I Hate My Job: How to Improve a Job you Don’t Like
By Greg Skloot
In an ideal world, we’d all find jobs we love right off the bat.
But a lot of the time, this isn’t the case. Because we are all unique, we may not always fit perfectly into a specific position. If you feel stuck in a draining job that you feel yourself hating, there are steps you can take to improve your situation and help the position fit your personality better.
Before learning how to adapt your job, it’s important to have a bit of background on personality.
We use a framework called DISC to better understand individual personalities. DISC classifies personalities into a few categories that we refer to as D (dominance), I (influence), S (steadiness), and C (conscientiousness). By categorizing personalities in this way, we can learn how to communicate with others in a way that helps them understand and relate to us. For example, someone who is a supportive, people-oriented S-type is less likely to enjoy an overly fact-focused, detailed discussion. They may become bored or frustrated, missing the point of the conversation entirely. On the other hand, if they were an analytical, questioning C-type, they would probably appreciate a discussion that focuses on specific, concrete facts and avoids involving much emotion.
The 4 categories of DISC can be further broken down into 16 unique personality types. We give each an easy to remember name, as you can see in the Personality Map here:
Generally speaking, different personality types tend to feel energized or excited by different behaviors. Similarly, they may feel drained by different tasks. For example, a high-energy, assertive D-type may feel drained if they have to sit and listen to someone review granular data in a meeting. This same person, though, is likely to feel energized by leading a meeting themselves and discussing progress on team goals.
If you’re in a position that requires you to frequently do tasks that drain your energy and doesn’t give you the opportunity to engage in energizing behaviors, you’re more likely to feel regularly exhausted. If you feel stuck in your job, it may not mean the position isn’t right for you - it may just mean you’ve taken on too many responsibilities that have a negative impact.
Before quitting a job, assuming that you’re treated well otherwise, talk to a supervisor or coworker about potentially reframing the position to include more energizing tasks and fewer draining tasks.
Your ideal workplace is likely one where your boss and colleagues treat you in the way you’d like. For example, more extroverted I-types may prefer that their supervisors and peers communicate casually and often with them, while more reserved C-types are more likely to want plenty of personal space from their coworkers.
For example, here is how a DISC type C personality, more specifically, an Analyst, may want to interact with the people they work with:
YOUR DIRECT REPORTS
Provides enough time to research and process information independently.
Answers questions thoroughly and specifically.
Provides a logical, accurate, and precise description of performance expectations.
Gives you the autonomy to discover new ways to complete an assignment.
Values careful planning and preparation.
Explain the reasoning behind their claims and recommendations.
Give you opportunities to demonstrate your skills and expertise.
Work within an established set of systems and standards.
Communicate with formal, business-like language.
Respect your schedule and routine.
Consistently deliver high-quality results.
Provide compelling logic to back up their ideas.
Avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Ask for feedback frequently, especially in writing.
Work within the rules you have established.
If you feel like your current workplace communication or culture isn’t working for you, try communicating your needs to your boss, peers, and direct reports. Make an effort to openly share how you’re feeling before you resign yourself to disliking your workplace.
Making Career Choices
Jobs may always have their flaws, but often, there are ways to ease the stress and adapt your responsibilities. However, If you’ve gone as far as you can in your current position and are thinking about making a career shift, check out our full-length ebook, Personality and Career Decisions.
Want to learn about your personality and what comes naturally to you?