Help! I hate my job!

If you are unemployed or looking for a job, probably you feel that everything would be better than this ordeal. The truth is, however, that if you are selected for a position, it is far from certain that you have arrived at Nirvana. Several researches and everyday experience show that most employees don’t like or even hate some basic element of their work. These are the most common reasons why people don’t like their jobs:
- their boss has no leading skills or is simply an idiot
- they don’t fit for the position
- colleagues are not cooperative or “civilised” enough
- clients/customers/suppliers are irritating or unreliable

Although these are the main reasons, unfortunately these factors nearly make it impossible for people to do their job in good quality and be mentally relieved on a daily basis. If you are in the same situation, you need to consider a few things. First of all: Why do you want to stay at a workplace like this?

According to my experience there are a number of practical reasons why people stay in a situation like this. The most common reason is financial pressure. People have financial difficulties - it often happens as we live in a debt culture. Most people who belong to the middle class have considerable building (or other) loans, without nearly no savings, so they must rely on their salary every month. (If this applies to you I really recommend you to start improving your financial intelligence.)

The second reason why people spend years at workplaces even if they think it’s unacceptable is lack of self-confidence. As most people grew up in a bad family atmosphere and/or oppressive, Prussian education system, an overwhelmingly large number of people struggle with self-knowledge problems. Such employees don’t have enough self-confidence and they simply don’t believe that they deserve better and would be able to find a more suitable job. This is the famous Stockholm-syndrome: we accept the bad, or we are even grateful because we are afraid of losing it...

The situation becomes more complicated if we consider that financial dependency is often accompanied by lack of self-confidence. They even intensify the effect.

Do I need to like my job?

One of my business partners made a really boring presentation to me arguing that children’s duty is not to feel good, and the he/she does not believe in “pedagogy of happiness” that is said to become fashionable nowadays. I don’t know what you think about his (I hope you don’t share this view), but in my opinion, no one has the right to impede the happiness of others. But everyone is free to be in a bad mood or feel depressed at the workplace. You cannot preach to adults and order how to life their lives. So, the problem is not that you hate your job, but the fact that it annoys you.

On the other hand, you also need to know that if you are in the same situation, you definitely undermine your own prosperity - and in medium-term (3-5 years) your health as well. Work is indeed the activity that takes up most of your time. Employees spend much more time at their workplaces than with their families, hobbies or even sleeping. This is shocking isn’t it? And if you can’t find pleasure in most of your time, you are unhappy and feel like a failure. The question is whether you really want to be like this?

It might also be useful to learn about the principle by a famous Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi: This is the so-called flow-principle, according to which you can reach the best results - both in work and in private life - if you feel relieved and carefree and enjoy what you do. So, if you want to achieve good (or even excellent) results in your work, you simply cannot afford not to enjoy what you do!

If you want to do something for yourself…

If you hate your job and you want to belong to successful people instead of those who spend most of their time complaining and worrying, you have three options:


1. You accept the situation Be careful! This does not mean that you “go with it”, it means that your approach towards the events and circumstances that made you angry earlier is now characterised by peace and affectionate acceptance. This is a kind of mental practice to improve your capability for forgiveness, acceptance and respect. You know that you have reached this phase if your physical symptoms (nervousness, headache, digestions or sleeping disorder) previously caused by your work problems, are gone. You will be able to participate in the life at your workplace with pleasure and with your entire personality.

2. You try the change the situation from inside. It means that you raise your issues with empathy and in a friendly way showing utmost helpfulness to those who are involved (including your boss) and you do your best to find a constructive solution for the reason that caused the problem. (Constructive solution must not include intrigue and bumping others from their job.) If you choose this way, you should ask external help like a trainer specialized in organisational development, a coach or mediator.

3. You leave the situation, that is, you quit, or you achieve to be given the notice and look for something better. When you start your new work, you have already analysed your role and make some changes in your behaviour. (If you fail to do this, based on “the problem will not be lost, only transformed” principle you will face the same conflicts within a few months.)

All three solutions can be legitimate. None of them is “better” than the other. The point is that if you made a decision, focus on one solution. Make every effort to do the task you have chosen with enthusiasm and energy and act!

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Cover letter

Three basic questions need to be “answered” in a motivation letter. Why do you apply for the job? Why do you think you are suitable for the position? What are your strengths an employer can rely on?