Why do I hate my job?
If you catch yourself asking this question too frequently, it might not be as serious as a mid-life or mid-career crisis.
Probably there’s a simple explanation. When you hate your job but you can’t quit, making a few adjustments can help reduce the stress and the hate. Guest blogger Rohit Gupta digs in to find out what you’ve been trying to hide in your backyard.
Being a part of corporate workforce, you are now used to juggle between your work-life and real life, health and job, urgent and important tasks.
But you don’t seem to be happy; you just see your job as a ‘job’ and not a career. You are pretty clear about what work is and what play is for you, and that corporate stint is definitely not play!
You somehow know deep within your heart that you could do so much better, that you could be so much freer in your thoughts and execution; if only you were not constrained by the surprisingly durable fetters of your day job.
You also know deep within that you won’t be making a substantial dent in the world around and/or scooping up shitloads of money through your regular corporate day job (incorruptible hard-workers!) sitting in your cubicle. That you will hit a glass ceiling no matter what, as your boss decides what to put on your table, dude/dudette.
The youthful dreams get beaten up into an unidentifiable pulp amidst a territory defined by ever-expanding comfort zones and mind-numbing status quo; the implicit requirement of latest gizmos and a beautiful bride notwithstanding (sorry, but no sorry). How will you frigging pay for your home loan if not for your job?
And then, you occasionally turn into a fierce patriot intensely worried about the state of the nation’s economy as you fret about the taxes levied on you, and yet nothing to show. There can be innumerable reasons to hate jobs, as in seriously. While shitty co-workers, long hours and low pay top the list in general, it may be something as innocuous as finding the work boring (which is still classified as a first world problem by your Dad, BTW).
In this tough macroeconomic environment, you cannot be too sure of your place in the firm. If you happen to be in an unfortunate spot where you can be ‘given the axe’ (there won’t be any girls chasing you for this one), you are in for perpetual agony.
In a tensed environment like this, if you think you are surrounded by sharks who will shred you to pieces the moment they get half a chance, you are probably right.
True, your corporate establishment is not some sluggish government office where one has to face red tape.
But what about the presentation you made yesterday that was revised just because you had to follow some arbitrary guidelines set by the manager who doesn’t know the unique requirements of your project (and yours of course, duh).
Or the four emails you had sent, asking for the permission to install that web browser?
Probably the most ‘trending’ after the release of 3 Idiots (maybe we should plot the stats for campus placements in India pre and post the movie release, a random idea!).
How can you put your heart out in making financial reports when your mind is weaving its own story? How can you test a code when the riffs of your first guitar melody ring in your ears day-in and day-out? (Okay, cheesy alert).
And the sad truth is— if misaligned passion is a case of chronic constipation, having no-passion is an epidemic. Firstly, herd mentality is a default feature in the Indian set-up (read about Maslow’s hierarchy for better insights).
Second, after years of no risk environment and outsourcing of critical life decisions, a typical middle-class adult is like a domesticated deer whose chances of survival are bleak if thrown into wild without conditioning.
The allure of money is too strong, but what if the salary is shitty too? Or the promotional graph looks like Government’s five-year plan?
The realization when dawns makes you crib and fume, not to mention all the job searches on forums while utilizing your deep ‘network’ in a never ending hope to always earn more than your brother in law.
Imagine the plight of a teetotaler in a brewery. A law abiding citizen in a firm which cooks its books? A benign case of a solo worker in an organization which thrives on team work.
You somehow convinced the interview panel that you were an excellent ‘fit’, and now you contemplate whether you made a mistake. Burn in hell, you deceitful liar.
You are not given enough say in the organization because you are a replaceable cog. There are so many pirated versions of yours floating around in the ecosphere, dying to work for the company on a lesser salary for longer hours.
Your skill set might not be that unique after all, make a prayer to sweet mother of technology that your job is not automated as of yet (or further outsourced to Philippines!)
There is a sweet spot when it comes to challenging work, too much challenge can deflate a person, while too little challenge can bore-to-the-core. Unfortunately, with outsourced processes becoming our major chunk of bread and butter, the bubbling youth is not challenged enough in most cases (calculus will be a useful life-long tool, those days).
High supply of talented people+ low demand for good work= Underemployed populace. Period.
Last, but obviously not the least. Ask the free bird who is now micromanaged, the hard worker who doesn’t get due credit and the moralist who thinks that the boss has a slightly less harsh attitude towards the fairer sex. Bosses as a breed have a bad reputation since time immemorial.
“Entrepreneurs ask us all the time how we figure out the valuation of a startup company. Most VCs suggest that this is a very mysterious art. But actually it’s quite simple: To determine the fair value of a startup company, multiply the numbers of engineers by $250,000, add $250,000 for each engineer from IIT, and then subtract $500,000 for each MBA.”
— Guy Kawasaki (Read his interview on MBA Crystal Ball)
This is by no means an attempt towards making you feel worthless. Shit happens. You can be proactive and find a job which proves to be great for you, or better yet, you can build a side business on your own. Say bye-bye— Social media, Game of Thrones, IPL et al.
Dream. Build. Inspire. Get.Off.Your.Butt.
Author Bio: I am Rohit, an engineer by education, a data analyst by profession and a reader by inclination. Since 2012, I’ve been writing about self-improvement, productivity, coping with life as it comes and just being plain happy.
Next time when you say, ‘I hate my job‘, ask yourself if any of these reasons might be responsible for it. Often it could be a combination of factors, not just one.
If self introspection isn’t working and you’d like a helping hand, a little career counselling can be helpful in clearing up the cobwebs and charting out a way to stop hating your job.