You read that headline right. Nearly 9 out of 10 people worldwide hate their job. That’s a sobering reality from a recent Gallup Poll. Read the full article here. That means that pretty much anyone you talk to at your place of work is not happy or satisfied in their daily work. Are you? Statistically speaking, no, you’re not. I’ve been pondering and researching this phenomenon for a while now, trying to determine why so many people hate their work and what can be done about it. For starters, here are five reasons I believe people are not satisfied with their job.
Simon Sinek, in his first TED Talk, said that an organization’s “why” is not profits. Profits are the result of an organization’s reason for being. Does the same apply to individuals? I think so. I could be wrong, but I think it’s true that one’s personal profit – your paycheck – is the result of your work, not the reason for your work. That said, what is the reason for your work? If you think it’s the paycheck, then that’s why you hate your job, no matter how much money you make. Money is a tool, a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. People who believe money is the end goal are always miserable in the end when they’ve met the goal.
This article credits Michael Buffington with saying, “People leave managers, not companies”. I believe this statement is true. The reason people leave managers is because their managers are not effective leaders. Leaders are supposed to bring out the best in their followers by inspiring them to do more than they ever thought they could, and by placing them in a role (or roles) that is the best fit for them. When I think of this concept, I think of Gene Hackman in Hoosiers.
Sometimes you like what you do, and you like your boss, but the overall environment where you work just stinks. It might be the physical environment or the corporate culture, but you just don’t like being there. If you dread going into work like George Costanza dreaded going up the stairs to Susan’s apartment (S4 E13, “The Pick”), you’re probably going to find a way out. Don’t do it the way George did.
Do you know what your gifts are? Everyone has a gift or gifts, meaning things that they just “get”, like Will Hunting got numbers. What are you really, really good at? Is that what you do in your job? I can do accounting. I kept the books at my first company for 13 years. It sucked, because it’s not anywhere close to my gift. So, I can do it, but it’s drudgery and I hate it.
The easiest one is that you just don’t like your job. You don’t like what you do everyday. You don’t like your boss, or your location, or your company culture, or your co-workers. So why were you there in the first place? Ah, yes, you needed a paycheck. Now see the first point above, and repeat.
So, What Do We Do?
As you can see, it’s a bit of a cycle. The above points are not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a start, and probably covers most of the bases. The next question that sits right on top of this one is this: “if you hate your job, why don’t you find a new job?” Stay tuned for (my take on) that answer.