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How to Tell Your Employer You Hate Your Job

by Ruth Mayhew, studioD

At some point, almost everyone dreams of blowing off steam by telling her boss how much she hates her job. But, only an attention seeker would actually carry out a real-life re-enactment of the 1981 comedy, "Take This Job and Shove It." Choose your words and actions carefully when you meet with your employer to express how dissatisfied you are with your job.


Refrain from telling your boss that you hate your job immediately following a workplace incident. Chances are that your disclosure may be born out of emotion instead of a rational approach. You could hurt your career and reputation by going into a tirade about how much you dislike your job. If a single incident makes you feel differently about your job than say six months ago, wait a day or two to calm down before you address it. Focus on your job duties in the meantime and then look at the incident from a fresh perspective.


If a single incident is the proverbial last straw, still wait until you have time to process the incident and the affect your complaints might have on your employment status. That's not to say you should withhold comments about workplace issues that trouble you; however, a broad view of your work history and experience with the company may be in order before you complain to your boss. When your job dissatisfaction continuously chips away at the enjoyment you once had, keep a journal of workplace events so that you have concrete examples of matters that affect the way you feel about your job and the company.


Employee outbursts are unacceptable, even when you absolutely cannot stand your job. Publicly declaring that you hate your job will only cast you in a negative light and justifies your boss and your peers viewing your actions as unprofessional. Ask your boss if you can meet with her privately, and don't get offended if she asks what you want to talk about. Refrain from giving her a cryptic response, such as "I'll tell you when we meet." Tell her you want to discuss your job satisfaction and to get her feedback on ways to improve it. The comments you make about the upcoming meeting set the tone for your discussion; therefore, approach your meeting with a positive frame of mind.


Ask if you can meet with your boss privately near the end of the business day, close to the end of the workweek. Given the topic, both of you may need time to process your comments and your boss' reaction. Put some space between the time you meet with your boss and the time that you have to return to work. It'll help both of you recover from what's likely to be a difficult discussion.


Calmly describe the reasons why you hate your job and refrain from placing blame on your boss or your co-workers for the way you feel about your job. Use precise dates, times and terms, and avoid using accusatory language. For example, you could say, "I've been working as the sales manager for ABC Company for five years and, in the past eight to 10 months, I've begun to feel unappreciated," instead of, "I've been working in this job for years, getting by on a crappy salary and you've never acknowledged my achievements." Give concrete examples that you believe substantiate your dissatisfaction, including specific work assignments, performance evaluations and so on.


Bring solutions to your meeting with the boss, such as suggestions for more challenging work assignments, a raise, or even two weeks off to rejuvenate. Without solutions, you're merely griping about how you hate your job, which won't make you hate it any less. Also, incessant complaints about how much you hate your job might compel your boss to ask, "Have you thought about looking for a job elsewhere?" This you could interpret as the first step toward termination. Talk about ways to restore the excitement you once had about your job or how to reignite the passion you have about your career.

About the Author

Ruth Mayhew began writing in 1985. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry" and "Human Resources Managers Appraisal Schemes." Mayhew earned senior professional human resources certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute and holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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