On the one hand, you hate your job so much that the thought of deliberately breaking one of your fingers just to take a couple of days off feels eerily compelling.
On the flip side, you can’t leave yourself incomeless – you have rent to make, bills to pay, mouths to feed, and toilet paper to buy.
That being said, the only scenario in which you’d leave your current job is if you had another one lined up.
However, you’re facing a problem.
For some reason, you can’t find a new job.
The good news is that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel…
Truth is that I’ve personally been exactly where you are.
And I’ve felt as trapped, helpless, and frustrated as you’re feeling right now…
However, I did manage to find my way out, and I’m here to let you know exactly how you can do it as well!
First things first…
Isolate The Problem
The first and most important step towards figuring out what to do when you hate your job but can’t find a new one is to isolate the problem.
Most of the time, someone’s inability to land a new job boils down to consistently making one or more of the 8 following mistakes:
- Not Applying to Enough Jobs
- Having a Bad Resume
- Applying for Jobs They Don’t Qualify For
- Poor Job Interview Skills
- Being Way Too Picky
- Giving Up Too Easily
- Blaming Everything to Others
- Constantly Making Excuses
Let’s dig a little bit deeper.
1. Not Applying to Enough Jobs
Over the last couple of years, I’ve heard the statement “I hate my job but I can’t find a new one” more times than I can count.
After examining closer, the vast majority of those who made such a statement had one thing in common…
They weren’t applying for enough jobs.
According to Zety, an average job offer attracts 250 applicants, out of which only 4-6 will be interviewed and only one will actually get the job.
This means that your chances of getting a job you applied for are 1 in 250, or else 0.4%.
That being said, the more jobs you apply for, the higher your chances of coming across an employer that’s willing to hire you.
Since the number of available jobs differs from industry to industry, there’s really no magic number as to how many jobs you should be applying for.
Nonetheless, if you are serious about replacing your current job with a new one anytime soon, you have to act BIG.
Try to devote at least one hour per day to your job hunt during which you apply to as many potentially desirable jobs that you qualify for as possible.
The bigger you act, the sooner you’ll manage to kiss that current job you despise goodbye.
Now, if you’ve sent a significant amount of applications to numerous potential employers but none of them has called you for a first interview, then chances are that you either have a poor resume, or you keep applying to jobs you don’t qualify for.
2. Having a Bad Resume
Every potential employer’s first impression of you is formed solely based on what they see on your resume…
As a matter of fact, according to a study conducted by Ladders in 2018, recruiters determine whether they’ll be calling someone for an interview or not in less than 7.4 seconds after looking at their resume.
That being said, if your resume doesn’t make a very good impression within just a few seconds, it’ll probably end up in the shredder.
Some of the most prominent signs of poor resumes are:
- long paragraphs
- spelling & grammar mistakes
- too colorful
- too long
- confusing flow
- and bad formatting
If despite having applied to numerous job positions you’ve received very little or no calls for scheduling an interview, then you definitely need to invest some time and energy in improving the quality of your CV.
To do that you could consult a couple of online guides that walk you through the process of building a decent resume.
You could also hire a career counselor to help you put your resume together, but this can be quite costly.
Improving your CV could significantly increase the rate at which your job applications turn into actual interviews.
3. Applying for Jobs You Don't Qualify For
Another reason that you don’t get called for job interviews might be because you keep applying to jobs you aren’t qualified for.
Yes, the job with that higher salary or in that other field which you think you’ll enjoy more or that’s closer to your house might seem way more appealing…
Unfortunately, if you don’t possess the necessary skills to actually do a job, recruiters will keep rejecting you as soon as they lay their eyes on your resume.
That’s absolutely normal.
No recruiter will ever bother interviewing someone who’s clearly unqualified for a job while they could just as easily interview one of the dozens of other applicants who actually qualify.
Think about it…
If you needed to hire a salesman for your business, would you waste your time interviewing someone with no college education who had been working as a truck driver for the last ten years?
Likewise, if you were in need of a truck driver would you bother interviewing someone with an MBA in sales that had no driver’s license?
I don’t think so…
That being said, as long as you keep applying to jobs you don’t qualify for, the odds of landing a new one will definitely be stacked against you.
Thankfully, countering that problem is very simple – just start applying only to jobs you qualify for.
If you’d like to start going after better offers that you’re not currently qualified for, then you’ll have to invest time, energy, and probably even money in improving the required skillset.
To do that, you might have to go back to school, take offline or online classes, attend seminars and webinars, get certified, do a couple of unpaid internships, and most importantly, leverage the vast amounts of free information there’s on the internet.
4. Poor Job Interview Skills
If you get called for job interviews by a significant number of potential employers but none of them is actually hiring you, chances are that you don’t make such a good impression to your interviewers.
Maybe you’re either not dressed well enough or overdressed… Maybe you are just talking way too much about completely irrelevant stuff.
Maybe you lack enthusiasm or you might keep emphasizing how much you hate your current job.
Whatever the case, messing up your job interview is a surefire recipe for not getting the job.
Employers might end up interviewing dozens of applicants for a particular position and the vast majority of the time, they’ll weed out without a second thought anyone that left them with a poor impression during their interview.
Thankfully, with a little practice, you can potentially sharpen and improve your interview skills and performance.
Right below you can take a look at a bunch of useful resources that could help you understand where your job interviews might be going wrong as well as how to correct it:
- Tips to Help You Improve Your Interviewing Skills
- Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview
- Ways to Make the Worst Impression at a Job Interview
- Things You Should Never Do on a Job Interview
Or you could hire a career coach to fully guide you through the interview process and provide you with valuable feedback that you could utilize to boost your confidence and overall performance.
5. Being Way Too Picky
Another thing that might be standing in your way of landing a new job is that you’re being overly picky.
Jumping into the first job that comes in your way is definitely not a solid course of action…
Ending up in the wrong job could negatively affect every single aspect of your life, waste your time and energy, as well as isolate you from other more desirable opportunities.
On the other hand, rejecting every single job you’ve applied to due to superficial reasons is a surefire recipe to remaining stuck with your current employer for the years to come.
While working a job I hated, I had attended more interviews than I could count.
Dozens of those interviews ended up converting into job offers, most of which were actually more than decent.
However, I kept rejecting one after another due to being way too picky about everything, from the “inconvenient” working hours and the long distance to the building’s color, the smell of the sidewalk, the manager’s “crazy” hair, and the office’s lighting.
I spent 2 whole years until I accepted a job I thought would be “perfect” for me, only to end up hating it as well a couple of months in.
In retrospect, being too picky was just another excuse to avoid taking action due to fear of jumping from a job I was familiar with to another job I knew nothing about.
In conclusion, a healthy amount of pickiness regarding the job offers you accept is essential to ensuring that you won’t end up in yet another job that makes you miserable.
However, waiting in perpetuity for the “perfect” job that might or might not show up is a perfect waste of time.
No matter how deep you dig, it’s nearly impossible to be 100% sure about whether you’re going to enjoy a job before working there for a while.
So, what might seem like your perfect job might turn out to be a colossal disappointment.
6. Giving Up Too Easily
Job hunting is by no means a walk in the park…
Conducting it in your spare time after having spent 8+ hours on a job you hate makes the process 10x harder.
On top of that, spending weeks or even months perfecting your resume, customizing cover letters, and attending dozens of job interviews with absolutely nothing to show for it can be extremely tiring, frustrating, and discouraging.
However, throwing in the towel is a course of action that’s extremely unlikely to improve the quality of your professional life in any way.
That being said, if your job hunt has burned you out, putting it on hold for a few days is so much better than assuming defeat, calling it quits, and just settling for that job that makes you miserable for the years to come.
This will allow you to clear your head and recharge your batteries so that you can start tackling the process of finding a new, better job with much more energy and enthusiasm.
7. Blaming Everything to Others
All too often, people tend to blame their inability to land a new job on the area or the country they live in, the economy, the government, the job market, the global warming, etc, etc.
That’s because shifting the blame for any given unfavorable situation onto someone/something else is the perfect way to abdicate responsibility and avoid spending time and energy reflecting on where you went wrong and taking the necessary steps to fix it.
While blaming others is a great way to protect your ego and feel good in the short-term, at the end of the day, the only person that’s going to keep being troubled by the problems that remain unresolved as a result of such behavior is YOU!
That being said, if you sincerely want to find a job that you’ll enjoy more than your current one, you must start assuming responsibility for being unable to find one even if it’s not your fault.
This small mental shift is going to give you the green light to self-reflect, recognize and accept your flaws, learn from your mistakes, become more receptive to solutions that could improve your situation, take action, and ultimately regain control of your reality.
8. Constantly Making Excuses
Whoever is good at making excuses is rarely good at anything else. – Benjamin Franklin
Another type of behavior that could be holding you back from finding a job to replace your current one is constantly making excuses…
While statements such as “I’m too old” or “I don’t have time” or “There are no jobs” might sound like perfectly acceptable reasons for staying put, I assure you that they’re just masterfully engineered justifications used to rationalize inaction.
Most excuses are simply lies wrapped up as reasons to cover up the fact that you either want to avoid doing something or that you’re just afraid of trying and failing. – success.com
Truth is that one of the hardest challenges of achieving anything of substance is overcoming our own bullshit excuses.
However, as one of my favorite motivational speakers Jim Rohn once said:
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
The video right below perfectly sums up my last 3 points so make sure to give it a watch till its very end.
While landing a new job might seem like the only option towards leaving your current one, there are actually quite a few alternative courses of action that can be equally valid, including:
- Starting a Side Hustle
- Dealing With Your Job Another Way
- Quitting Without Having Anything Lined Up
- Going Part-Time
- Requesting a Transfer
- and Reframing Your Perspective
1. Start a Side Hustle
Over the last few years, the number of people who partake in side hustling has increased exponentially…
According to a survey conducted by Bankrate in 2019, over 43% of full-time employees in the US are currently running a side hustle.
That’s probably because side hustling offers numerous benefits that are hard to pass up…
First of all, side hustling gives you the option to make extra money in your spare time by pursuing something you’re interested in or passionate about without sacrificing the security of your full-time job.
For instance, if you love practicing Yoga, you could get certified and work as a part-time Yoga instructor.
Likewise, if you’re passionate about web design, you could start offering your services as a freelancer on a part-time basis.
However, one of the most alluring aspects of side hustling is that it could potentially turn into a full-time gig you love.
Tons of currently successful entrepreneurs had started their businesses as a “passion project” on the side of their full-time jobs.
2. Deal With Your Job Another Way
Quitting is not the only way of dealing with the job you hate…
As a matter of fact, there are at least 3 more ways that you could leverage towards making your job much more tolerable without actually quitting it, such as:
- and Voice
Persistence means grinding your teeth and just sticking through your job.
This course of action could be perfect if your company is about to undergo an organizational shift that could potentially put you out of your misery or if you’re expecting to be transferred and/or promoted to another more desirable position.
Neglect entails staying in your current job in a state of complete emotional detachment.
For instance, you could start tuning down your pace and performance or maybe even doing the bare minimum just to not get fired.
Voice involves actively voicing your concerns regarding your job to your manager, boss, or the HR department of your company and asking them to help you figure out ways to improve the situation.
If you’d like to find out more about dealing with your job without quitting, I suggest that you take a look at my article 4 Ways To Deal With A Job You Hate Like A Pro.
3. Quit Without Having Anything Lined Up
Common opinion dictates that quitting a job without having anything lined up is a “bad” choice.
That’s mostly because it is widely believed that “finding a new job while unemployed is nearly impossible”.
While it’s true that hiring managers could be negatively biased towards unemployed people, according to BusinessNewsDaily, feeling the stigma of unemployment actually increases the chances of finding a new job as it motivates people to invest more time and effort in their job search.
That being said, quitting your job without having another job lined up could be considered a perfectly valid course of action, especially if you find yourself being in one or more of the following situations:
- Toxic work environment
- Experiencing burnout
- Being harassed/abused
- Deteriorated mental and/or physical health
- Damaged self-esteem/morale
- Emotional Exhaustion
I know that just jumping out of your job might not be such a realistic option for some, especially those who are the breadwinners of their family, or are in debt, or have way too many financial obligations.
On the other hand, if you have no mouths to feed and minimal financial obligations, distancing yourself from the workforce for a while could prove to be highly beneficial for your wellbeing.
About 2 years ago, I quit a job due to being completely burned out without having anything else lined up. No job, no income, no idea how things would turn out, nothing…
In the hindsight, leaving myself unemployed for a while not only was much less scary than I initially imagined, but it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made at that time.
4. Go Part-Time
Another thing that could enormously improve your situation without sacrificing the security of your current job is requesting a decrease in your work schedule from full-time to part-time.
Cutting your working hours in half can make your job ten times more tolerable as well as free up significant amounts of time and energy that you can invest in resting, doing things you love, being with your family, and even job hunting.
If you decide to go down that path, I suggest that you consider downgrading and simplifying your lifestyle for a while by cutting back as many expenses and financial obligations as you possibly can, such as
- constantly buying random crap you don’t need
- ordering takeout on a daily basis
- and going out for drinks every single weekend
Small sacrifices for a short period of time could eventually make a big difference in your quality of life. – MoneyCrashers
In addition, before making the shift, consider saving up some money.
Sometimes life happens so having a cushion handy will make you feel safer, more comfortable, and more confident in your decisions.
5. Request a Transfer
If the reason you hate your job is your daily duties, or your manager, or a specific co-worker, but you’d like to stay with your current employer, requesting to be transferred to another department might perfectly solve your problem without having to quit your job.
Start by having a conversation with your manager or the HR department.
Let them know about your issues with your current position in a professional manner and ask if you could potentially get transferred to another department.
Avoid complaining and venting at all costs.
Lastly, if your manager/HR department agrees that a transfer could indeed take place, it might be a good idea to put down a formal written job transfer request letter.
This article lays down the step-by-step process for requesting a transfer within your company the right way.
6. Reframe Your Perspective
Last but not least, reframing how you perceive your job could also be a great way of successfully dealing with it without quitting.
For instance, you could start being thankful about all the positive aspects of your job such as the benefits, the security, those tasks you actually enjoy, that funny coworker, the fact that you have money to spend on the things you like, etc.
Sometimes, people tend to put way too much emphasis on the negative aspects of a situation while taking all its positive ones for granted.
In addition, consider that everything in this world is temporary.
Your job isn’t going to last for all eternity, and neither will your feelings towards it. I can personally vouch for that.
Furthermore, a job you hate could be the perfect way of identifying workplace features to avoid in future jobs as well as what you’d like your “dream job” to consist of.
Moreover, try to look at your job as an opportunity that equips you with the skills to cope with other unfavorable situations that might come your way at some point in the future.
Sooner or later, everyone finds themselves in situations they’d rather not be in, whether they want it or not…
Lastly, working out, meditating, being in nature, spending time with your loved ones, and generally doing things you love outside your job could help you alleviate its adverse effects.
Please note that reframing your perspective shouldn’t be used as an excuse to abstain from taking action but rather in conjunction with taking action towards figuring out an actual solution to your problem.
For instance, you could start being thankful about your job while at the same time maintaining your job hunt or growing your side hustle.
Landing a brand new job is definitely not a piece of cake, especially when your job hunt takes place during that spare time you’d otherwise use to unwind after having worked at a job you hate for 8+ hours.
However, if you start tackling the process mindfully and patiently while leaving all your fears and excuses behind, it won’t be long before you kiss that job you hate goodbye.
In addition, don’t forget to consider your alternatives…
Finding another job is definitely not your only way out.
You could start a side hustle around one of your passions that might eventually render your current income completely unnecessary or just quit without having anything else lined up.
If for any reason, quitting doesn’t feel like a realistic option, you can always stay at your current job and figure out how you could deal with it another way.
One thing is for sure…
If you truly want to resolve your situation, your options are abundant.
- How long have you been job hunting without any luck?
- What mistake(s) do you think are holding you back?
- Have you considered any alternatives?
Let us know all about your experience in the comment section below.
If you have any questions or need any further help or guidance, I encourage you to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,