What If I Hate My Boss? What to Do When Quitting Isn’t an Option Yet

How often during your workday do you find yourself saying, “I hate my boss”?

If it’s a lot, you’re not alone.

What If I Hate My Boss? What to Do When Quitting Isn’t an Option Yet

In 2018, the popular job site conducted a poll of people who were seeking new jobs.

[] asked why these people wanted to leave their current employer – 76% of them said it was because they didn’t like their boss.

They asked why these people wanted to leave their current employer – 76% of them said it was because they didn’t like their boss.

But those stats were pulled from a group of people ready and willing to leave their jobs. What happens when quitting is not an option yet?

From trying to deal with your boss directly to preparing yourself to leave your job, there are ways you can try to make your work situation better when you hate your boss!

Sometimes trying to fix the problem but being unable to do so can you give you the confidence to move on to greener pastures.

Curious about how to deal with a boss you hate? Keep reading!

Why You Should Work Yourself Out of a Job You Hate

Let me start by saying that it is entirely plausible to love your job but hate your boss.

But how much love can you give to a job when every day feels like a potential conflict ready to explode?

Hating your boss can make you feel trapped in your job, especially when quitting doesn’t seem like an option.

However, feeling “trapped” implies that there is no way to escape and there is always a way out.

And this can lead to being tired of working your 9-5 job.

This can either involve addressing the issues with your boss to resolve the situation or moving on to another job.

Remember that all jobs are temporary in one way or another.

You don’t have to be stuck at a job with a boss you hate for the rest of your life.

Your body and mental health, however, are permanent. You need to keep both in good shape so that you can move on to your next job or career. If you truly hate your boss and feel “trapped,” don’t sacrifice either for the job you currently have.

But before you hand in your letter of resignation, follow these steps to see if you can improve your work environment.

If not, there are some tips for finding a new job as well.

How to Deal With a Boss You Hate

1. Figure Out Why You Hate Your Boss

There may be many reasons why “I hate my boss” constantly runs through your mind but it’s important to pinpoint why you feel the way you do in order to fix the situation.

It’s always possible that something else is going on that is causing you to feel this way.

Perhaps you don’t hate your boss as much as you hate your job, which is an entirely different situation.

Take some time to reflect on why you hate your boss.

Do they treat you a certain way that you don’t like? Do they have behaviors that simply annoy you? Does their management style leave something to be desired?

The more you dig into the way you feel, the more you may come to realize that perhaps your boss isn’t the problem.

It could be that your boss is pressured by higher management to behave a certain way or maybe some of your choices or actions aren’t helping the situation.

Once you have a better idea of what’s really going on, you can figure out how to move forward.

2. Try to be Empathetic

Like I mentioned, it could be that your boss is under a lot of pressure.

While it’s possible that your boss could be simply a bad person, most are not and can become stressed and act in negative ways when they are expected to lead and deliver results.

Look at the ways your boss behaves that bother you and try to think of reasons why they are acting that way.

You can do this by practicing empathy and placing yourself in their shoes – if you were in their situation, how would you act?

There have been some really interesting studies in the field of neuroscience that show how our brains contain “mirror neurons” that naturally prompt us to reciprocate behaviors.

They enable us to reflect emotions, facial expressions, and emotions.

So it’s like the old saying goes: “You get more bees with honey.” It’s possible that if you start treating your boss with empathy, you may get that consideration in return.

3. Consider the Criticism You Are Receiving

When it comes to hating your boss, you may not be entirely innocent in the situation.

While I’m not suggesting that you are overtly causing problems at your job and deserve the treatment you are receiving, a little introspection can go a long way.

This is why you should consider the criticism you are receiving and take an honest look at how much truth it may hold. When you acknowledge what you may be doing wrong, you can start to adjust your behavior accordingly.

Not everyone is good at giving constructive criticism.

So while your boss may be providing you with valuable information related to your job performance, you may find yourself getting defensive because the delivery is harsh.

This can create a sense of hostility between you and your boss and lead to an abrasive relationship.

You can always have an open and honest conversation with your boss about how you recognize that their criticism is valid but it’s difficult to digest when the delivery feels like judgment.

4. Offer Solutions to Improve Your Relationship

Speaking of being open and honest, you can always offer solutions to improve your relationship. This can either involve addressing your own behaviors and the ways you plan on improving them or pointing out the difficulty you have interacting with your boss.

Try to have a private conversation with your boss, emphasizing the importance of what you want to say. Be prepared to offer solutions as well as accept ideas from your boss.

You may be surprised to find out that your boss had no idea how unhappy you were and how they were behaving.

5. Minimize Contact With Your Boss

If that conversation doesn’t go well, it may be time to minimize contact with your boss.

This doesn’t mean ducking under your desk when your boss strolls by!

You can simply reduce your communication to only things that are important and even limit your conversations to emails if possible.

Hopefully, your boss will move on from treating you badly or even come to realize there’s a problem and try to fix it.

However, this step has a time limit. If things don’t get better, you don’t want to spend your days playing “boss avoidance.”

You may eventually begin to feel disengaged from your work and lose passion for your job.

If this is the case, it is probably time to find ways that you can move on from your boss altogether.

6. Try to Switch Jobs Internally

When you’re brain says, “I hate my boss,” but your heart says, “I love my job,” it can be difficult to entertain the idea of quitting your job and trying to find a new one.

It’s possible that you may not have to if you can switch positions within the company you are currently working for.

This could mean working different hours than your boss or transferring to another branch or team.

This may be difficult if you work for a smaller company but it’s an option worth exploring if you’re not yet ready to give up a job you love simply because you hate your boss.

7. Leave Your Work at Work

I know this old cliché is easier said than done but it’s important not to let your work frustrations create stress in your life.

You can try venting either to a friend or loved one or write in a journal immediately after work.

This will help you to alleviate the frustration you had to keep pent up all day at work.

Then try to focus on activities that make you feel happy and relaxed.

Engaging in some self-care in your life will help you relax and detox the negative energy from your workday. It will also help you feel reinvigorated and calm when you face your next day at work.

This could be really helpful if you plan on addressing any issues with your boss. You definitely want to problem-solve the situation with a clear head.

8. Look for Another Job

If you find that the situation with your boss is not improving, it may be time to move on to another job.

However, you need to tread carefully to ensure that your job search is successful and that you land a job that you will love.

If you find you aren’t getting hired after your interview, you have to look at why and still get out there to find the job you want.

You also want to keep your job search on the down-low to prevent any sort of fallout with your boss.

Begin by updating your resume and LinkedIn profile based on the kinds of positions you want to target.

When you do land an interview, ask the right questions to get a feel for the management’s style, perspective, and approach.

You want to get a good sense of their team culture to make sure you don’t find yourself once again in a hostile work environment.

9. Focus On What You Want to Pursue, Not What You Want to Escape

It’s easy to get caught up in figuring out how to get out of your situation instead of what direction you want to head toward.

Feeling trapped in your job creates what is known as a “scarcity mindset.”

This is the belief that you will never have enough in life such as money and food. As a result, your actions and thoughts are motivated by the fear of lacking.

Alternatively, focusing on a pursuit will create an “abundance mindset.” Those with abundance mindsets believe there is plenty in the world and they are grateful and appreciative of what they have.

Developing an abundant mindset will have a positive impact on your success and give you the confidence to pursue your passion!

10. Start a Side Hustle

Leaving a consistently paying job to pursue your passion can be scary.

However, you can take the time now to start a side hustle that you can easily transition into a lucrative career!

Here are some side hustle ideas that you can get started with:

  • Start a Blog: When you start a blog aligned with your passion you can make money by selling products and services as well as signing up for affiliate marketing programs. Plus, blogging can lead to a side hustle as a freelance writer!
  • Offer Freelancing Services: From writing to web design, you can start your own business by offering a variety of online services. The best part about freelancing is that you can start off small in your free time and slowly build an income.
  • Become a Private Tutor: The need for private tutors is increasing so if you’re particularly skilled in a certain area, such as math, English, or even music, you can offer your services in person or online as a tutor.
  • Sell Your Photography: If you’re handy with a camera, you can sell your photographs to stock image sites or create prints and sell them online.
  • Make and Sell Crafts: Homemade gifts and items are a hot commodity right now and if you love creating you can easily sell your crafts online through Facebook or Etsy.

To start a side hustle, make sure to carve out time in your schedule to focus on what you want to do. You’ll also want to establish an online presence so you can start growing a clientele and customer base.

Set some goals you want to reach and work your way toward self-employment so you can leave your unsavory boss behind!

What Are You Waiting For?

Just because your work environment is not ideal and you can’t quit your job just yet doesn’t mean you can’t start addressing the issues and fixing the problem!

Take the necessary steps to try and repair your relationship with your boss.

If that doesn’t work, consider finding a new job or heading out on your own.

The possibilities are endless!

Elna Cain is a B2B freelance writer  for SaaS businesses and digital marketing brands and the co-founder of Freelancer FAQs. She's been featured on Entrepreneur, The Ladders, The Penny Hoarder, Leadpages and more. If you want to learn how to freelance write, check out her free course, Get Paid to Write Online.

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