a man looking discouraged about his job

I Hate My Job and Want to Quit But I Don’t Know How

Do you hate your job? Are you constantly complaining to others about your job? Do you often saying things such as “I hate my job and want to quit!” to whoever will listen?

All jobs have some parts that make us crazy and drive us to thinking that we would like to quit. As a certified life and career coach, I have worked with many people to help them understand their feelings about their job.

But most importantly, I survived a career change very early in my adult life when I was the sole income provider in my new family that had just welcomed a newborn. 

I’ve been through the fear, uncertainty, confusion, and difficult emotions. And I can’t wait to help you do the same! 

If you hate your job and want to quit, let’s take a moment to get to the bottom of how you are feeling!

Common Reasons for Quitting a Job

The first thing you should do is get to the bottom of what is making you hate your job. You might be telling yourself “I hate my job and want to quit”, but you could be dealing with a real problem that could be solved without quitting.

One of the most important skills to have in any job is effective communication. A lot of things can be resolved by speaking with your hiring manager or supervisor in an open and honest way. After you share your feelings, they may be able to help you fix your current situation without the need to write a resignation letter.

For example, if you are finding your current work boring, your manager may be able to help you rediscover parts of your job that align with your interests and strengths. If you are struggling with an overwhelming workload, speak to your manager about ways to effectively manage the tasks you have been assigned.

By communicating, you open the door for a constructive dialogue where you can collaboratively explore potential solutions together. 

Having said that, there are times where communication will not solve the problem. In my work as a career coach I have pinpointed several common reasons that drive people to quit a job that they hate.

Opportunities for Professional Growth

After working at the same job for some time, it is natural to become curious about new opportunities or the idea of a new role.

Work should be an interesting thing that challenges us to learn and apply new skills. Working at a job that doesn’t offer opportunities for professional growth is one reason that drives people to consider different career paths.

Work should be an interesting thing that challenges us to learn and apply new skills.

Better Financial Stability 

One of the most common things people look for during a job search is how much a job pays. Finding meaning and purpose in your work is important. However, earning enough money to support your lifestyle is one of the main reasons the average person works in the first place. 

Salaries are negotiable at times, but in some cases they aren’t. If you are struggling with financial stability in a low paying job, it may be time to look for a job that pays you enough to reach your financial goals.

Improved Mental Health

You spend so much time at work. If your work environment has a negative impact on your mental health it could be time for a fresh start. 

There are many reasons that your work could be negatively impacting your mental health. It could be your relationships with your co-workers or manager, the values of your workplace, or a lack of work life balance.

When I decided to leave my teaching job I was stuck in a toxic work environment and overwhelmed with my workload. I was experiencing panic attacks due to the unrealistic demands the job was placing on me. I was carrying my negative feelings and negative emotions about work into other areas of my life. 

I chose to leave my job to prioritize my mental health, and as a result, my physical health.

Improved Work-Life Balance

When I quit teaching, I was a new father that was struggling to create a much needed separation between my work life and my home life.

Improving my work-life balance is probably the most important reason that I chose to leave teaching. Many people want the same for their personal life. 

In recent years there has been a rise in remote work opportunities that offer a more flexible schedule. Many people are looking for more control over their work hours and their overall work schedule.

If your current employer isn’t open to the idea of remote work, you may be looking to find work that allows you to separate your work life and home life.

A New Position

Another common reason people leave their current job is because they have a new position lined up. If you have a new job in mind and have received a job offer, you may be considering leaving your current position.

Overall Job Dissatisfaction

Have you thought it through and just can’t quite put your finger on why you hate your job so much? It is possible that you are just missing job satisfaction entirely.

Job satisfaction is a personal factor that can’t necessarily be measured. Many people struggle with not feeling challenged or connected to their work but have a hard time explaining why.

As a career coach, I aim to help people find job satisfaction using the Japanese concept of the ikigai. The term ikigai roughly translates to ‘a passion, purpose, and reason for being’.

When you find your ikigai, you will find yourself with a high degree of job satisfaction!

8 Steps for How to Quit a Job You Hate

If you’ve done some reflecting and you’re still thinking “yes, I hate my job and want to quit”, there are a few steps you should make sure that you take.

1. Sort Out Your Feelings

Before you quit, make sure that you take some time sort out your feelings. It’s easy for a bad day to make the situation seem worse than it is.

It can be hard to separate if your feelings are temporary reactions to a bad day, or the sign of something more serious. You may find that a trusted friend, family member, or career coach might be able to help you get to the bottom of your feelings before you make your next move.

2. Assess Your Finances

Whether you have work lined up or not will impact how important it is to think about your financial situation.

If you are quitting a job without a new job lined up, having a financial cushion in place is the most important thing. Before you quit, make sure that you are able to build up an emergency fund that will help you cover your expenses for a few months.

When I left my teaching job I did not have a job offer that I was heading to. But I did have a new family, so I needed some stability and security. I made the calculated decision to leave with enough savings to get me through a few months of uncertainty.

3. Start the Job Search

While you haven’t technically quit your job at this point, I always recommend starting the job search before you do. Don’t feel that you need to start applying to jobs at this point, or that you need to find your dream job that you will do for the rest of your life. 

Instead, this step is just about dreaming and imagining what it would be like to start your next job in a new role with a new employer. This exercise is a great way to build your confidence and channel passions that you may have forgotten about while you have been focused on your current role.

4. Make a Plan

Your next steps are all about making a plan to quit. When I quit my job, I found it helpful to create a timeline of events. For example, I knew I wanted to be applying to jobs and was interested in interviewing before I actually quit. 

A plan doesn’t mean that you have to know the exact sequence of events down to the day. But you should aim to have a vision for how you see everything unfolding when you do quit your job.

Part of this planning phase might involve refreshing your resume or LinkedIn profile to make sure you have all of your most recent experience represented. Seeing your skills on paper will do wonders for your courage! You might also want to research online courses that you could take in order to gain some additional skills.

The order in which you do all of this is up to you. I have found that many people don’t like the uncertainty of quitting their job without another one lined up. But I have also worked with people who need a career change so badly that they are willing to face the uncertainty of having nothing lined up.

The plan that you make will depend on your financial situation and your own personal circumstances. 

Aim to have a vision for how you see everything unfolding when you do quit your job

5. Speak with Your Manager or Employer 

Whether you find telling your manager easy or difficult will depend on the unique circumstances that you are facing. 

For example, if this is the first time you are bringing up the idea of being unhappy at work, you may feel nervous or anxious about the conversation. However, if you have been having open conversations about your feelings toward your job, the conversation will likely not be a surprise to your employer. 

There are several approaches that you can take to let your employer know that you are quitting your job. Some people prefer direct and open conversations, while others do not. If you have a hard time approaching your manager, the best option may be a resignation letter. 

Regardless of the manner in which you bring it up, aim to provide at least two weeks notice. This is a good option because it provides your employer with a courtesy period to seek out new employees. This can also help your employment end on a positive note.

Having said that, if you find yourself in a situation where your work has been negatively impacting your mental health, you may choose to resign from your position immediately.

6. Finish Your Job

After you have had the conversation about quitting, the only thing that remains is to finish your job. 

It is important to continue to perform your duty to the best of your ability. This will help ensure that you leave on good terms with your previous job. 

One way that you can help is by aiding with the transition to any new hires. This means wrapping up any loose tasks, helping with training, and anything else you can do to show that you are still a team player. 

7. Reflect and Set Goals

As you leave your job, make sure you take some time to reflect on your time there. Regardless of how you left your job, you will be facing many complex and often confusing emotions.

Many people wrestle with feelings of failure and disappointment, while others struggle with the fear of the unknown and stepping outside of their comfort zone

Consider spending a day building yourself up by writing a list of skills and strengths you have. Remind yourself that you have skills that make you a unique and valuable employee. This may help you find courage as you move forward into the unknown.

Take some time to think about your dreams and goals for your life. This transition is the perfect time to take some steps forward toward the life you have always wanted to live.

One of the most important things to do is take some time to process any negative emotions that came with your departure. Even if you feel like it was a bad job, try to look back with a sense of gratitude

Try to focus on the little things that you did enjoy about your job rather than focusing on each bad situation you encountered. Every job that you take in your life offers plenty of learning experience that you can carry forward into your next full-time role.

This transition is the perfect time to take some steps forward toward the life you have always wanted to live

8. Find a New Job

Once you have cleared your head and you feel ready, it’s time to start finding a new job! Think back to all the dreaming and imagining you did earlier. Now that you have the free time, you may have some new ideas or a clearer idea of what you would like to do next.

This final step is an exciting leap forward into your future! You may be interested in an entirely new company that offers a totally different role than what you are used to. You may also be considering something similar to what you are used to.

As you search through each job description, aim to find one that is a good fit for your skillset. 

Remember that this next job doesn’t have to be the job you have for the rest of your life. Many people leave their work and find a more temporary job to help them smooth over the transition period.

It can be tempting, but remember that you don’t have to accept the first job offer you receive. A fresh start is a good thing! Take the time to find the best work you can find that gets you excited about a new work situation!

Inspiration When Quitting Your Job

During my final staff meeting as a teacher, my head of school put the following quote from Steve Jobs up as part of a ‘motivational presentation’:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

I remember taking this workplace wellness quote as a sign. This quote is what pushed me to acknowledge that I hate my job and want to quit. This quote inspired me to take ownership and make a change.

When I quit my job, I was in my late 20s, had a new baby at home, and was supporting my family on a single income. I knew fear and I knew uncertainty.

But after a few years of being away from my job, I can say with certainty that I have no regrets. Yes, there was a period of financial uncertainty and a whole bunch of complex emotions. 

But the end result was a major improvement to my mental health and physical health. And I found a sense of work-life balance that I didn’t even know was possible.

If you are in the early stages of saying “I hate my job and want to quit”, I am hopeful that this list of tips and my own personal story were able to inspire you.

Take some time to work your way through these steps and ask yourself important questions about how you are feeling along the way. Remember that a single bad day doesn’t mean you have to quit. Struggles and setbacks at work are a natural part of any job. 

But if you find your work is consistently negatively affecting your mental health, overall happiness, and your wellbeing, making a change might be the right thing for you to do.

If you are looking for more inspiration, check out our list of 100 dream job affirmations and our collection of quotes about life lessons and struggles!

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who says “I hate my job and want to quit” often, this could be the motivation they need to make a change!


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