Do you hate your job?

Do you dread Mondays…with a passion? Do you watch the clock all day long? Does your stomach end up in knots at the end of the day, only to have the same thing start again the next morning?

Maybe you hate your job. Or maybe not.

Yes there’s something wrong if you feel that way, but let’s see exactly what it is and what you might be able to do about it.

First, make a list. Yes, an old-fashioned pros-and-cons list. And be honest. Do you like certain things about performing your job, but not others? Do you like your boss, but hate your co-worker or vice versa? Do you hate your schedule? Your commute? Make an honest list.

There must have been something appealing about the job for you to take it in the first place. What was it? Let’s build on that.

Re-define your job. Employers will not want to lose a good employee. Is it possible to talk to your boss or supervisor about your feelings and discuss how your job responsibilities might change? Be positive and professional, but have an honest discussion. If you’ve made your list and there are certain tasks you don’t care for, perhaps that can be changed. Volunteer to do something instead of that particular task. Is there that one person you can’t stand to work with? Maybe there’s an organizational change that can be made. Has your workload just grown and grown until you can’t take anymore? Discuss it with your boss. Yes, your manager should be aware of what you’re doing, but they can’t be everywhere and know everything. Give them a chance.

Maybe you’re just bored. Are there additional skills you could develop that would make your job more challenging? Go for it!

What’s your dream job? Are you in it and it’s just not what you thought it would be? Or is it something entirely different and you just fell into your current job, and once there, you figured you’re stuck. Are you? What exactly would it take to go after your dream job? Finishing up a degree? Getting an advanced degree? Taking some classes at a community college? Networking with appropriate folks? Go out and do it! What’s stopping you?

Studies show that most of us derive quite a lot of things from our jobs. Of course we all need money to live, but that’s not really what drives us. We like the satisfaction of doing a job well, we like interacting with co-workers and customers, we like contributing to the group and to society as a whole, and yes, some of us actually love what we do. All these intangibles are actually more important to us than money. Yes we need the money, but we get quite a lot more from our jobs.

But we can also take that too far. You’ve all heard “work to live versus live to work.” I think we can figure out which side we want to come down on there.

Is your job everything to you? If so, developing some outside interests, friends, or hobbies may be very helpful in lessening the stress over your professional life.

Above all, be professional and discrete. If you’ve rationally and calmly considered everything and you still hate your job, then start looking. Continue to perform your duties as best you can, continue to get along with everyone at work, continue to behave professionally and courteously. Don’t burn any bridges; that always comes back to haunt you.

Do enough research so that you’re looking for a new opportunity with your eyes open. Take the time to find the right opportunity. You and your employer will both benefit from thoughtful, considered career adjustment.

So if you can save your current position, do it. If you can’t, try to take the time to make a well-thought-out change.