• Patrick McAndrew

Why You Hate Your Job

Everyday Life

Everyday, millions and millions of people wake up, pour themselves some coffee, get dressed, and make their way via car, train, bus, bike, cab, plane, or any other mode of transportation to their job.  Here, we do what society has called “work” to earn what society has called a “living” and receive a decent paycheck. We then go home, rinse, and repeat. This isn’t so bad for the people who wake up energized and excited to go to their jobs, but sadly that is not the case for most people.

A staggering 85% of people say that they hate their jobs. 85%! That’s insane! That’s so many people! I was shocked at this number, and yet I wasn’t. This could be because of the people I’m interacting with, but I hear many more people say, “Work is work,” “It’s alright,” “Just another Monday,” “I’ve got the Sunday blues,” than, “I can’t wait to go to work!”

How We Spend Our Time

We spend so much of our time at work. It requires this because we need to pay the bills, raise our families, and hope for some semblance of life outside of work. But we must notice that this is a problem. So many of us are living for the weekend, looking for an escape, all while being bound by a job that we can’t stand, often dealing with a boss that we do not want to deal with.

In many ways, this isn’t our fault. It’s company culture. While we do have a significant amount of control over where we choose to work, many workplaces are identical in their flaws. There seems to be a certain point between the start of a business and the hiring of thousands of employees that important and crucial foundations of a company get lost in obscurity. There is an absence of leadership.

The Importance of Great Leaders

Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, has an amazing TED talk about how so few companies understand their “why,” why they are in the business they are in. This is the third most watched TED talk in history and this is because it resonated so well with people. Businesses, and therefore people, do not understand their “why.”

The top leader sets the precedent and then it trickles all the way down. I see this in the theater world. If I’m acting in a production and the director is a real pain, it affects the entire production. If I have a director who is collaborative, kind, and open to suggestions, the group works much more cohesively. The same could be said for a business. If a CEO or manager is not inspiring their employees, the employees will not be inspired to work there. Plain and simple.

Empathy Deficiency

There is a considerable lack of empathy in the workplace.  Rare are close and meaningful relationships. There is often a push to keep business and pleasure separate. What a bunch of baloney! We are human beings who crave connection to other human beings. If we are spending so many of our waking hours at work, it should be mandatory to take some time to put the work down and interact with one another in a stress-free way. We need to have conversations in order to establish trust. This begins with the individuals in top positions.

The best leaders lead by example. If the founder of a company is kind, passionate, supportive, and has a great sense of humor, the CEO, directors, managers, associates, assistants, and entry-level employees will follow suit because that’s what the head person is doing.  In addition, if this leader creates a nurturing environment, then the employees will feel free to be themselves, express their opinions, and talk openly about decisions they may agree or disagree with. Such disagreements wouldn’t be an object of scorn or ridicule, but rather an open invitation to improve the mission and goals of the company.

While I’m all for taking responsibility for how you react to life, I do believe something needs to be done to fix our dissatisfaction with the workplace. There are some amazing companies doing some amazing things, but if the people are unhappy, then they are not reaching their maximum potential. We humans are simpler than we think. Working at a landfill or in a sewer can be an incredibly fun, rewarding, and fulfilling job if surrounding by dedicated and passionate people. The most mundane office jobs can be better than a vacation if the employees are treated like family. Most of us just want to be respected, heard, safe, and cared for. We hate our jobs because this is usually not the case. This is all CEOs, VPs, directors, and managers have to do. If we celebrate our victories and learn from our failures in a supportive atmosphere, who knows what we can accomplish. I promise, if this were the case, 85% of people would not hate their jobs.

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