Why do people hate their jobs?

Living in the times which present us with more freedom and opportunities than ever, it makes one wonder why there are still so many people in the world who voluntarily work in jobs which they openly admit to hate. It has become a plague of some kind. There’s even a trend for music videos and songs which talk about these dreaded workdays and the desire to escape: Laurent Wolf’s ‘No Stress’, Avicii’s ‘I Could Be The One’, Stromae’s ‘Alors On Danse’ or Hilary Duff’s ‘Chasing The Sun’ to name just a few.

However, what amazes me the most is that when I talk to these people, it seems like they think it’s the way it’s supposed to be. Have we become so used to hating our jobs that we have come to believe that its the way life simply is?

The saddest truth that I was lucky to realize very early in my life is that in the end work is where you spend the most of your time on Earth. If you’re working a 9-5 job 5 days a week, with a couple of weeks of vacation per year, you’re spending around 70% of the time you’re awake in your job. It makes me wonder how so many people can stand to spend the majority of their life doing something they hate. To me, it sounds like a rather gloomy perspective for living ones life.

One of my friends recently told me that he wants to have a family in the future so that he has something to look forward to while he’s stuck in the office the whole day. He said that as long as he will have this perspective, he is willing to work in a place he doesn’t like. However, for me this sounds way too close to the scenario of spending the whole day doing something he hates only to come back home exhausted, spend maybe an hour or two with his family (if he’s lucky) and then collapse onto the bed, sleep, wake up the next morning and do it all over again. Wow! What a lovely life ahead of us…

I do not understand why even people my age who are only entering the job market, already assume that they will be doing something that will make them feel miserable. It’s like they have given up on their passions and dreams, because they have been taught that this is a sign of maturity and growing up.

When faced with all these reflections, people often come up with excuses, such as: ‘I need to earn a living somehow’, ‘I can’t afford to leave my job’, ‘It’s impossible to turn my passion into work’, ‘It’s to risky to start something on my own’, ‘I need to gain experience first and then I will think about setting up something on my own’. I do not want to offend anyone but let’s face it: when you look closely, you will realize that these reasons are all driven by either fear or laziness. It’s a lot harder to actually take the time to look for a job you might like and to even get to know yourself well enough to be able to tell what could bring you real fulfillment. It’s a lot more work to set up your own business. In the end, people who are serious about creating their own reality, do not wait for the right time or bother about gaining experience first. They just go ahead and take action, often struggling for some time, surrounded by fearful and disapproving voices of their friends and families. The truth is, people who stay stuck in their hated jobs simply choose the comfort and the illusory safety of having a stable salary appear on their account each month. And they’d rather keep complaining and blaming other people, economy and circumstances than do something about it.

Don’t understand me wrong. There are obviously situations in life where you have no choice and you need to have the money to put food on your plate. Maybe at this particular moment it’s the only job you were able to get. But the biggest mistake is to give up and stay in such a job. You can still choose to be proactive – search for better opportunities, think about the steps you need to take to reach your desired destination, think about the ways you can turn things you actually enjoy doing into profitable ventures, learn new skills that will help you move forward. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. There are hundreds of stories about people who went from nothing to millionaires because they had the courage to act on their ‘childish’ ideas. It takes real courage to admit that you are responsible for the position you are in right now. It’s the choices that you have made that have brought you here and perhaps this realization is the hardest part of the journey to a better life.

I believe that every single human being deserves and is capable of creating the life of their dreams. And yes, this also means YOU! YOU deserve to spend the most of your life doing things that you’re passionate about, spending quality time with your family and friends. You simply need to wake up and take action! I agree with the classical economist, Adam Smith who said that only if people are lead by their seemingly egoistic desires, can they make the true contribution to the society as a whole. If you’re doing what you love, you’re creating the positive energy and oftentimes great products or services. Everyone is better off when the community is filled with people like that.

23 thoughts on “Why do people hate their jobs?

  1. Great post, as I continue to ask this question myself. And I also think ppl are bounded by fear. I interviewed Dr. Eric Maisel, noted Creativity Coach, earlier this year, who said 95% of his clients he coaches are in this situation. And those like yourself and me can’t imagine or are surprised because we are the few who are doing what we love and are passionate about.

    I had lunch with a woman, some months ago, referred by her friend to me. She wanted to pursue her passion. But talked about her current employer and how she was demoted due to some inner office politics of a favor to another who wanted her position. This lowered her salary and her title from supervior to associate. I asked her why did she stay? She shrugged her shoulders and said she was too scared to leave but was being bery disrespected on her job.

    • Thank you, great to know that there are some like-minded people out there! I also talk to a lot of people who say things like that and it makes me really sad because I know that they could change their situation if only they overcame their fear. But in the end, I can’t do much more than help them realize that they are in control of their destiny. The rest of the work needs to be done by the person him/herself.

  2. Great blog. I think the choice is the problem. There’s too much of it and too much competition. It’s taken me a year to get out of a place I hated and I have no idea if I will like the job I had to fight so hard to get. It’s all discovery.

  3. I think you have the right idea. I trained to be a teacher, but I hated the actual job due so much regulation, and politics. I was never so happy as when I became disabled and had to quit. I love blogging, and want to find out more about making it pay.

  4. It’s a good question, and it’s one that’s really hard to answer conclusively. There are definitely people who are trapped in jobs they hate because they really do have no choice, or at least very little choice- the labor market doesn’t have much place for them, they have financial obligations to meet, improving their skills to become qualified for a job they like requires time and energy taken up by the job they hate…

    But at the same time, I think for a lot of people being in the job they hate is a kind of invented struggle. Our lives feel more meaningful when we’re struggling against something. When people struggle for the benefit of the people around them, they feel like their lives matter. When people don’t know or don’t care to find something socially positive to struggle for, they may fall into the trap of manufacturing a struggle to create a simulation of those feelings.

  5. Very great ideas.
    Actually you’re describing about all things in my mind about job, passion, fear and comfort zone. My friend always tells me about how hate she is with her job right now but hesitated to leave it as she’s afraid to get a new job with a lower salary and worse environment. Just like what you described, she keeps blaming others and makes mistakes everyday in her job. I will show your post to her, may be it could help her to know what she should do.

  6. Sing it sista! It’s good to see someone my age who is not afraid to ask the same questions I do. Knowing that the 9-5 isn’t the only way, and it is so liberating once you figure that out! All of a sudden a “what has to be” is now “holy crap! I have a choice!” I absolutely love what you write! Keep on doing what you’re doing, and spread the world!

  7. Fear most definitely holds many back from making a move forward. I think one needs to ask themselves why they are in their current job; is it a temporary stepping stone, is it because of the money, or is it because they believe that they can make a difference in what they do. Change is always possible; within the job, by changing your attitude or talking with your boss about ways to make it better suited to your needs. Sometimes a minor change can make all the difference. Or as you suggest, by looking for another job, which may require some sacrifice. Either way it has to do with personal empowerment. Follow your passion, even if it means giving up some perks, for will bring you the most joy in your life

  8. I loved the thoughts you put in this post. It was a wonderful read since you put everything so accurately and wrote so well. Its true so many of us give up our dreams for so-called ‘security’.
    Its not always that somebody is able to pursue their dreams. Duties and demands come in the way and the string of planning breaks. Sometimes circumstances so dire arise that it is unwise to steer from a secure salary no matter how much we hate it. And then there’s pressure from the family as well. Social status is another nosy-body to name.
    But all that said and done, when there is a will there is a way. Don’t you think?

  9. This is such a beautiful piece! I grew up with a father who has worked for the same company for 35+ years and a mother who has had the same job for years as well. So when I was fired from my first ” big girl job,” when I quit my second ” big girl job,” and then when I started my own business, Paper Plane Lane, and now to add Social Media Marketing in there, my parents weren’t too happy. However, I believe in being passionate about the work one does and I will search for that until I find it! As of now, I have not been any more happier! Looking forward to reading more! Much love from Louisiana! Brandi @paperplanelaneboutique

  10. As I recently saw posted in my facebook a while ago:
    “If you worked extra hours last night, and had to wake up early again to go to work, be careful. One of these days they´ll say you’re lucky…”

  11. You’re awesome! I struggled in small architectural companies for years. They just didn’t fit into my fairy tale. Now as I start my own company, in my forties, I think I may have finally found a good fit!

    • …The other side of the coin is that though in many ways I am trying to live/create this – my husband, his parents, society just doesn’t respect it. Ppl respect a hard earned hefty pay check. …it’s just not my definition of success – I pray that I am onto so much more!

  12. This is a great post and what I am actually thinking of late. Other than that, happy new year and I just want to thank you for following my blog. As a fellow blogger, I would like to share with you an upcoming art project I am working on that God led me to do. How may I contact you so I can share it with you? Thank you very much and now I’m a follower of your blog.

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