“I hate my job, but I can't give it up because I need the money” is one of the most common complaints in modern society. Whether you don't get paid what you think you deserve, your boss is awful, you don't like what you do, or you just get bored, the truth is that hating your job can affect your physical and mental health. If we then consider that we spend almost a third of our life working ?!
Why do some people hate their jobs?
A survey conducted in the United States revealed that 63% of people think they do a poor job and 32% admit that they hate their job because they find it horrible. There are many reasons that lead us to hate our job, some of the most common are:
• Low pay or no bonuses
• An unbearable superior
• A toxic work environment
• Poor communication in the workplace
• Long or stressful commutes to work every day
• A boring job made of monotonous activity
• An inappropriate time that does not fit our lifestyle
• A very demanding job with little recognition
Interestingly, the same survey showed a correlation between health status and job satisfaction level, revealing that people who hate their job and feel uncomfortable also tend to have more health problems.
What can you do?
If the phrase "I hate my job" has become a personal mantra that you repeat over and over, now is the time to do something. In this regard, you have two options: change your mindset or change your circumstances.
It is important to start with the fact that most of the definitions of "work" we have developed include the notion of obligation or duty. This leads us to see the work from a negative point of view because we perceive it as something unwanted and imposed. And the more this concept is ingrained in our mind, the more likely we are to hate our work.
This negative association is not modern but has ancient origins. The word "work" derives from the Latin labor, which means fatigue, effort, pain, labor. In the French and Spanish languages travail and trabajo are used respectively, both deriving from the Latin tripalium which was a tool similar to a three-pointed stump or foot that was used to hold horses or oxen and to shoe them. It was also used as an instrument of torture to punish slaves or prisoners, so tripalium also has to do with torture or torment. Of course, with these associations in mind, it's hard to enjoy our work.
Free time, on the other hand, is the antithesis of work and we associate it with freedom. In fact, a very interesting study conducted at the University of Freiburg revealed that although many people find their free time less exciting than work, they still find it more enjoyable, regardless of the level of stress they may experience at work.
One strategy for developing a more positive outlook on work comes from philosopher Alan Watts, who said, “This is the real secret of life: to be fully involved in what you do here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it's a game ”. It is therefore a question of finding the positive and playful part of the work.
If you can't find it, you have the option to change the circumstances. You may think, "I hate my job, but I need the money, so I can't give it up." True, but that's only half the story.
Like most situations in life, there are things you can control and others that are beyond your control. You may want to reflect on the things you hate about your job and identify the ones you can change. Maybe you could ask for a raise or change the hours. Or you could get closer to the workplace to avoid traffic. These changes are likely to make you feel better and are enough to keep you in that place a little longer.
However, there are times when the only solution is to quit your job. You probably need to work for a living, like most mortals, but that doesn't mean you're tied to a job you hate. There are three signs that you should be thinking about changing jobs:
1. Exhaustion. You constantly feel out of energy, even after resting. Just thinking about work drains you psychologically and physically.
2. Cynicism or depersonalization. You have reached a point where everything irritates you, both customers and colleagues. You have stopped believing in the importance of what you do.
3. Ineffectiveness. You have become less productive and feel unable to cope with the tasks you previously did with agility.
Remember that we don't necessarily have to do a job that doesn't give us life-long professional or personal satisfaction. If you have decided that this job is not for you, the best thing you can do is establish a medium-term action plan to embark on a career path that is more satisfying for you and truly fulfills you. Getting out of your comfort zone can be scary, but it's even worse to slowly rot in a job you hate.