How To Deal With a Job You Hate


This article looks at what to do if you’re in the common position of feeling unhappy with work but is reluctant to make a change, even though you know in the long term it could lead to a happier life, and perhaps even a sense of more freedom.

If you’re unhappy with your job the majority of people would suggest you leave, yet often people are quick to dish out this advice, but often don’t follow their own advice when it comes to the crunch, as the feeling of uncertainty and the fear of loss associated with walking away from a job tends to hold people back.

There’s also the fear of the unknown!

There’s a fable about a man that walks past a dog each morning in the deep south of America; the man says hello to the owner, each morning, who is an old man sat in a rocking chair, on his front porch in true southern style… and each morning notices the dog sat beside him is always moaning in pain.  

One day, after walking past this dog howling and groaning with pain, the man finally decides to ask the owner, “why does your dog keep moaning”.  

The owner states “it’s because he’s sat on a nail”.  

The man responds, “well, why doesn’t he get off the nail”.  

The owner pauses looks at the man dead in the eyes and says “son, the nail is only making him uncomfortable enough to moan and groan – it’s not hurting him enough to get up and do something about it!”

This is often the case with work, the majority of people moan and groan to the point they might get depressed, apathetic, withdrawn and even tearful at the prospect of going to work – yet they simply don’t want to give their job up because they can’t handle the feeling of uncertainty that comes with that; the fear they may end up in a job that’s worse, or that they might never make money again, or end up on the streets.

We often allow the mind of our fearful inner child to take over our thinking at times like this, rather than our more sensible adult mind, that can see a clear and logical path – for instance the logical thing might be to quit your job, undertake an HVAC training program, and set yourself up as a freelance business person that manages your own time… but your inner child sees the risk, the discomfort of having to learn new things, pay course fees and considers all that can go wrong.

In summary, if you’re in the position where you are going to a job you hate, you really need to look at why you aren’t leaving – as when we look at the psychology of why people stay in toxic relationships, or toxic workplaces, it’s the same things that hold people back and keep them living limited lives that are much less than they desire or deserve.

It can all be wrapped up in one word; fear – the fear of change, the fear of the unknown, the fear of loss… and the list continues.

The question to consider, if you’re in a job you hate, is whether you really want a list of how to deal with it – such as speaking to your boss, reducing your hours, and so on… or, if actually what you really need is to get some emotional leverage on the situation and see the thing you might need to “deal with” is not the job, but your fear and insecurity around leaving a job that no longer serves you.

How are you dealing with a job you hate?

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