When you think about getting up and going to work what comes to your mind? Joy, happiness, courage? Or hatred backed with intense rage because you have to see your boss, again? Chances are, it’s something related to the latter.
Nowadays, more than 70 percent of workers say they don’t feel satisfied with what they do. There are countless job postings online but unfortunately, we’re still unsatisfied with our career choices and with what we do in general.
But why is that? Why do people feel major dissatisfaction about the work they do at their jobs?
Well, if you ask most of the online experts they’ll tell you that it’s because you fear stepping outside of your comfort zone. And even though this is kind of true, it doesn’t actually help you understand what you should do next. It’s only half of the story.
So, let me make things right and explain what’s wrong with your job and why the hell you despise all your mornings and live only for the weekends.
3 Major Reasons Why You Probably Hate Your Job
Reason #1: Because You’re Not In Good Relationship With Your Boss
OK, we’ll start with the obvious stuff. You can read about these all around the internet. That’s why, I’m not going to bore you with these apparent facts to death. I’m just going to mention them real quick. You probably hate your job because you’re not in good relationship with your boss, which also, in most cases, includes one of the following:
- You’re not getting enough money;
- You feel terrible and underappreciated;
- Your office is kind of far and you feel like you’re wasting your whole day commuting;
- You don’t have free coffee at the office;
These problems are common and a lot of people suffer from them.
The solution here is quite seeable: If you don’t feel appreciated in your current position, you just need to find another place to belong.
Easy, right? A real no-brainer. You just open your browser of choice and you search for something better. Nowadays finding a job is rather easy. You can read reviews; See what skills major companies are looking for and learn them yourself; Also, distance is no longer a problem. You have the opportunity to work from home.
So, there’s basically no limit for finding a better job as long as you have the needed skills. If there’s a skill you don’t possess, you only need to learn it.
However, often we switch jobs and we’re still unsatisfied. That’s common. Don’t worry. Reason 3 is all about this.
That’s it about reason #1. Let’s move on.
Here things get more exciting…
Reason #2: Because While You’re Working, Others Are Travelling The World
In the world where you can basically have everything physical delivered to your doorstep in less than 48 hours, I mean, you don’t have to be Rockefeller to afford roof above your head, regularly get a latte from the local Starbucks, and all the other essential components for your survival, traveling has become the new luxury item.
And if you’re not one of the self-proclaimed Instagram influencers (or bloated with money) who constantly demand free stuff, lodging and food in exchange for hot, half-nude content, statistically, you travel once per year for around 6 days.1 And what do you do during the remaining 359 days? You wish you could be self-proclaimed Instagram influencers so you can take photos with coconuts, banana trees, signature cocktails, and hope to get free stuff.
But since you’re still not, (if you are please share my content with your huge following) or you’re not doing anything specific to reach this goal, you get sad every time you open your Gram profile. You compare the beautifully arranged photos online with the surrounding unfiltered place you’re currently situated and the harsh reality makes you cry.
But it’s not only traveling. If you’re into gaming, or youtubing, or into one of the other activities that promote the easy life, every time you unlock your phone and use it for a bit you’ll feel sadness, envy, and you’ll burst into tears.
So, to define the second big reason why we hate our jobs we should say something like this: You compare yourself with the whole world and if what you do is not fulfilling, you feel like shit.
A simple way to stop the agonizing pain is to quit social media altogether. However, we all know how this eventually turns out. We stop using these online addiction platforms for a while but we quickly get back on the mindless scrolling game because we think that we’re missing out on things. In reality, however, the only thing we miss out on is meaningful interactions with the people who are already around us.
How do we fix this then? I’m glad you asked.
There is another way to eat, drink, and afford fancy vacations, despite constantly sharing your seemingly perfect life with complete strangers – find real work that feels fulfilling.
Before discussing this, let’s see what’s the real reason we hate our jobs…
Reason #3: Because Modern Work Leads to Alienation [Most Important]
Let say you’re working at the local factory, producing cogs. These cogs go into other cogs, and eventually, when all the produced cogs and other parts from the different assembly lines are put together they end up forming a giant machine that distillates huge quantities of water.
In general, the work you do matters for other people, but what you’re doing yourself, all day long, feels dump, meaningless, and insignificant. But that’s how things are nowadays.
For better or worse, modern work has become incredibly specialized. That’s the only way we can keep up with the growing demand for more goods.
In order for companies to increase productivity, they need to break down complex tasks into simpler ones. To disassemble the whole process of producing something big, into smaller assembly lines were tasks are effortless. Even though thanks to this realization back in the day production skyrocketed, this led to drained workers who feel miserable. As if we’re stripped of our emotions and deepest desires.
That’s the main reason people hate what they do nowadays: they feel like machines. Doing endless sequences of mindless tasks that have to be repeated constantly, in order for them to do a good job and afford a 5-day vacation overseas once per year.
But this repetitive motion of pointless work brings little psychological satisfaction. I mean, dumb jobs like an elevator operator or a sign spinner still exist. And the worse thing of all is that often you don’t have any other choice. You’re kind of bound doing the unwanted labor as a means of survival, for you and for your family. The work you do is often not voluntary, rather mandatory. And not working, the alternative, will lead to your inability to provide food and shelter for your family, which might lead to you going back to live with your parents. Or worse, with your mother in law! Oh, the horror!
Put simply, modern work leads to alienation.2 Or in other words, a feeling of disconnection between what you do all day and who you really are deep inside. If you hate what you’re doing, you’ll only feel like yourself outside of work. The work you do will feel external to you, foreign.
For example, if you end up working as an accountant, but if you absolutely hate budgets and organizing financial records, you’re basically wearing a mask for at least 8 hours a day. Pretending you’re someone you’re not. Feeling miserable, unhappy, drained.
And do you know what happens when your job feels meaningless?
Shitting things. Things like this: Symptoms of depression and anxiety. Actually, the number of people experiencing depression is increasing yearly. Every year the levels of life satisfaction are decreasing. Drug overdoses reached an all-time high in the United States and Canada in 2018 and the trend is troubling.3 Feelings of loneliness and social isolation are up…
And all kind of other crap that makes you feel down.
Is there a way out of this emotional hell and seemingly inescapable tunnel of forced work?
I’m glad you asked. There is. But it’s not easy.
How To Hate What You Do a Bit Less?
Nowadays, our means of survival is based on monetary exchange. You no longer have to track animal footprints and kill them to have something to eat. We did that for thousands of years. Now we need to make money. But in order to make money, we have no other choice than to sell our labor power in exchange for cash which we can later use to buy goods.
And since the cash part is the constant magnitude in this equation, we need to work on the second part in order to improve our emotional state and how we feel about ourselves – the labor part.
Labor, work, gives us a chance to externalize what’s inside us. For instance, writers, musicians, poets, and craftsmen often enjoy what they do because they express themselves with their music, books, poems, the goods they produce. And since people like what they do, they get paid for this. They make money and therefore have enough means to keep doing what they do best, art.
So, the way out of this madness is quite simple – do something that aligns with your values, and most importantly, with yourself as a person.
That’s why people go crazy when someone shares the following quote on their social media account:
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Work can be one of the sources of our greatest joys. But in order for this to happen, you need to see yourself in the objects you’re creating. Basically, what you’re producing to feel like part of yourself.
In short, to hate what you do less, and to finally feel content with your work, these two things need to happen:
- Create things that are meaningful to you, i.e. represent yourself with your work;
- Create a system to sell your work to other people so you can sustain your lifestyle;
You’ll be truly happy only when the above two exist. Lose one of the two, and you’ll end up assembling little pieces together in a large factory where you don’t even know the guy standing beside you.
For instance, you may be an artist and you may adore what you create, but if you can’t sell enough of your paintings (you lack option 2), or market yourself appropriately, you’ll be miserable. You’ll desperately want to be a full-time artist but since you don’t make enough money, you’ll work yourself to the bone – working from 9 to 5 in the office and painting on the streets on the weekends.
On the other hand, you might be an expert developer. You might be good at creating sites, setting up eCommerce websites, crafting complicated systems. But if you have nothing to sell (lack option 1), you should go back a step and check the job market.
In essence, the sweet spot looks like this:
Only when the work you do feels meaningful to you specifically, and you’re able to package it and sell it to others, you’ll be satisfied with your existence.
After all, a large portion of our days is spent at work.4 We might as well do something we enjoy. Something others will be willing to pay us good money for.
Some Closing Thoughts
You don’t have to blame your boss or the job market for your misery. In order for labor to flourish, complicated tasks have to be simplified. That’s the only way we can advance as a species and achieve new technological heights.
Unfortunately, the price we pay is literally killing us.
The solution to hate your job less and to actually enjoy what you do is rather simple: Find a way to sell what you enjoy doing to others.
- If you find joy in writing, write and strive to make writing your main income stream;
- Enjoy playing video games? Become the best streamer and make others support you while you play games;
- Love to travel? You already know what you need to do. Document your journeys online and make others jealous.
It’s your turn now: What do you enjoy doing? How can you market it?
Answering these questions will give you a sense of direction and starting point.
Do yourself a favor:
Join Going Further: A 13-day email series on how to keep progressing in a world tirelessly pushing toward regression. Great for people who feel stuck in the endless loop of not doing.
- OK, the stats are not 100% concrete, but from what I found out, only around 12% of Americans are traveling overseas. Here we’re not talking about visiting your parents for Christmas.
- The whole idea about this is from Marx’s theory of alienation.
- Unfortunately, more than 2 million Americans are now hooked on some kind of opioid, and drug overdoses – source.
- The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. That’s 3750 days. Or 10 years.