Reasons for an “I Hate to Work” Mentality (How to Change It)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 14, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The first step toward performing optimally in a role is developing the right mindset and attitude toward work. Sometimes, you might have negative feelings toward either a temporary or permanent position. Understanding why you feel negative about work can help you evaluate yourself and find long-lasting solutions to such feelings. In this article, we explain the importance of changing an "I hate to work" mindset, provide reasons you may feel that way, and highlight some solutions that can help you change your mentality.

Why it's important to change an “I hate to work” mindset

Developing an “I hate to work” mindset generally affects your work quality and productivity. When you constantly go to work with a negative mindset, it can become part of your belief. It's important that you find ways to improve your mindset by evaluating your work environment and identifying the causes of your negative feelings toward work. By doing this, you can feel fulfilled in your role, improving your productivity and performance. Usually, this has widespread benefits such as access to employee rewards, a promotion at work, and increased compensation.

Similarly, if you decide to change your job, you may require recommendations and positive reviews from your current employer. When you maintain a positive mindset and deliver quality work at your current workplace, it's easier to get positive recommendations and increase your chances of transitioning to a new job. Finally, although you may be leaving your present job, having good records and maintaining cordial relationships can help you access any future opportunities at the company that may interest you.

Reasons you may feel negatively about work

Here are some reasons you may feel negatively about your work:

Lack of excitement at your job

Although it's unnecessary to feel overtly excited every day, a lack of interest in your work over time might indicate a problem. Going into work with a sense of purpose helps you find excitement in certain tasks and projects in your workplace. Although you may work for other reasons, such as working toward a financial goal, you can enjoy your experience better if you feel connected to work with a sense of purpose.

Related: "I Don't Know What Career I Want": How to Find the Best Job for You

Not feeling supported

You might become less excited about work because you aren't reaching your full professional potential. You may not feel supported by your teammates and managers in a way that enables you to fulfill your responsibilities. These dynamics can negatively impact your confidence and make you less excited about work. A viable solution is to evaluate your performance with a manager and discuss the resources you need to improve. You can also examine your skill set and focus on projects you're more proficient at for a better experience.

Increase in your workload

Although you may love your job, staying in the workplace too long at work can make you lethargic over time. For instance, you may be working for over 16 hours a day while working remotely. This long schedule reduces the time available for resting and relaxing with family and friends. Try to discuss your workload and work hours with your supervisor and plan toward achieving a work-life balance.

Related: How to Handle "I Don't Like My Job" (With Reasons and Tips)

Tips for improving your mindset at work

Here are some tips you can adopt to change your mindset at work:

Focus on the positives

The first step to changing your mindset about your work is developing a positive outlook. You can start by focusing on your reasons for taking the job as a source of motivation. For instance, suppose you took the job to access professional development opportunities. You can explore the various opportunities it offers to rediscover your interest in the role. In addition, you can consider the positive aspects of your job, for instance, your impact on the environment. If you can't think about any encouraging memories, you can look forward to interesting prospects at work.

Some important moments to consider that can change your mindset about work include:

  • A promotion

  • Growth opportunities

  • New connections and increased network

  • Improved work-life balance

  • An increase in salary or bonus

  • Alignment with career goals

  • Schedule flexibility

Evaluate what your job means to you

Another way to change your mindset is to evaluate what your job means to you and how it fits into your career plans. You can outline your career goals and draw connections between your present job and those goals. In addition, you can compare your present job with your ideal job for similarities, such as transferrable skills or relevant experience. Usually, discovering how your present position contributes to your long-term plans can change how you feel about your job.

You may also have a conversation with your manager regarding your long- and short-term goals. Your supervisor may help you evaluate your goals and how your current job responsibilities align with them. A good manager may appreciate your honesty and help you achieve your career goals within the company. For instance, they may assign more challenging tasks that align with the skill set you want to develop.

Related: Understanding Why You Don't Want to Work and What to Do Next

Stay productive

Sometimes, you may have negative feelings about your job because your results at work don't meet your expectations. You can change your perception of work by putting extra effort into given tasks and monitoring improvements. Producing high-quality work can increase your morale, and it gives a sense of pride and accomplishment in your work. This positive feeling can translate to confidence in your work and may motivate you to want to achieve improved results. In addition, putting effort into work helps you develop skills that can help impress your current employer and increase your chances of getting a new job.

Communicate your concerns

It's advisable to speak with your current supervisor when your goals don't align with the company's goals. You can express to your supervisors the negative aspects of your job and how they impact you. Speaking up to your manager helps you and the organization, as they can make changes based on your recommendation that can positively impact the entire company. For instance, you may discuss a pay increase with your supervisor if you think your pay doesn't reflect your role and responsibilities. You can also speak to your supervisor if your workload impedes productivity.

When you have a good supervisor that listens to your concerns and makes changes, it's easier to change how you feel about work. It also helps you feel valued and appreciated and increases your motivation to stay and contribute more. When your supervisor helps you ease your daily workload and reduces or eliminates triggers, you may discover that you love your job. If you don't have such a relationship with your supervisor, you may consider switching jobs to a more conducive place to your personal and career goals.

Evaluate your mental health

You can evaluate your mental health to discover if it contributes to your challenging mindset about work. There may be stressors and triggers in and out of work that negatively affect you and make you apathetic toward work. Ensure you evaluate your mental health and identify these stressors that may be causing or contributing to your frustration at work. In addition, develop strategies to help you cope with your triggers if you can't eliminate them. Some options you can explore to improve your mental health are:

  • Journaling

  • Therapy

  • Regular exercise

  • Psychiatry

  • Lifestyle changes and dieting

  • Improving sleep

Related: How Do I Know When I Need a New Job? (and What Comes Next)

Stay professional

While it may be in your best interest to leave your current job, it's best to remain professional. If the company requests a work review as part of the exit procedure, ensure you remain professional while highlighting the negative aspects and commending the positive experiences. For instance, you can write about how much you appreciate the network and opportunities from the company and how they can help you advance to a new opportunity. You may also provide insights on how the company can improve moving forward.

Ensure you properly communicate your notice to leave and maintain a cordial relationship with your managers and fellow employees. It's advisable to give two weeks to one month's notice when exiting a workplace, depending on your employment contract. This notice gives the organization enough time to find a replacement and train them adequately. It also allows you to transfer tasks and projects and ensure workflow cohesion.

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