friends and family members to compare your company and position against their employment situation. Although you hate your job, you may find that someone envies your position because you work in an exciting industry. Or perhaps your friends pay much more for health insurance. 

Consider if your job is as bad as you think it is and if you can truly find a better situation with a different employer.

Change jobs

If these measures are not successful, it may be in your best interest to change jobs. Dissatisfaction is hard to hide, and it will eventually affect your attitude and your job performance. 

Start laying the groundwork for a job switch ASAP. Update your resume and brush up on your job interview skills. Consider registering with a staffing firm, which can help you discretely look for a new position. The last thing you want is for your employer to discover that you hate your job and are looking to leave before you’ve found a new position.

Despite your feelings about your current company and your job, be careful you don’t burn bridges on your way out. Your boss and colleagues can serve as references down the road. Beyond that, the administrative profession can be a small world. You never know when you might cross paths with someone again and in what capacity.  

When you’ve made the decision to change jobs, expect interviewers to ask why you want to leave your current position. Don’t respond with “The company is horrible, and I hate my job.” Be tactful and instead provide an answer that highlights your desire to find a position that more closely matches your skills or provides more challenging work. 

If you’re looking to change jobs, be sure to search our job listings for the best administrative jobs available in your area. 

More advice on how to change jobs

Tags: Job Search