Hate your job, but not enough to leave

Hate your job, but not enough to leave?

How many people can you recall who hate their job? Of those people how many seemed to do nothing about it for far too long? On a long enough time scale I suspect for some readers anyway, there are more people than you care to remember.

The Psychology

Most people live the majority of their lives within their comfort zone. And yes, you may be that one person that exclaims “that’s not me”. But can you whole heartedly say that if you are really honest with yourself?

The basic psychology is our primitive brain (Limbic system) telling us to stay a part of the tribe for safety reasons. If you go off alone, you are vulnerable to predators or enemies. However, despite our education most of our day to day decision making is leveraged by our primitive instincts to varying extents.

Changing Jobs

To some people changing job is not a huge deal. In the same way that you may want to change and upgrade your car, you’ll change job. It is associated as a thing you have control over and choice in. It is associated with competition and bettering oneself.

However, to other people a job is fundamental responsibility they play in the tribe. And they are needed by others even if it makes them miserable. It is the sense of responsibility that holds them there.

The distinct difference is the value of a job to the beholder. One see’s it as an material asset and the other see’s it is something they have a responsibility for.

Children or Colleagues

Another way of looking at this is that people can be your children or your work colleagues. Both are people, but one will hold a value to you, that you’d die for and the other holds a temporary value in your life but only to a casual extent. Whilst this example represents an extreme perspective, hopefully it clarifies the point. The value is in the eye of the beholder.

Changing your psychology

The learning point here is that if you are unhappy in your job, but not enough where you have actively put the wheels in motion to remedy it, then change your thinking on the value of that job. If you are unhappy doing what you do, burying your head in the sand will not alleviate the issue.

Shoot first

The first step is to shoot first and ask questions later. Yes, throw yourself in to changing job. Sit down for 2 hours and actively find alternative employment and apply. As a warning point, be realistic about this. If you set your expectation for a 10k pay increase in an industry you’ve never worked in then get real.

Apply for companies that offer training, be prepared to perhaps take a small initial hit on earnings that can be made up with overtime, bonus or benefits and get yourself some interviews. But take action, not just dip your toe in the water.

Ruthless, not reckless

Second is if you get offered a good job and rationally it is a good opportunity accept it. However, and crucially, do not feel guilty about it. Do not be that person who worries what their boss will think. Alternatively do not be that person that walks in and sticks two fingers up at your boss when resigning. Burning bridges will follow you around.


Finally, seek fulfilment, not something a tad more tolerable than what you have. Whilst the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it is if you do your homework and make the right decisions instead of rushing into things. Otherwise you will continue to hate your job until something even worse happens.

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