What to Tell Your Boss When You Hate Your Job

Last Updated Oct 15, 2009 10:33 AM EDT

Hate your job but can't quit? Here's how to dealLet's start with a few assumptions. First, "I quit," isn't an immediate option. Second, walking into your boss's office and telling her "I hate this job" is also a bad idea. At the same time, you wake up with a feeling of dread every morning so you have to do something (and with the job situation for young people out there as bad as it is, I know they'll be more than a few readers who sympathize).

So what can you say to your boss to make things better without changing gigs? Nuts and bolts career blog Cube Rules recently posted a suggestion. The basic idea is this: " Don't tell your manager you don't like your job; instead, tell your manager what you like about your work and ask for more of that type of work." Actually doing this can be a little daunting, however, so the blog spells out the how-to in three easy steps:

  • Know what parts of your job you really like doing -- and are good at doing. Sometimes those are two different things, so make sure what you like doing aligns with what you are good at doing. We want this, after all, to translate into better performance review ratings, right?
  • Determine what else you like doing that you are not doing now that is part of your job description. With all the changes in the department, it is easy to have much of your job changed--so ask for some of it back.
  • Once you have determined what stuff you like doing, what else you want to do and are good at doing, then ask you manager to do more of those things.
Result: less misery, a happy boss and a new found reputation for being proactive and helpful for you. It's a win all around.

(Image of guy with bad job sign by Y, CC 2.0)

  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.