Many people are quick to admit they hate their job. Often they feel trapped in a career they chose many years ago. Some have outgrown their jobs and can’t see a way to move. Jobs and people can change, so a job that was once a good fit can feel like taking a long hike in ill-fitting shoes.
Asking friends for support can be extremely frustrating. Friends may sympathize, saying, “I hate my job too!” However, others will downplay the situation. Some even say, “Hey, it’s just a job. What’s the big deal?”
Why don’t they understand?
Recently scientists found that we are actually hard-wired to respond to jobs a certain way. Some people are more easily satisfied than others.
Some people are brought up to have low expectations about jobs. Their parents may have taught them, “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
Others develop hobbies and activities outside the workplace. They get involved in crafts, sports, family or other activities. Some start businesses. The job always takes second place to outside interests. To them, every job is just a day job.
Some people deliberately choose low-involvement jobs that others would find tedious and boring. They save their energies for their leisure time.
Take Suzanne. Suzanne earned a degree in theatre from a Midwestern university. However, she knew that becoming an actor, director or stage manager would not allow her to enjoy her family to the fullest. She chose clerical jobs that gave her freedom to participate in amateur theatricals and community programs.
Suzanne was so competent, she actually had to work to stay in her lower level job. She had to fend off promotions because she wanted to remain in a backstage role.
Many people wish they could be more like Suzanne.
Unfortunately, you rarely can force yourself to change the way your mind and emotions work.
When friends and family don’t understand your frustration, consider seeking support from a professional counselor, coach or consultant. It’s very important to have a place to express your feelings without risking your job or your relationships.
Additionally, it’s nearly impossible to bridge the gap between people who “get it” and people who don’t. People like Suzanne will never understand why friends get mad at their bosses and take their anger home.
Even when friends understand, they often don’t know what to do to help. They might offer sympathy, but what’s needed isn’t more emotion. You have to figure out why you hate your job and take steps to find a new one that’s better suited to your talents, interests and personality.
Occasionally people have psychological issues that can be taken from job to job. Only a licensed psychotherapist can address those challenges. However, in many cases, these individuals can show a surprising recovery once they land in a more hospitable, supportive career environment.
About the Author
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., offers consulting and resource to mid-life, mid-career professionals and executives who want to win the first inning of their second career. Download her ebook, 10 Things To Do When You Really REALLY Hate Your Job.
Free download, blog and other career resources: 5 Career Change Secrets Most Career Coaches Won’t Tell You.