Do You Hate Your Job or Do You Hate Your Boss?
There is a well-known saying that people quit bosses, not their jobs.
Research data also claims the same.
A recent poll run by Find My Profession found that, among more than 2,500 participants, a staggering 66% think the biggest reason people hate their job is due to a bad boss.
DDI, a leadership consulting firm, conducted research to discover that 57 percent of employees have left a job because of their managers.
Interestingly, roughly 85% of the global workforce is not satisfied with their job.
So, don’t feel surprised if you are among that staggering majority.
In short, it’s important that you find out what exactly you hate about your work.
Do you hate your job, or do you hate your boss?
These are two very different issues that would lead to very different next steps.
Here are a few primary questions, each with a subset of clarifying questions, to help you discover the core issue of your workplace challenges.
Is your boss toxic or just annoying?
First, ask yourself this tricky question: How much can you tolerate your boss?
We can safely assume that you don’t really enjoy working with him or her.
But what exactly is the problem with your boss that’s causing you trouble?
- Is their behavior unreasonable?
- Are their expectations unrealistic?
- Do they never appreciate your work?
If your answer to these questions is yes, then your boss is probably a toxic person.
On the other hand, some personality traits can feel annoying, yet they are not job-threatening, such as…
- Talking too much
- Forgetting things regularly
- Giving vague instructions
- Calling after office hours
Consider these two aspects of toxicity versus annoyance to figure out how much you really hate your boss.
If it’s reaching the level of toxicity, you should consider switching jobs.
If they are just annoying, and you like the job you are doing, sticking with it might be your best option. Still, you might want to address certain issues, especially if they are important to you.
For instance, does your boss call you in the evenings for work-related matters when you are trying to spend time with your family?
If so, let him or her know that you simply will not be available past a certain time of day.
Can you advance your career where you are?
How long have you held the same position at your current job?
Way too long?
If this is the case, consider these few questions:
- Do you feel frustrated due to a lack of progress?
- When was your last raise?
- Is there any possibility of getting higher up the ladder any time soon?
You might try to find out the answers to these questions by looking at your colleagues.
How long does it usually take for them to get promoted?
What’s the company policy in these situations?
You can also consider setting up a meeting with your boss or supervisor to ask for their honest feedback on your performance and the possibility of career growth.
If the feeling of being stuck is paramount and you feel like you are wasting your career, move on!
Are you valued at work?
This question can seem more difficult to answer quantitatively, but consider these next questions to help you determine just how much your work is valued:
- Do you often feel like your work is being taken for granted?
- Are you ever assigned to important projects or tasks?
- Does management prefer someone else over you for handling high-end projects?
- Are they offering you any training opportunities or constructive feedback?
- Is the company willing to invest in your growth and development?
Taking time to answer these questions will help you determine whether you are valued at work or not.
If you realize your time and efforts are not being valued as much as they should be, try probing deeper:
- What dynamics are at play here?
- What situations make you feel less valued?
- Is there a certain person who makes you feel this way?
- Is anything lacking on your end (i.e., poor performance)?
- Are you facing bias at work from management or your boss?
Also, consider talking with your boss or the management team about these matters. Perhaps something can be done to improve the workplace dynamics.
Would you enjoy your work if your boss was out of the equation?
It’s common to feel a bit self-conscious or even pressured while working close to your boss.
Some people might also feel intimidated surrounded by senior leadership.
That’s normal and natural.
But what’s not normal is hating their presence or being terrified by them.
- How do you feel when your boss is around?
- Do you feel the pressure out of respect for them or due to fear?
- How do you feel when your boss is out of the office for a couple of days?
If you enjoy working much more when your boss is not around, you probably do not hate your job; you hate your boss.
Are you passionate about your day-to-day duties?
Few people feel elated while going to work.
Maybe some days you enjoy your work. Other days, not so much.
That’s pretty normal.
Even the most passionate workers have bad days at work.
The question is, how passionate or dispassionate are you about your work?
Write down all the major functions and tasks you perform regularly.
Rate each task or function on a scale of one to ten — one being least passionate to ten being the most passionate.
If the numbers are low across the board, the job is most likely not a good fit for you.
Consider hiring a career coach to help you find your passion!
Are you making use of the skills you want to improve?
What do you like doing in life?
Among the professional skills that you have, which ones give you the most satisfaction?
Which ones are the most important for your career growth?
Write down those core skills that you enjoy utilizing and want to use regularly in your work life.
Also, write down other possible activities that you think would be beneficial for your career.
These might include having time for professional growth or working on a particular type of project more often.
Now, how many of those skills and activities do you regularly perform in your current job?
If the majority of skills used and activities performed are not the ones you enjoy, it’s time to rethink your career path.
If you are feeling down at work consistently, you should take it seriously.
After all, the average American spends roughly one-third of their life working!
If we spend such a large percentage of our waking hours at work, having a bad work situation basically means having a bad life.
Probe deeply into the reasons why you are not enjoying your work.
All the questions offered above will help provide you with the answers you need.
Once you figure out the problem — be it the management or the job — take action accordingly.
Have honest and open communication with senior leadership about your concerns to make an informed decision about your professional future.
Even having no job for a while can be better than hating your job day in and day out.
Also, by expanding your horizons, you have the opportunity to find work that is more fulfilling and meaningful to you!