What to do when you don’t love your job

When people initially get a job they are excited, but after a while they begin to realize that what they are being made to do on the job is at variance with what their hearts truly desire. As a result they complain and grumble. Ultimately these people don’t find fulfillment from their jobs, and all those complains stem from a missing link, a sought of disconnect between their job and the deep craving and longing in their hearts. This is probably the most important reason why many people don’t love their jobs.

Research shows that an increasing number of people are daily working on jobs they don’t love. They do such work only to earn a living. They do it because they have no other ‘option’; their hearts aren’t in what they do. One major symptom of people who don’t love what they are doing is that they grumble and complain a lot. They feel used by their bosses to achieve those bosses’ selfish desires. They see work as punishment. But if you love what you’re doing, work would be fun. If your work means more to you than just a means of earning a living, if you see your work as a calling; if you see your work as a means to fulfilling purpose, then work will be fun, and you will never run out of energy. Mo Abudu, founder of EbonyLife TV said in an interview, “I don’t really see my work as work. I just love what I do…I’m totally addicted to EbonyLife TV.” That’s what happens when you are doing work you truly love and are passionate about.

So if one doesn’t love his job how can he maintain a positive attitude and turn the situation around?

  1. Ask yourself what do I really hate about this job? Is it the conditions of service? Or is it because the job does not align with your gift or passion? Is it the attitude of your boss that is driving you crazy? Is it because the job has failed to meet your expectation? How is the job not allowing you to grow? Or is it for any other reason not outlined here? It’s important to pinpoint what you don’t love about your job or where the dissatisfaction is coming from to be able to deal with it, and also to avoid a repeat of the same experience in the future.

  2. Start a Side-hustle: It’s advisable to start a side-hustle especially if you don’t like your job. Start something that resonates with your gift and/or passion; something that gives you the fulfillment you don’t get from your day job. This can go a long way in positively influencing your attitude and disposition to your day job and life in general. Starting a side-hustle will improve your positivity, energy and confidence.

  3. Set an Exit Date: Don’t get stuck on a job you hate. It’s advisable for you to set yourself an exit date and commit to it. This will enable you prepare both mentally and financially toward that date. As your exit date draws near, you would be able to assess your level of preparedness and make necessary adjustments. It’s advisable to keep your exit date flexible, be prepared to adjust or shift the date forward if it comes and you are not fully ready, this will allow you some more time to prepare.

  4. Maintain a Positive Attitude to Your Day Job: When you no longer love your job you get easily irritated and frustrated. You grumble and complain at the least provocation; you feel used and exploited by your boss; you think of quitting every time things don’t go your way. However it is important to remember that your attitude to your job at any given time is a choice. Just as we have to choose the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the books we read, the friends we hang out with, and so on, so also do we have to consciously choose our attitude to our jobs. You have the power to choose whether to be positive or negative. No doubt, it’s not easy to be very productive or to give your all to a job when your heart is no longer in it, but as difficult as it may seem, it is advisable to always endeavor to give your all and strive for excellence at all times.

  5. Join Industry Associations/Professional Groups: This would give you a platform to connect and network and interact with fellow peers and industry professionals, and share experiences. Subscribe to industry publications, journals and newsletters. Whatever career or profession you have chosen to pursue, look out for and identify relevant groups and associations you can join and begin to build your network. You would be amazed at the enormity of opportunities you can take advantage of, including the possibility of changing your job faster than you ever planned.

  6. Submit Your CV to Recruitment Agencies: If you so badly hate your job and can’t wait to exit, then you may consider submitting your CV to a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies give you access to many jobs and positions that you wouldn’t otherwise here about. Also they will help you edit and polish your CV and cover letter to meet employers’ requirement. Some recruitment agencies also help with expert interview coaching and specialist advice to enable you excel at interviews.

  7. Finally, Exit Honorably: When the time comes for you to exit, exit with dignity and honor. More often than not, people exit badly, but how you leave tells a lot about your character. Also how you leave will determine whether your former boss would be willing to write a letter of recommendation in your favor when the need arises. When leaving, keep the door open, you never know when you or someone close to you would want to return there. Don’t make it impossible for you to go back to your former organization. In sum, leave on a good note.


Do you have any other suggestions for people who are working on jobs they don’t love? Kindly let me know in the comment section.

Hilton Etakoh is the author of You Are Too Gifted to be Poor.  He covers career, creativity, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.  Twitter: @HiltonEtakoh, Facebook: @Hilton Etakoh, website: http://hiltonetakoh.com/

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