Career Advice

My 9 to 5 Job is Killing Me: How to Fix a [Dead-End] Career  

Have you ever said to yourself, “My 9 to 5 job is killing me”? Is it killing your body because it’s physically demanding, torturing your soul because of negativity, or demotivating you because it’s dead-end?

Do you have to quit a dead-end job, or is there a way to fix it? Here’s some helpful information concerning that issue.

What Is a Dead-End Job?

When workers refer to a job as “dead-end,” they usually mean it doesn’t lead to anything. The path there doesn’t route them to career advancement, and the workers can only stay stagnant in that one spot or turn around (quit) and go the other way. There may be a way to walk past the blocked-off road, but it will require them to dirty their shoes or trek through territories that aren’t designed for their travels.

Jobs are typically considered “dead-end” after an employee goes for promotion and realizes it will never happen. A job can also be a dead-end for a person who isn’t seeking advancement, though. The inability to receive fair treatment, respect, human decency, or appreciation can make employees resent their workplace and dislike going there every day.

Is It Normal To Hate Your Job Everyday?

Hate is such a strong word, and it signifies a severe issue. Most workers don’t hate their jobs daily. Some have a few gripes because no job is perfect, but their level of contentment is ordinarily medium to high.

Hatred for one’s job is the huge red flag of a mismatch or a problem with the employer that the worker hides to extend the stay for monetary reasons. It’s probably time to leave your job for good if you hate it every day.

Should I Quit My Job?

You’ve complained to other people, “I feel like quitting my job everyday,” but should you? Leaving a job is a decision that only you can make. You cannot base the decision on what other people think of you, the employer’s needs, or the “good parts” of the experience.

You must reflect on the entire experience, dissect it, and decide based on the whole picture. Ask yourself these three little questions before you quit and review your answers thoroughly:

Does this job help or hurt my quality of life?

The question above is the million-dollar self-inquiry. If the job doesn’t make you happier, wealthier, or more skilled for a career, it probably isn’t something to cherish.

Can I do without this job?

Most people hold onto unfavorable jobs because they think they need them to survive. Do you need this particular position to survive, or can you stand to start fresh somewhere else? Are you willing to risk failure, start from the bottom, and work toward a promising new career with in-demand skills?

What would be a good reason for staying there?

Write down one reason to justify staying at a place you dislike going to. It’s probably time to exit if you can’t think of a single cause.

Will I Regret Quitting My Job?

Whether you will regret quitting your job depends on why you leave and why you feel it’s a dead-end career. It also depends on whether a considerable solution is available. These are the top reasons people quit their 9-to-5 jobs, according to CBS News and other reputable sources:

Lack of Appreciation

More than 30 percent of workers leave their jobs because they don’t feel noticed, valued, or appreciated. They feel like they dedicate their time, energy, and efforts to an organization or boss who doesn’t view them as anything but money makers or placeholders. Feeling underappreciated is a deflating experience that could make some workers dislike their jobs.

You may or may not regret leaving a position like that because the journey could go either way once you leave. You might land a job with another company that recognizes your strengths, skills, talents, etc., and treats you with respect.

On the other hand, you might sign up with an organization that shares the same sentiment as the last. Then, you may carry minimal regret over leaving your other employer because you have to start from scratch with no promise of a brighter career future.

The problem of low employee appreciation is a deeply engrained issue, however. The probability of it changing at your former place of employment is almost zero, especially if you’ve already spent several years of your time there.

You can think of it as a bad relationship in a way. Unappreciative partners typically don’t “come around” and change their minds about how much they value the other person. Thus, you’ll most likely be making a wise decision if you choose to leave a job that didn’t appreciate you during your stay.

Read More: 10 Signs You Are Not Valued At Work (And Ways To Cope With It)  

Toxic Culture

Environmental departures follow the same principle as underappreciation exits. You may carry a temporary feeling of regret because of the few friendly acquaintances you might have had at your workplace.

However, toxic workplaces usually do not change, and the regret you feel will subside after you understand and accept that truth. You’ve most likely done everything you could do to make things better. Saying goodbye isn’t a wrong move if you’ve exhausted all available resolution options.

Low Pay

You probably won’t regret leaving over low pay because it’s usually set in stone. If the income doesn’t work for you, a $.25 raise isn’t going to help much.

You might enjoy the job, but you have to think about your survival. Therefore, it won’t be an unwise decision to leave a job if you can’t get a higher pay rate or advance to a position that offers one.

No Advancement Opportunities

Many people quit their jobs and consider them dead-end positions because they can’t get promoted. Leaving the first time you don’t get promoted isn’t always wise, though. Thus, you can give it another shot if you get passed over once.

Try talking to some managers and workers about what the company expects of employees they promote. Ask the person who interviewed you to give you feedback that can help you meet their requirements for the next round. Practice having interviews with other people, and be ready to explain what you can do to benefit the organization if they offer you a promotion.

Try at least one more time to obtain the promotion you desire. It’s unlikely you’ll get one if you do all those things and still get passed over several times. The rejections might mean that particular company doesn’t wish to have you on their management team, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change that.

At that point, you won’t regret leaving if career advancement is essential to you. It truly is a dead-end experience, and you’ll be better off starting someplace new.

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Scheduling Issues

Scheduling conflicts are a common theme behind resignations. Your job might offer shifts you feel are unhealthy or workdays that conflict with your childcare needs, family time, religious preferences, or something else. In that situation, you’ll want to speak to your managers and HR department to find out if anything else is available.

Maybe they have an unadvertised position you can grab or a special shift you can work at another facility until something changes. There might even be accommodation you can receive to allow you to work with the employer. You will probably regret leaving if you don’t try to see if you can work it out first. It’s worth a try before you throw in the towel on the entire job.

What To Do To Salvage a Dead-End Job

You’re probably at your wit’s end if you say, “My 9 to 5 job is killing me.” These are some things you can do before you walk away forever:

Talk to management.

Your supervisor should be the first person you talk to about the problem making you say, “My 9 to 5 job is killing me.” If you’re physically ill, see a doctor and take a leave of absence. File a complaint if you’re experiencing some harassment.

Inquire about how you can position yourself for a promotion if your bosses have rejected you. Speak to the regional manager or HR department if your direct supervisors can’t solve the issue.

Transfer to a different department or location.

Sometimes, a good transfer is all that’s necessary to eliminate an issue. Other times, workers experience more of the same when they change departments or buildings. It’s worth trying, but there might not be much hope if you’ve already done it and experienced the same issues.

Try to find joy in something.

You can try to hold onto whatever you love about the job. Maybe you enjoy the work tasks or the customers, but the workplace drains your energy. You might get by for a few weeks, months, or perhaps even years by focusing on the “good parts,” but the bad will always be in the back of your mind.

Ultimately, it’s your decision whether to stay or leave a job. You probably have an at-will arrangement that you or the employer can end at any time.

Life is short, and it’s something everyone should cherish. The older you get, the more valuable every day becomes. That being said, you shouldn’t stay on any assignment that isn’t fulfilling. Consider this as you think about whether you want to quit your 9-to-5 job and choose the best path for yourself.

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About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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