According to a global 2022 Gallup report, only 33% of people in the workforce feel engaged and happy at their jobs.
Sadly, more than half of the people in the world are unhappy at their jobs and careers.
The average person will spend about 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime, roughly one-third of their existence.
Images of a minimum wage worker being miserable at Walmart may come to mind, but many of the people surveyed are salaried workers, c-suite executives and corporate-level employees in professional fields.
In short, it's not just people with crappy-paying jobs who hate their careers. Many people say they would gladly take a pay cut to work at a job that makes them happy. So why don't they do it?
If you're reading this article, you're looking for insight into what to do if you hate your job. Fortunately, there are options out there that can lead to a more fulfilling career and a happier life.
Let's dive in.
Get a New Job
This may seem like an elementary--and perhaps even insulting--response, but finding the simplest solution first is sometimes the best.
For some people, it isn't the job itself that is killing them, it's the abysmal management team and their idiotic coworkers. If that's the case, quit your job, submit your resumé to a similar company and get hired elsewhere.
If you take a job somewhere else and find that it's a joy to work for this new company, then you were correct in your assessment that the staff you previously worked with were incompetent morons.
If you're having the same experience everywhere you go, then it's sage wisdom to consider that the problem may be you. Invest into some soul-searching and introspection and find out what you can change about yourself to make others less obnoxious to you. Clear perception, a good attitude and mental clarity are priceless assets.
Sometimes it might not be the company you're working for that's the problem, but the job you're doing. If you like the company and there is a different position that interests you more, talk to management about what you can do to transfer or branch out into other areas.
In my 20s, I was working for a major LTL freight company. There was a man there who loved the company and all of his coworkers, but he was miserable working on the dock, driving a forklift all day.
The man decided to sign up for the company's in-house CDL training program. He got his license and became a truck driver for the company.
Every time I saw him thereafter, he was wearing a big smile, telling tales of the road. He loved being a truck driver; it's what he was born to do. It just took him time to realize it.
The right job is out there, you just have to find it.
But what if the job you want won't hire you because you're unqualified?
Get a Degree or a Second Degree
When we were 17-year-old high school students, we thought we had it all figured out. We knew exactly what career we wanted and rushed to submit our college applications.
In America, most high school students aren't even allowed to vote, yet society expects them to make cogent, reasonable and articulate decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
By the time a person is 30, their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, goals and vision have likely changed, which means the bachelor's degree they received when they were 21 can often become a symbol of regret--and if you're still paying off student loans, a major thorn in your side.
Getting a business degree at 21 is a great milestone for many people. However, if by the time a person is in their 30s and their heart wants nothing more than to be an actor or a musician, the degree becomes a heavy little ball and chain.
But it's not too late to acquire true happiness in your career and your life.
As they get older, many people decide to go back to school and get a second degree. While some do it out of necessity, others do it to pursue something more meaningful.
You're not too old to live the life you want. Go back to school and get that second degree.
But what if you never went to college?
If you're in your 20s or early 30s and the only time you've ever been to college was to party or visit the girl you were dating in her dorm room, then you're quite fortunate really. You've given yourself time to figure out what you really want to do with your life, and that's a good thing.
Just as it's never too late to get a second degree, so too is it never too late to get your first degree.
Education is a valuable asset and worth the investment when it leads to job fulfillment and happiness.
Colleges offer flexible scheduling and online courses to accommodate busy, working adults. It's not too late to change paths, get a degree and obtain a more suitable occupation. Get that degree!
But what if school isn't your thing?
Start Your Own Business
If you're like me, the mere thought of working for somebody else for the rest of your life makes your skin crawl and causes you to vomit profusely.
Maybe you're a super cool entrepreneur at heart and you don't want some sorry son of a bitch telling you what to do all day.
Perhaps you have a good job, but the boss/employee dynamic doesn't align with your rebellious and free-spirited nature.
Hating your well-paying job doesn't mean you're an ungrateful asshole. It just means that your characteristics, goals and vision make a life of subservience intolerable.
Before I started my own business, I was working at a Fortune 500 company making a decent salary. I didn't necessarily hate the job itself, but it certainly wasn't my passion.
I was a fabulous worker and very respectful to my team, but I hated being anybody's employee. I'm a freethinking libertarian, and operating within the confines of somebody else's authority was a nightmare.
My family thought I was crazy for leaving the "security" of a well-established company, taking a pay cut and risking everything on a venture of self-employment, but it paid off. It's not easy starting a successful business, but the rewards are immeasurable.
Many people will tell you that you're making a big mistake and that it's stupid to start your own business when you have a good career, but you have to do what makes you happy.
When you're happy doing something you love, the lingering fear that they were right will vanish and never trouble you again.
If you're plugged into the entrepreneurial world in any capacity, then you'll know that it's not uncommon for professionals (people with master's degrees and PhDs) to break away from their "security" or tenure to start their own businesses.
If you know in your heart that you belong working for yourself, then do it.
"But I can't afford it," people often say.
In 2011, my brother and I started a business with $8,000. In today's hyper-connected world, there are ways to start a business and generate income with virtually no seed money. For projects that do require startup money, there are varying degrees of funding and crowd-funding readily available.
(And if you're a hot chick, you can always sell your dirty underwear to perverts online.)
The only thing you truly need to start a business is tenacity, passion, dedication and the ability to throw any excuses into the trash where they belong.
If you're miserable at your job and feel like there's no possible solution for you to be happy working for someone else, then get a plan together, begin researching and reading books, talk to qualified business counselors and learn how to start and grow your business.
But what if I just don't want to work at all?
Become a Traveling Vagrant
When your intolerable career has crushed the last bit of your wretched soul, it's time to pack a bindle and train hop the 10:30 to the Hobo's Paradise.
With the ground as your pillow and the stars as your ceiling, you will live as one with nature as the hippie vagabond you were born to be.
Tomorrow is unwritten, and your feather pen drips with the ink of adventure and unrestricted liberation.
With a sunburned thumb, you will follow Phish as you navigate the uncharted terrain of your long-forgotten joy and happiness. The kindness of strangers will keep you fed, and the fires of freedom will keep you warm.
Ok, we're not serious about this last section, but hey, people do it all the time. We're not telling you how to live, we're just giving you suggestions. ;)
If you enjoyed this article, you may also like 'What Does It Take To Be a Successful Entrepreneur?'