Do You Hate Your Job or Are You Just Having a Bad Week? Take This Quiz to Find Out

It’s a horrible thought, but many people hate their job. Despite taking up the best hours of the day for five (or sometimes more) days a week, many people wake up each morning dreading the thought of going to work. Over the longer term this can lead to anxiety, even depression, and is not a healthy place for a person to be.

It’s easy to simply dismiss this with nonsense phrases like “work isn’t meant to be fun” or “you should work to live, not live to work”, but these fail to properly articulate the impact than an unfulfilling job can have on a person. Jobs can be hard and stressful, but if they’re also not rewarding then it’s time to start considering whether you’re in the right organisation or doing the right kind of work for you.

However, it could also be that you’re having a bad week or month. Work isn’t always going to be enjoyable or rewarding, and it’s important to be able to tell the difference between work that is genuinely unfulfilling and unrewarding to you, and work that is simply getting you down temporarily.

So if you’re starting to feel uncomfortable about your job, the first task should be to narrow down whether it is a temporary disappointment, or a proper incompatibility between yourself and your work. The International Career Institute ‘Do You Really Hate Your Job?’ 10-question quiz will help you determine which group you belong in, and from there you will be able to start to manage the problems that you’re facing. This is because your responses if you really do hate your job will be different to how you respond if you’re only having a bad week.

  1. Do you consistently wake up 4 out of 5 mornings dreading going to work?

  2. Do you like and/or respect your boss and/or colleagues?

  3. Are you consistently stressed and unhappy about work-related issues?

  4. Do you care whether or not you get the job done correctly?

  5. Do you feel appreciated in the workplace, either financially or emotionally or both?

  6. Do you spend every day procrastinating or feeling bored at work?

  7. Do you feel uncomfortable in your workplace?

  8. Do you have a good work/life balance?

  9. Do you feel like what you’re doing as a job is a waste of your time?

  10. Do you feel like you are living up to your potential?

We’re sorry to break it to you, but you really do hate your job

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First of all, don’t let this realisation get you down or lead you to panic, because you’re not alone. Statistics suggest that as many as 80% of people are not satisfied with their jobs, and within that percentage there will be plenty of people that – like you – stress about the coming week on a Sunday night.

You might not even be in a position to quit. In the kind of difficult jobs market that we currently have, unless you’ve got at least six months wage saved up then it’s not a good idea to leave yourself hanging without work. Being ‘stuck’ in a job without an escape can lead to a feeling of helplessness, and can be a stressful experience, but the good news is that there are some simple things you can do to help. These might lead you to a new job, or simply to be in a position to quit your current position.

Network more

LinkedIn is something most of us join, and then never check back aside from when we get an email saying that someone wants to add us to their network. But used right, it can be a far more valuable tool than that. Engage in discussions with other people in your line of work. Join groups and keep an eye on the jobs listings.
In the modern world finding work is as much about knowing the right people as it is applying for ads, so make your presence and competencies known, and an opportunity might just fall in your lap.

Get new skills in your current industry

You could find skill areas related to your work that you are currently weak at, and improve them. Doing so looks good on the resume, gives you engaging work to do unrelated to the day-to-day job you hate, and gives you greater expertise. It’s a win on all counts!

Consider whether you’re in the wrong field completely

If you’re an accountant who spends the entire day daydreaming about their blog on a completely different topic, perhaps it’s a sign that you shouldn’t be an accountant. Many professionals have what they see as creative hobbies that they would much rather be their career. It can be difficult making it as a painter, photographer, or writer, but it can be done. So, use the income from the job you hate to investigate how to make a career out of your dream job instead.

Do things outside of work

The best way to handle a job you hate is to remove your emotional investment from it, and the best way to do this is for work to not be the focus of your life. Having a social life outside of work helps (and is something that many of us forget about), but even taking up some secondary work or consulting can help remind you that your skills and experience are valuable and that there will be work for you outside of this job.

Remain professional

You hate your job and this means you want out. You might even find an opportunity to get out in the near future. But, right up until the day you leave, it’s important that you continue to do your job well and handle yourself professionally. In the modern workplace, people move between jobs a lot, and people talk. If you start burning bridges, your lack of professionalism may well come back to bite you at a future date.

Buy yourself a bottle of good wine

Store it away for the day that you escape the shackles and find a job that suits you better. Work hard on meeting your goals, and you’ll be able to enjoy before it’s even had a chance to age!

Relax, you’re just having a bad week

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The good news first: you don’t actually hate your job. You’re in the minority 20% of people who are satisfied with their work, it’s just that you’re not necessarily having a good time of it at the moment. If you handle things right then that feeling will pass, and you’ll be back loving your job in no time.

But now for the bad news: if you let the negative emotions fester, the bad week you’re having could evolve into a proper hatred for your job in general. It’s important that you take some initiative and deal with the source of the stress early.

  • Talk to people
    You’re feeling stress in your work, but you’re also probably good at your job – so all your manager and team see are professional, quality results. If you leave this stress unchecked, you could end up feeling resentment towards an organisation that you perceive to be unsympathetic. The solution is to sit down with your manager or team, and outline your concerns. If you feel overworked, for instance, your boss will likely realise the need to unburden you of some of your workload or give you greater flexibility.
    Don’t forget – you’re a valuable member of the organisation, and they want you to be happy with your work.
  • Find something new to do in your work
    Businesses are generically dynamic, and opportunities to do new kinds of work will usually emerge. Look for something new to do that interests you, and volunteer for it. Nothing helps get the job satisfaction train back on the tracks than doing something that engages you and gets you away from the day-to-day grind.
    It’ll also get you brownie points with the rest of the organisation, which can lead to more opportunities down the track.
  • Give yourself a change of scenery
    Nothing is more depressing than spending 40 hours a week sitting in a little cubicle at work, tapping away at a keyboard, and the modern worker doesn’t need to do this either. Grab a laptop and spend a couple of hours working at a café instead. As long as the quality of the work remains high, a growing number of businesses won’t care where you do it.
  • Sign up to Spotify
    Spotify is a wonderful service where every music track you’ve ever enjoyed is available to you over the Internet for around $10-$20 a month. Set up some playlists to suit your mood, put on a good set of headphones, and you’ll be able to tune out what’s going on around you while you work.
  • Do more training
    Doing additional courses or training related to your work can be great for your job satisfaction. The more expertise you have, the more you’ll be able to contribute back to the organisation. You’ll be able to think more creatively about your work, and it could easily lead you towards more senior roles within the organisation.
  • Organise a social activity with co-workers
    One of the most effective ways to enjoy a job is to enjoy the company that you’re keeping while you work. If you get along well with those around you, and have amusing anecdotes to joke about around the water cooler, then the spirit of the workplace environment will be lifted and everyone’s job satisfaction will be improved.
    While there is a good argument to not get too friendly with co-workers (so as to avoid conflict of interest issues down the track), the occasional social event or team lunch can help generate a positive, friendly, team dynamic.
  • Most importantly, don’t quit just yet!
    You don’t hate your job, so don’t entertain ideas of quitting over a stressful week or month of work. There’s no guarantee that you’ll enjoy the next job any more, after all.
    However, if in a few weeks you still feel the same way, take our quiz again and see what results you get. It might then be time to move on.