Quick facts: In 2022, 19% of workers said that they were miserable at work. Another 50% admitted that they feel stress about work every single day. Work anxiety is real. And it becomes even more intense if you hate your job.
If you’re constantly grumbling, “I hate my job so much it gives me anxiety”, then it’s time to make a few changes. Here, I’ll give you 10 actions you can consider. This way, you will be able to find the most reasonable solution for your situation. But first…
What Are the Psychological Effects of Hating Your Job?
Are there any psychological effects of hating your job? Yes. Let’s go over a few of them:
- Stress and anxiety. If you’re unsatisfied at work, you’ll feel constant negativity every single day. Even just to get out of bed is a burden. You dread your commute because it will take you to the workplace. You hate having to plaster a big smile every day even though you’re dying inside. All that produces a lot of stress and anxiety.
- Depression. If you hate your current job, that will significantly impact your mental health. You feel unmotivated. You feel undervalued. You feel like you’re wasting your life away. All this can lead to deep depression. 25% of US workers were diagnosed with depression during certain points of their lives.
- Burnout. Hating your job can contribute to burnout, a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. The constant strain of disliking the work you do can deplete your energy and enthusiasm. This makes it challenging to continue productivity and motivation.
- Decreased self-esteem. If you work day in and day out at a boring job or a toxic workplace, you’ll start to feel unappreciated or undervalued. You’ll start to believe that you’re not worth anything but punching in information on that spreadsheet or dealing with that nightmare client.
- Strained relationships. If you don’t have a healthy work-life balance, then your negative emotions for your job can spill over to your personal life. You’ll find yourself snapping at your partner or children for no reason. You’ll be so occupied with work you won’t find time to hang out with your friends and family.
As you can see, it’s never pleasant to be stuck in a job you hate. So what should you do to remove the anxiety and the other negative impacts? Let’s find out!
10 Actions to Consider if You Hate Your Job So Much It Gives You Anxiety
For those of us who hate our jobs, we instantly think, “My job gives me anxiety, should I quit?” That seems like the best solution, doesn’t it? However, it’s not always the most responsible one.
Are you a parent, maybe a single parent? Do you have to take care of your partner or aging parents? All these responsibilities change the equation of quitting quite a lot. If you are 25 years old, single, and have no debt quitting is a much lower-risk choice. You have much more room to choose. But with children or a family to care for these doors might be closed to you. Such is the reality of taking on responsibility.
Whatever your situation, here are 10 actions you can consider if you’re complaining, “I hate my job so much it gives me anxiety”:
- Prioritize self-care
- Create an exit strategy
- Make the change
- Vent your feelings
- Cultivate a supportive network
- Stick to your job description
- Do activities that bring joy and a sense of purpose
- Seek professional guidance
- Establish boundaries at work
- Quit your job
1. Prioritize self-care
Self-care goes a long way in countering your negativity towards work. If you always give your time and effort to your boss, and then your family, you’ll never have any time for yourself. This not only makes you more anxious, it will make you hate your job more and more.
This is why it’s a good idea to make time for yourself. You can take the weekend off and just do something that you love. You can spend time alone reading a book. You can hang out with your friends you haven’t seen in a long time. You can go to a salon and get your hair or nails done.
If you do this, you might not even feel the anxiousness you usually do before you get to work on Monday. You’ll feel relaxed and refreshed. It doesn’t mean you’ll love your job, but it will definitely help your anxiety and make work more bearable.
Orla O’Callaghan from Laya Healthcare, says:
Self-care is a crucial part of looking after yourself, as well as others. When you practice self-care you produce positive feelings, which boosts motivation and self-esteem leaving you with increased energy to support yourself as well as your loved ones.
2. Create an exit strategy
One reason why people hate work so much is because they feel stuck. They can’t afford to quit. They think that they are destined to live their life dissatisfied or just plain bored with their current role.
However, if you have an exit strategy, you’ll start to relax. If the work-related stress is too much to bear, you have a lifeline – you have a plan to exit and start a new job. Of course, it will take time to plan out the perfect strategy.
You may need to put in extra work to gain a new skill. You may need to fit in a side hustle or a freelancer job. You might need to study an online course or gain some experience through volunteer work. But if you know that this will lead to your exit from your shitty job, it will be worth the extra effort.
3. Make the change
Ask yourself one question, “Why do you hate work so much?” Is it a coworker? Your boss? Maybe it’s the job itself. Maybe your personality doesn’t match what you do. Or, maybe you just have the wrong attitude toward work?
When you can pinpoint the answer to this question, it will be easier to make a change and avoid anxiety and stress. If you wait for others to change or fix the situation for you, nothing is going to happen. YOU have to take control of the situation.
If one coworker is a bully and lets everyone else do their work, you can muster up the courage to talk to them about it. If your boss hardly gives you any feedback, you might want to ask them for encouragement. Sometimes, people at work are not terrible – they’re just not aware of how you feel.
If you hate the mundane tasks you do every day, you can go to your manager and ask for a different role. Be honest and tell them that you’re not putting your skills to good use. Plenty of times, people will consider the changes you want to make.
What if you have a bad attitude? Well, the problem is YOU and not your work at all. You should find ways to help you see the positive aspects of your job.
4. Vent your feelings
Here’s another reason why people hate their jobs so much it causes anxiety: They’re tired of pretending. There’s a lot of unhappiness and dissatisfaction in your life, yet you have to fake a big smile every time you enter the building. You dislike a teammate or boss, yet you have to give a cheery “Hello!” every time you meet them. You don’t want to take part in that boring project, yet you raise your hand immediately when the boss asks who wants to take charge of it.
Your life is one whole lie and it causes anxiety attacks. If this is you, then it will do wonders to vent your feelings to someone you trust. It can be your partner or a good friend. It can even be an understanding colleague or supportive boss.
Sharing our emotions reduces our stress while making us feel closer to others we share with and providing a sense of belonging. When we open up our inner selves and people respond with sympathy, we feel seen, understood, and supported.
5. Cultivate a supportive network
Say you like your job but the work environment is too toxic or the company culture is too strict. If you can’t escape that, then you need to create a safe space. Find the colleagues that you get along with. Build a supportive network with them.
If you do this, you’ll find that it isn’t so hard to get to work when you know you have your people. You can spend the day with them. You can vent your feelings to each other. You can find ways to make the day not so miserable together.
If you’re an introvert and don’t get along well with anyone at work, you can cultivate a support network online. Professional platforms like LinkedIn will help you find people who are in the same situation as you. And who knows, you might be able to snag an opportunity at another job through your network.
6. Stick to your job description
If you go above and beyond your job description, that will create a lot of pressure and stress on your part. Feeling like you gotta handle extra tasks or work late can make you not like your job, especially when the money doesn’t line up with all that extra hustle you’re putting in.
You have to know the workload you can handle. That can mean something as simple as not checking your email during the weekends to not accepting a project even if your boss expects you to do it. This way, you won’t get anxiety because you’re overworked.
If you just do this, you might find that your job isn’t so bad after all. You just have to accept that you can’t do everything. Also, if you stick to what you know and do an excellent job at it, your job satisfaction might improve.
7. Do activities that bring joy and a sense of purpose
If your life revolves around work that brings anxiety, you’ll start to hate it with a passion. Well, you can balance it out by doing activities that bring joy and a sense of purpose.
If the work you do is unsatisfactory, you can counter that by doing something that satisfies you, whether that’s helping out people in need or spending time with your children. This will add a new purpose to your life. Moreover, you need to do things you enjoy, too. Remember what I said about prioritizing self-care? I’m repeating that here because it’s just too important to skip.
8. Seek professional guidance
Some people enter a spiral of depression and anxiety, to the point that they can’t even find the will to change. If this is you, then the best advice is to seek professional guidance.
Therapy will be a great help. It will allow you to refocus, find a purpose, get back your motivation, etc. You can also hire a career coach to help you in your next steps to improving your work-life balance, reducing work anxiety, and finding ways to get a job you actually like.
When you have a professional by your side, you won’t have to deal with all the stresses of making your own decisions.
9. Establish boundaries at work
If you say “yes” to every single person, you’ll soon be overloaded with things to do. You’ll start to get anxious because you need to complete this deadline and that deadline. You’ll be constantly overworked and start to grow a deep sense of hatred for your workplace.
But if you establish boundaries, you can experience relief. Setting realistic expectations for your workload and working hours can help alleviate stress and prevent burnout. Here’s what Kathy Kinghorn from Therapy Utah says:
“Healthy boundaries make it possible to focus on our own needs and communicate them to others effectively, reducing the anxiety caused by overcommitment, self-neglecting, and feeling unsupported.”
10. Quit your job
If you are at your breaking point, then maybe it’s time to quit your job. It’s not worth the panic attacks and great anxiety. If it reaches this, you can send in your resignation, with or without a plan for the future. But again, you have to think about it carefully. No rash decisions.
You can talk about it to your spouse, a career coach, a therapist, or someone you trust. If your work is causing harm to your mental and physical health, and you really want to quit, then you can make the jump. It will be scary, to be sure. But it might just be the thing you needed to get your life back together.
If you’re in a constant state of “I hate my job so much it gives me anxiety”, you can consider the 10 actions I provided here. This will help alleviate your stress and make your work a bit more bearable. However, if none of those work, then it’s a good idea to consider quitting your job and find another job that you love.