It’s not fun to wake up and have “I don’t want to work anymore” as your first thought. You can’t enjoy the day if you’re in a funk that’s hard to shake. But it’s important to find out why you feel this way and what you can do about it.
Table of contents
- Why you may say, “I don’t want to work anymore”
- 14 tips to recover from work burnout and love your job again
- Expert tip: Start saving money as you assess your job
- Got “I don’t want to work” feels? Alternative careers to consider
- What can I do if I don’t want to work?
- Is it normal to not want to work ever?
- How can I make money if I don’t want to work?
- Should I work if I don’t need the money?
- Articles related to not wanting to work anymore
- It’s okay to say, “I don’t want to work anymore”
First off, don’t judge yourself for feeling this way. You can’t expect yourself to love working all the time.
Furthermore, it’s normal not to like every aspect of your job.
What you need to do is explore what’s behind it. Therein lies the answers to what you can do differently. So, let’s get to it!
Why you may say, “I don’t want to work anymore”
Life is busy – you have responsibilities and goals to check off. But feeling like you don’t want to work anymore is your check engine light coming on.
Your body and maybe your intuition are talking to you. Take time to listen. Here are a few reasons why you may be screaming, “I don’t want to work!” into the void.
You’re burned out
Burnout is more than being exhausted physically. It happens when you get stuck in a cycle of being overwhelmed, stressed, and emotionally drained.
Don’t shame yourself for feeling burned out. Modern life is great and all.
But you’re also expected to juggle having a family, career, and social life effortlessly. Sometimes it can be too much!
There’s a lot going on in your personal life
Of course, it’s not going to be business as usual if you have a lot going on in your personal life.
Your relationships and your home are supposed to offer safety and peace. If you are facing money troubles, illness, or divorce, it will impact your work life. While your work is not directly responsible for you feeling burned out, you may still need some time to recover from the overwhelm.
The company you work for is toxic
You love what you do, but the company’s culture is toxic. You may have a toxic boss or find yourself trying to figure out how to deal with a toxic coworker. So, you’re sitting there thinking you don’t want to work.
Unfortunately, many work environments run on abuse and bullying. And sadly, workers tolerate the mistreatment because they need a paycheck and health insurance.
If you feel that your workplace is toxic, it may be time to look for a new job somewhere else.
The team you work with just isn’t a good fit
Sometimes you just jive with people, which creates a fun, collaborative work environment. But if you have to navigate unhealthy office politics alone, it’s hard not to say you don’t really want to work anymore.
But it’s important to realize that the work itself may not be the problem. You may want to stay in a similar career but work with a different team.
You REALLY don’t want to go back to the office
Another reason you may not be happy at work is that you don’t want to go back to the office. Working from home means you don’t have to commute and sit in traffic. Not to mention, you can use the extra hours to rest or do something you enjoy, like stress relieving hobbies.
It might be time to transition to a remote working career instead if you enjoy the extra freedom it provides.
Finding fulfillment in your role is difficult
As humans, we actually like to learn and grow. So, the reason you don’t want to work anymore may come from being unfulfilled in your current role.
If you’ve been on a job too long, you become stagnant. You’re probably due for a different environment, or you may need to start challenging yourself more at work.
You don’t feel appreciated
It’s human nature to want validation. But it could be why you haven’t felt good about work lately. You may not feel appreciated at work or feel like your work isn’t valuable.
When you put too much emphasis on external goals and validation, you open yourself up for disappointment. Because you might not get what you’re looking for.
It’s not that you’re not worthy or deserving. But the people you want appreciation from may not see your efforts. They could also have different goals and yardsticks altogether.
14 tips to recover from work burnout and love your job again
Apparently, you spend one-third of your life at work over your lifetime, according to Gettysburg College. So, it’s a real downer if you spend all that time thinking, “I don’t want to work at all.”
You can’t fix a toxic work environment, but you can gain a new perspective to cope with a job you don’t like. Here are a few tips to help you recover from burnout and love your job again.
1. Take that well-earned vacation
42 percent of your time should be spent resting, according to Drs. Amelia and Emily Nagoski, in order to avoid burnout.
So, if “I don’t want to work” has become your mantra, then it’s time for some days off. Whatever it is you’re working on will be there when you get back, so start working on your vacation budget.
2. Find gratitude
Being grateful isn’t the same as being content. You may not love your job, but you are still getting paid. Think of all the things and experiences having a paycheck allows you to do.
For instance, you wake up in a comfortable bed, and you have hot water to shower with. Shift your perspective and remember that you’re not going to work for the company. You’re doing it for you because getting a paycheck means your bills are paid.
Furthermore, if you don’t like your job, then it’s only temporary. There’s something better out there for you. Until then, be grateful for the little things and celebrate the smallest wins. Try a 30 days of gratitude challenge to jump-start a new way of thinking!
3. Find a way to help others
Sometimes the best way to make yourself better is to help others.
Instead of being wrapped up in your head, notice others. A smile, a thank you, a simple gesture of opening a door for someone goes a long way.
Little acts of kindness also improve your own support networks. When you show up for others in times of need, they show up for you too! Find nice things to do for people to improve your life and theirs.
4. Level up your skill set to bring in new opportunities
One of the reasons you may not want to work is because you’re constantly doing the wrong thing or failing at your tasks. To tackle this, look into improving your money making skills or picking up new ones.
Ask your supervisor or co-workers for pointers on how to do your job efficiently. You can also read books or attend trainings.
This also gives your brain something to do other than focusing on how bad things are. You can become more productive and love your job again in the process.
5. Re-visit your expectations for what a job can give you
You might be saying, “I don’t want to work” because you’ve put too much emphasis on what the job can give you.
Maybe you’ve been passed over for a promotion, so you’re questioning your value. Maybe you’ve had expectations about achieving certain milestones that didn’t happen.
To get out of the funk, look back and remember why you’re doing this job.
Why are you in this field? Why did you say yes to working in this company? Knowing why you are working there may help you move forward in a more positive way.
6. Take more breaks at work
You need breaks to be productive. According to Nivati, breaks can not only lessen stress but also help you be more creative and focused.
There are lots of relaxing ways to spend your breaks that will benefit you, as well. Try going for a short walk or eating your lunch outdoors to recharge. Or read a page of a book, stretch, or meditate.
7. Fully embrace your life outside of the office
One of the ways to love your job again is to make sure you have a full life outside of the office. Chasing promotions and approval at work may not change how you feel about your job.
Set aside time to visit with friends and take part in family activities – nurture your relationships. You can also look into volunteering for causes that you care about.
If you enjoy solitude, make sure you’re giving yourself time to be alone and recharge as well. Try a self care Sunday, reading a new book, or a relaxing walk.
8. Build in time for mindfulness before starting your workday
You’re probably saying, “I don’t want to work” because your job takes up all of your time. Hence, you’re exhausted and resentful.
Before you rush to start the day, take a few minutes to yourself.
Even real simple things can help counter the resentment you feel towards your job and prepare you mentally for the day ahead.
For instance, jot down a few things you’re grateful for or do a short guided meditation.
9. Make an exit plan and start saving
Are you tired of saying, “I don’t want to work”? If the answer is yes and you’ve discovered the reason for leaving a job, be it burnout, a toxic work culture, or wanting to try something new, then it’s time to make an exit plan.
First, update your resume or gather your portfolio. Then, start applying for jobs. This is also a good time to ask your network to hand out your resume or to introduce you to hiring managers.
If you’re keen to resign right away, you can also register at temp agencies, so you have money coming in while job hunting.
It’s also a great idea to put money away so you have peace of mind that your bills are paid during the transition. Cut out unnecessary spending to save as much as you can.
10. Work on a side hustle
On the other hand, your exit strategy from your job could be starting a side hustle. Consider your passions or interests for business ideas.
For instance, you can make extra income by taking photos or making and selling jewelry. You can be your own boss and build it up to replace your current income.
Some professions, like graphic design, copywriting, and marketing, have a huge market for freelancers. So, that’s another avenue you can explore.
11. Don’t talk about work at home
If you’re experiencing stress at work, it’s difficult not to take it home. You might even take your stress out on your family by complaining about work at home or feeling constantly anxious.
But you’d rather enjoy time with your family. So, start setting healthy boundaries with yourself not to talk about work at home. Or give yourself an allotted time to vent, then move on.
12. Take up a hobby
You’ve been saying you don’t want to work, so go do something you like. Put on headphones and listen to your favorite music, and not as background noise. Or listen to a podcast or an audiobook to de-stress.
Hobbies are not only fun, but they also help with your creativity, such as these great indoor hobbies.
You don’t have to spend money either. Whatever it is you’re interested in, there are free resources everywhere, like your local library, YouTube, etc.
13. Set new goals
You could be burnt out because you’ve been trying to accomplish goals that are just too much for you right now. Maybe the opposite is true too. You’re aiming too low, and it’s not challenging anymore.
Why not start over with your goals? Be clear on what you want to accomplish in your job. Then, focus on what you can control and set a professional goal or two within those limits.
14. Ask for help
You may not be used to asking for help, but being stressed and overwhelmed is not good for you. When “I don’t want to work” has become a constant thought, get support from those who can help.
Venting to family and friends may help, but it doesn’t really solve the issue. Communicate the problem to your superiors with some suggestions on how they can help you. You can also lighten your workload by delegating reasonable tasks to those who work under you.
Expert tip: Start saving money as you assess your jobAs an exercise, save $5 for every complaint you make about your job. Then, analyze the “why” behind each annoyance. Once you find the reasons why you don’t want to show up to work, you’ll know what changes to make.
For instance, maybe you’re annoyed that your commute to the office is too long and stressful. Is there a way for you to work from home for a few days a week? If not, would you consider looking for another job closer to home or maybe a remote position working from home?
When you start acknowledging how you feel, you’ll end up with some extra cash and some answers about your job, also.
Got “I don’t want to work” feels? Alternative careers to consider
Want to stop saying, “I don’t want to work,” and start loving what you do again? Check out these alternative careers that don’t require you to be at the office from 9-5.
Freelancer (anything and everything)
Take back the pep in your step by learning how to start freelancing with no experience. With 73.3 million freelancers in the U.S., according to Demand Sage, you’ll find one in almost every industry. Freelancers are independent contractors, and they get paid on a per-job or per-task basis.
Some in-demand skills include graphic design, web development, social media marketing, and customer support. Gig workers for Uber, Instacart, and the like are also considered freelancers.
As a freelancer, you’re not an employee, so you don’t get benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans. But you enjoy a flexible work schedule.
In addition, your income depends on how much work you take on.
Learning how to become a virtual assistant with no experience could be your way of ditching the I don’t want to work feeling. Virtual assistants generally take care of administrative tasks such as answering emails, booking meetings, social media management, data entry, and more.
The great thing about becoming a virtual assistant is that you can get started with skills you already have. The pay depends on your skill level and whether you work for yourself or for a company. Typically it’s anywhere from $15 to $60 an hour.
If you want to dip your toes into this role, here are a few companies that hire virtual assistants:
- Time Etc.: Average pay is $18 per hour.
- Belay Solutions: $15.86 per hour on average.
- Zirtual: About $16 per hour on average.
- Boldly: Average of $35-$60 per hour.
Do you love fitness and encouraging others to do the same? You could become a personal trainer and help people get more active.
You’ll assist clients in achieving their goals, whether that’s weight loss, resistance training, or overall health care.
You could also create workout videos on YouTube and get paid through ads and affiliate marketing. However, you’d have to make videos consistently and grow your followers.
There are many ways you can make money as a photographer. You can sell stock photos, offer services to events, sell photo prints online, and more. Photographers make around $46,000 per year on average.
Wedding photography is lucrative, but it’s also very competitive. But you can start out offering your services for other events like birthdays, graduation, proms, etc. You can set your own rates and hours and still make good money.
You’d have to buy your own equipment plus software for editing. Depending on the services you want to offer, you might need a few props and backgrounds as well. Make sure to create a portfolio that showcases what you can do.
If you love makeup, skincare, hair styling, manicures, and pedicures, then cosmetology is right up your alley. You can help people look good and feel better about themselves while getting paid. You can definitely get rid of the “I don’t want to work” thoughts in this role!
Choose a specialty. For instance, you could offer makeup and hairstyling for special occasions and events. Or provide manicure and pedicure services.
You can also get additional training to be able to become an eyelash specialist. Likewise, you can do facials and other skincare treatments.
You can work for a salon or take on your own clients. Cosmetologists make around $52,000 a year.
Are you tired of being around people? Kick that “I don’t want to work at all” feeling to the curb and get in the truck. Literally!
This role is a good option for those who like working by themselves. But first, you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to become a long-haul truck driver.
The pay is around $97,000 a year. Not bad! Your main duties would likely be planning routes to get to destinations on time, loading and unloading cargo, and driving long distances.
Real estate agent
If you’re a people person and have an interest in real estate properties and buyers markets vs sellers markets, you might enjoy being a real estate agent.
You’ll be helping people sell or buy properties. Your primary responsibilities would be listing and showing properties. Real estate agents also negotiate on behalf of their clients.
You’ll need to take state-accredited courses and pass the exam so you can get your real estate license.
However, you can make about $95,000 per year with this job.
If you love traveling, maybe it could be your ticket to getting rid of the “I don’t want to work” feeling. As a flight attendant, you can see the world and love what you do at the same time.
Flight attendants guide and assist passengers during air travel. The job may seem glamorous and easy, but the training is rigorous. So they’re prepared in case of emergencies.
You’ll need to be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to work as one. Flight attendants make a yearly income ranging from $70,000 to $100,000.
Want to leave your 9-5 for something different? Becoming a firefighter fits the bill! Not to mention, firefighters are essential members of the community.
The scope of their duties is wide. They fight fires, respond to medical emergencies, assist in search and rescue efforts, help out with traffic incidents, and more.
Most fire departments set their own hiring qualifications and training requirements. So, if you’re interested, visit a fire department and ask about their criteria. In this role, expect a yearly salary of around $50,000.
Do you have an expertise you want to share or maybe a talent for motivating people? Starting a coaching business might suit you. You can help others overcome their challenges and achieve their goals.
You can choose a specialty and focus your mentorship on relationships, business, career, or wellness. Some of the responsibilities of a coach include setting goals with clients, building strategies to achieve the goals, and holding clients accountable.
Blogging isn’t something that will make you money right away. It takes time and dedication to learn how to become a blogger. But with focus and consistency, you’ll reap the benefits.
Before setting up your blog, decide on what type of blog you want to start. Determine your topic and who your ideal audience is.
Put out quality content, and you’re sure to grow your audience. Once you’re able to monetize your blog, you can earn from advertising revenue, affiliate marketing, product reviews, or creating your own products.
What can I do if I don’t want to work?
If you’re feeling like you don’t want to work, take some time off to rest your body and your mind if you can. It won’t serve you to run yourself to the ground.
While it may not be possible to take a week off from work, you can at least try to carve out a few hours, or a weekend, to yourself to think things through.
When you’re calm and relaxed, take a moment to understand why you didn’t want to work.
Ask yourself these questions: What aspects of your job do you like? What’s not working for you? What can you do differently to love your job again?
The answers to these questions can help enlighten you as to what changes you need to make.
Is it normal to not want to work ever?
It’s not normal to not want to work ever because humans like being productive, though everyone has a day now and then when they don’t feel like working. You probably feel this way because you have to keep doing things you don’t like, or you feel burned out.
Either you don’t enjoy your job, or it’s not challenging enough for you. You might not know right away, but find out what brings you joy. Do more of that, and you might find that you actually want to work and can start enjoying the life you have.
How can I make money if I don’t want to work?
Nowadays, there are many ways to learn how to make money without a job if you don’t want to work, including passive income and side hustles. But it’s important to not quit your job with no plan.
Should I work if I don’t need the money?
It’s up to you if you don’t want to work because you don’t need the money. But my guess is you want to be doing something with your time, even if the income isn’t that important for you.
How about getting paid for something you love to do anyway, like photography, candle making, etc.? You can put any income you make into savings or invest the money to get started with wealth accumulation.
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