Why Do So Many People Hate Their Jobs?

Why are we so dissatisfied with our work?

You’ve heard about it in the halls. Around the water cooler. At parties. When you pick up your son or granddaughter. No matter where you go, at least one person is complaining about their job.

But it’s still surprising to see the statistics around work. The Conference Board recently published results regarding their latest survey on job satisfaction. They found that 51% of employees feel overall satisfaction with their jobs. Although this is actually an upward-trending number, the fact that 49% of workers remain unsatisfied is concerning, to say the least. In addition, workers noted disappointment in regard to the professional development aspects of their job. Meaning they gave the lowest marks to educational/job training programs. Other low categories include workload, the performance review process, and promotion policy.

But what else goes into hating a job? And what can you do about it?

Perceived Lack of Choice

Think of this as the “work just to get a paycheck” mentality. At a base level, many people only work to afford living expenses, pay student loans, enjoy hobbies, and fund college for kids. The majority often end up working for other reasons (parents’ expectations, to get married, to support children, etc.).

You might have dreams outside of your current company, but can’t risk pursuing those dreams because of monetary obligations. So, sometimes you sit at the same job, day after day, working on autopilot, just waiting for retirement.

The only way to get around this is to break free of constraints. If you truly hate your job, you should quit. But the future is scary. As a solution, consider working other jobs part-time, and think of it as a trial run. And if you just plain hate the industry you’re working in? Seek out online classes or night school to learn a new trade.

Office Drama

Your cubicle mate chews loudly, every day.  Amanda in Sales is jealous of your promotion. Your boss refuses to let you advance because he needs you to keep reporting to him. You just can’t get past that glass ceiling.

Office drama comes in many shapes and forms, from annoying coworker habits to illegal activity at the top of the food chain. No matter the severity of the drama, it can easily affect your work satisfaction.

For smaller issues, try contacting managers to discuss options. Or if you have a horrible boss, you can ask to move departments (just make sure to document all abusive behavior).

But for problems up at the top? It might be time to leave. To ensure that you don’t end up encountering another unstable company culture, check out Glassdoor, a site where employees can review companies. That way you’ll have a better idea of what you’re in for.

You’re Underpaid

This is a big one. Earlier we mentioned that, at a base level, most of us work to get a paycheck. If you’re working more than what your paycheck is worth, you’re going to be unhappy.

You see other people get promotions or raises and just grow even more unsatisfied with your job. You work harder than them—why haven’t you gotten a raise?

In many cases, this is because you haven’t asked for one. Asking is tough; we get that. That’s why we’ve provided the tools you need to negotiate a raise. And if they won’t pay what you’re worth? Start looking elsewhere. The job search can be intimidating, but what have you got to lose? In a worst case scenario, you’ll keep working where you are. But you deserve the chance to find something better.

And Express Employment Professionals can help. Let us do the job search for you. We work with employers all across the United States and Canada, and we know exactly what they’re looking for. Odds are, you’ll make the perfect candidate for one of those companies. Register online or locate an office near you.

Do you hate your job? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. Scott Jensen

    The reason people don’t like there job’s is because some are working in job’s that they don’t want to do, like me. some are dumped on every day because management can’t/won’t hire more help and still more are tired of being underpaid and dumped on with extra work. I went to school to drive semi’s and when I got out in the real world I couldn’t even get a truck driver interview because I didn’t have experience and I have been working in meaningless warehouse jobs most of my life and I have no interest in working in this field but I don’t know what I want to do work wise and I am not going to school any more, been there ,done that 4 times for training with nothing to show.

  2. Khaitlin

    I don’t hate my job anymore. But, so many hate their jobs because it’s so much work for so little pay. No benefits for employees, terrible bosses, etc.
    A lot of jobs require insane amounts of experience for entry level positions that also pay so little.
    I have seen many jobs ask for a Bachelor’s but pay $11 an hour. That’s pathetic.

  3. Laura

    I didn’t care for my job either and when I was laid off I thought it was the worst thing to happen. Turns out it was the best thing! I was forced to find another industry. I got specific training and licensing and that was key – specific training and licensing. Now I am paid what I’m worth and I like going to work everyday!

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  4. Calleigh

    People grow to hate their jobs because the work is unfulfilling, repetitive and boring. Petty office politics are usually rife in these jobs.

    Many people pick jobs simply because they were hired and can do them not because they like or even wanted the job. Time passes, they’ve invested a few years, took on some life responsibilities and become settled and complacent.

    The idea of having to uproot, train and start at ‘the bottom’ in a different but more suitable field keeps many people stuck in mediocre jobs basically doing time. They do the minimum and get that blank expression on their faces. Low grade misery affects their mental and physical health, family and social life.

    Some fortunate people know at an early age what they want to do and go after it. Many others search and/or fall into a field they like.

    Those who invested, trained and developed a skill for their positions enjoy much higher levels of satisfaction and tend to love their work as they are fulfilled.

  5. Peggy Bowen

    The only thing left out was coworkers and bosses making your life miserable. I loved my job and the work I did and the people I got to work with. I was at my job for seven years and my boss and her tattle tail just would not leave me alone. They harassed me about everything, could not do anything right. Comments made about everything that was said and tattle tail not repeating how it really happened. I just had to resign. On my last day, no one told me goodbye. I never knew why they hated me so much.

  6. Cheryl

    I hate my job because I work my but off and can’t even get a promotion. I’ve been working in customer service for 20 years and even hold a Master’s degree in Business administration specialization in management and I can’t even get a chance to step into management. I know I can do the job but no one will give me the opportunity to prove it. I’m overworked and extremely underpaid.

  7. Christiane

    For me I love my job and I’m happy when I worked but the problems is about the pay.
    The pay it’s so little.

  8. Mari

    After reading this article, I couldn’t agree more because those are the top three reasons why people hate their jobs. I made a decision resign after working in the county for years because I was tired of seeing people who climb up the ladder without the proper qualifications, the preferential treatment given to people since she was the daughter of a sheriff or married to an attorney, being blamed for someone else’s mistake, and underpaid. I think it was the right choice because it’s given me a further opportunity to reflect and develop new skills. I’m crossing my Fingers to find the job that I love.

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