When You Hate Your Job But Aren't Able to Quit, What Can You Do?

Do you find yourself hating your job but are unable to quit? It's a common problem. In this article, we show you how to improve things until you find another opportunity.
When You Hate Your Job But Aren't Able to Quit, What Can You Do?

Last update: 21 February, 2022

Most of us, at some time or another, have said the words “I hate my job.” It’s a situation where, when circumstances allow, you can simply quit. However, what can you do when the solution isn’t so simple?

As a matter of fact, many people find themselves trapped in occupations that don’t suit them. Even worse, they may find themselves in toxic work environments, or enduring poor working conditions, or even harassment. When escape from these situations becomes impossible, they often feel both distressed and hopeless. In fact, their job situation permanently takes over their thoughts.

If you’re in a similar situation, in this article we talk about some strategies to help you cope until you find something better. Read on.

Woman with burnout at work

Why do you hate your job?

Companies often don’t take into account the levels of work satisfaction in their employees as related to productivity. However, an employee who suffers psychological discomfort due to the nature of their job not only performs at a worse level in their working hours but also tends to fall ill more easily, creates a bad environment at work, and doesn’t share the values of the company.

Therefore we ask the question, what is it about certain jobs that drain employees psychologically? Here are the most common reasons:

  • Low wages.
  • Bad bosses.
  • Toxic work culture.
  • Poor communication between colleagues.
  • Bad organization.
  • Long or stressful commutes to and from work.
  • Schedules that are incompatible with everyday life.
  • Jobs with a high level of emotional stress. For example, veterinarians, health personnel, firefighters, etc.
  • Moral problems with the occupation. For instance, working in a slaughterhouse, or evicting tenants, among others.
  • Lack of recognition of the worker’s worth.
  • Situations of abuse or harassment.

Nowadays, it’s possible to find any of these conditions in a job. That’s why you should train yourself in certain positive dynamics of thought because it’s easy to get stuck in a bad job for a while. Here are some helpful resources.

Helpful tips when you hate your job

The first thing you should know is that changing jobs isn’t particularly negative, nor does it mean you’ve failed. Unfortunately, you might find yourself continually trying to improve at work yet suffocating from all the bad conditions you’re having to endure. This isn’t healthy nor should it ever become a habit. Therefore, before reading the rest of these tips, make a resolution to get out of the job you hate as soon as possible.

Never stop looking for a job

Some people spend years looking for a suitable job. However, if it’s not possible for you to stop working, don’t let it stop you from looking for a better one. In fact, it’s the only way that you’ll ever find new opportunities.

Join your company’s union or create one

If you’re being harassed or exploited, you have the right to demand change. Unions offer resources and advice should you need to take legal action. It’s always difficult to speak out against abuse. However, by doing so you’ll achieve justice for yourself. In addition, you might well inspire others to do the same.

Make quality time for yourself

It’s all too easy to take the frustration, anxiety, and anger that comes from a job you hate home with you. Unfortunately, this only makes that toxic environment become the center of your life when, in reality, it’s only one aspect of it.

Do some activities that you enjoy with people you like. In this way, it’ll be more difficult for certain ideas to become obsessive thoughts.

Spending quality time, both on your own and with others, will also help you shift your focus to more enjoyable things. That’ll give you clarity of mind to solve your problems.

Try to keep busy at work

When an activity is unpleasant and you can’t escape it for a while, you tend to let the hours go by wishing that the day was over. However, this makes the time pass even more slowly.

Therefore, use those tasks as a way to make the end of the day come faster. It’ll also help to keep your productivity at an acceptable level, which will avoid any tensions with your colleagues.

Try to resolve the situation internally

You may well have the ability to change the things that are wrong with your job, but might not be aware of it. In fact, learned helplessness is common in many work environments. This happens when you believe that you simply don’t have the power to improve what it is that’s preventing you from working comfortably.

Therefore, before succumbing to frustration and anxiety, use the resources and possibilities at your disposal to improve these conditions. You can talk to your bosses, carry out improvements yourself, report illegal situations, and much more. In addition, these actions aren’t incompatible with looking for another job.

Employee talking to her boss

If it’s affecting your health

The problem of toxic work environments is a reality. In fact, many people try to cope with unbearable situations as best they can, but still eventually often develop depressive disorders and anxiety, among other conditions. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, you should consult a professional.

Finally, there’s something you should always remember. You’re not responsible for situations of harassment or exploitation. Indeed, while you should always make certain that you perform well, others must also ensure that they deserve your efforts.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Rothwell, J. & Crabtree, S. (2019) Not Just a Job: New Evidence on the Quality of Work in the United States. En: Gallup.
  • Maslach, C. & Leiter, M. (2016) Understanding the burnout experience: recent research and its implications for psychiatry. World Psychiatry; 15(2): 103–111.
  • Biskup, M. J. et. Al. (2019) Just how miserable is work? A meta-analysis comparing work and non-work affect. PLoS One; 14(3): e0212594.
  • Myrtek, M. et. Al. (1999) Stress and strain of blue and white collar workers during work and leisure time: results of psychophysiological and behavioral monitoring. Appl Ergon; 30(4): 341-351.
  • Leal-Costa, C., Díaz-Agea, J. L., Ruzafa-Martínez, M., & Ramos-Morcillo, A. J. (2021, April). El estrés laboral en profesionales sanitarios en tiempos de pandemia. In Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra (Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 123-124). Gobierno de Navarra. Departamento de Salud.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.