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I Don’t Want to Work Anymore: What Should I do?

I don't want to work anymore

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If you don’t like your job, you’re certainly not alone. Most people feel the same way, and about 42% of U.S. workers are actively disengaged from their jobs. If you wish you could leave work behind and live the life you want, you might be astounded to learn that your circumstance isn’t as dire as it seems. 

Taking a sick day can only be a short-term solution. What should I do if I don’t want to work anymore and still pay the bills? There’re plenty of ways to quit your job and live the life you desire. All it takes is careful planning, hard work, and sacrifice.

Is it Normal to Not Want to Work Anymore?

Do you ever feel like you’ve done all you can in your current job and are ready for a change? If so, it’s completely normal. There comes a moment in every person’s vocation when they begin to feel like they’re stagnating at their current position and need to move on. The real question is how you should go about leaving your job without looking like a failure.

Determine whether you hate your specific position or don’t want to work. Sometimes you only need to get through a bad day at work. If the feeling persists, you need to address it. It may be time to explore alternative opportunities that are within the span of your skillset. You can start a business or work on monetizing your interests and passions.

Whatever your definition of a career is, there’s nothing abnormal about losing interest in it.

What Does It Mean if I Don’t Want to Work Anymore?

Everyone has an awful day once in a while. Maybe you had a late night, your boss just did something you didn’t like, or you’re sick of your job and everyone around you. However, if your feelings about work go beyond feeling a little down in the dumps for a day or two, it may be time for something to change.

It’s natural not to want to work some days. The Great Resignation of 2021 saw about 4.4 million Americans quit in September alone. It’s best first to understand the underlying reason for your work apathy. Here are some reasons why you may want to quit:

1. Burnout

You experience burnout when your job feels overwhelming and exhausting. Burnout adversely impacts your joy, and you’ll not fail to notice it. Burnouts manifest in three ways:

  • Frenetic burnout: It occurs when you fail to gain positive results in your job despite putting all your energy into it, leading to physical and mental exhaustion.
  • Under-challenged burnout: It happens when you feel bored, unsatisfied, and unchallenged in your current position. You’ll need to find a job you love to overcome this.
  • Worn-out burnout: It occurs when you’ve given up after experiencing long-term work-related stress. You can avoid this by identifying and managing the source of your stress and taking back responsibilities you had previously passed on to your colleagues.

2. Toxic Workplace

It is horrible to feel stuck in your current workplace. Quitting your position isn’t easy, and your situation may not allow you to do so. Before you consider quitting, there’re things you can do. Find the right work-home balance and avoid any workplace toxicity. Save some money for use when you quit and learn from your bad experiences.

3. The Dream Job Myth

Even though some people love their jobs, the dream job doesn’t exist. It’d help if you weren’t overly demoralized when your dream job doesn’t meet your expectations. You should identify the mistake that led you to develop a false perspective.

If you were attracted by the fantastic title or seemingly phenomenal company, bear in mind that it happens to the best of us. You may also have the best job in the world, but it’ll still fall short of the perfect job. 

Find an occupation that aligns with your lifestyle and keep your job from defining you. If your job is good enough, don’t mistake it for the worst job ever.

4. You’ve Lost all Inspiration

You can lose your inspiration to work due to several reasons. Discover the underlying causes and understand that inspiration comes and goes. However, if you’re uninspired for weeks on end, it may be an indicator that you need to make a change. 

Here are some queries you can ask yourself when you feel uninspired:

  • When did you last take a vacation day?
  • Are you sufficiently recognized for your effort?
  • Does your position align with your values?
  • Have you experienced any development recently?
  • Do you require more assistance or need to change your approach?
  • Do you need a more challenging position?

5. You’ve Achieved Your Big Goal and Feel Nothing

Setting grand goals for yourself and achieving them can feel amazing. Everyone will expect you to feel ecstatic, but this isn’t necessarily true. Understand that you don’t have to give in to the cultural narrative of always striving for the next breakthrough.

Remember to celebrate your achievements at the workplace. Reward yourself and celebrate with your co-workers if you get promoted. It also helps if you make realistic goals for yourself so that it doesn’t feel like a game-changer every time you make some progress.

6. You Feel Underappreciated

There’s nothing that kills morale as much as being underappreciated at work. This is even worse if you get called out on your mistakes more than get recognition for the great work you accomplish. 

Here are some characteristics of a toxic workplace that can lead to undermotivation:

  • A company culture that doesn’t recognize exemplary performance
  • A manager or employer who takes all the credit
  • Bias towards some employees deemed the favourite ones
  • Being disliked or misunderstood for a particular reason

Make sure that you communicate your needs and be quick to give your co-workers recognition. This might kickstart a norm of celebrating wins in your workplace.

7. You Want to Earn Passively

Many aspire to have a passive income enough to cater to their lifestyle. You may want to get there too, but it’s not easy. There’re many opportunities for creating passive income that you can consider. You can make a passive income in the stock market, personal business, or other side hustle.

What Can You Do When You Don’t Want to Work Anymore?

Working is important for making money, but there comes a time when you feel like quitting your job and living life doing what you want. How do you remedy being unmotivated or losing interest in your job? Try changing your perspective on the issue to find fulfillment in your career.

Here are guidelines to help you develop a healthier and more positive outlook toward your job:

1. Check Your Mental Health

If you feel exhausted, nervous, depressed, or stressed in your current position, you may develop an apathetic attitude towards things you previously loved, including your job. You should seek professional mental health assistance if you feel overwhelmed.

It’d be best if you also considered opening up to a loved one. Even though many people report feeling fulfilled in their careers, you shouldn’t take it as a rule.

2. Reflect on the Source of Your Emotions

Try and identify whether your job causes your lack of motivation before deciding to quit. This will help you realize the changes you require to make. Analyze the things about your current job that you dislike. If the problem is long working hours, you can find a position with flexible hours.

You can talk to your boss and find a solution that works for both of you.

3. Envision Your Ideal Life

Imagine what you’d be engaged in if you weren’t in your current job. Picture a perfect schedule for you and the values you want your job to represent. Envision a position that’s fun and fulfilling for you. If you enjoy traveling, for instance, you should consider a position that involves more travel.

4. Make Time for Breaks

If you’re exhausted or overworked, you might negatively view your job. It’d help to set boundaries and allocate time for breaks in your weekly or monthly schedule to combat burnout. Take days offs regularly and rest.

This will help boost your morale, and you’ll have an opportunity to escape stressful work situations for a while. Even a conversation with co-workers over a coffee break can do wonders for your motivation and happiness at work. If possible and necessary, you can shift from full-time employment to working on a part-time basis.

5. Adjust Your Daily Habits

Try adopting small positive habits to improve your perspective of your position. Listening to music or having your favourite blend of coffee can boost your mood and make your job seem more manageable.

6. Explore Various Careers

If you’re unlikely to develop a passion for your current career, consider alternatives. Evaluate your skills and qualifications to find a position you love and are qualified for. You can also decide to continue your education and achieve a total career change. 

You can seek advice from a career coach if you don’t know where to start. Another great alternative is to monetize your passions and hobbies.

7. Reward Yourself

Rewarding yourself for small achievements in the workplace can also help boost your mood. Create a link between your happiness and success at work. For instance, you can offer yourself a treat for getting to work on time.

How to Get Over Work Apathy

If you have a job, there are days when you feel utterly apathetic toward your job or company. You may feel you can’t stand going to work and doing the same thing repeatedly. This could be due to a toxic workplace, poor work-life balance, stress, health complications, or long commutes.

Strive to find the origin of the negative attitude so that you can see the bigger picture. Below are some tips to help you out of your apathy:

Talk to Your Manager or Boss

Some problems you may be facing can quickly be resolved over a conversation with your boss. Your company may go to extra lengths to ensure that they retain you if you’re an excellent employee. If possible, you can ask to work from home if the daily commute is tiring.

Take a Break

To avoid employee burnout, consider taking a break from work whenever possible. One sick day can allow you to relax and re-energize. If a vacation is expensive or you need rest, try a staycation. Enjoying your weekends and new experiences can also help elevate your mood at work.

Start Working Part-time

It’s natural to increase our monthly spending when we start earning more money. This may have you working extra hard to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle. If you’re exhausted from your 9 to 5 job, consider reducing your expenses. Alternatively, you can switch to a career with a flexible schedule or find work-from-home jobs.

Find a Different Job

If you hate your job, it may signify that you need a different job. Look for a meaningful job first before quitting. You can also begin a side hustle like driving for ride-share companies or doing freelance work.

How Do I Quit My Job?

What’s the best way to leave your job in a way that you and your boss will both be satisfied with? There’s no correct or wrong way to quit, but there’re professional ways of doing it. Here are some tips to help smooth line your exit from your workplace:

1. Make an Exit Plan

If you plan on retiring early or quitting your job, ensure that you can financially support yourself without a monthly or weekly paycheck. You can explore various passive income ideas like real estate, stock trading, or starting your business. It’s best to have some money set aside for investing.

2. Save Money

If you want to stop working, you must save enough to cover your bills. You need to have numerous income sources if you want to save effectively. Consider adopting money-saving habits and start saving up as soon as possible. Saving is much easier than you may first assume once you put your mind to it.

3. Cut Expenses

You should consider living within your means if you feel like “I don’t want to work anymore.” Reducing your expenses and shopping from a thrift store can save you money.

4. Pick a Date

Setting a definitive date can be helpful if you plan to leave your current job. You should also evaluate the savings you need to have before your final day at work arrives.

5. Start Hustling

Whether you want to quit or retire from your current job, you should begin saving. Most importantly, starting a side hustle will help you quickly achieve your saving goals.

How Can I Earn Money if I Don’t Want to Work?

There’re a few ways you can make money even if you have no desire to work. If you’re good at something and aren’t working, there’s always the potential for making extra cash with an on-demand platform like Uber or Lyft. If you have many skills, finding freelance work can be very easy.

Refraining from work completely isn’t a long-term solution if you’re like most regular folks and not a trust fund baby. Even with a disability or unemployment benefits, you’ll still need to find something to do to pay the bills. 

Here are a few positions you should consider to make money if you don’t want to keep working in your current job:

  • Establish Sources of Passive Income

This is one of the most effective ways to prepare if you don’t want to work. Find a side hustle that can run itself and offer you extra money to save or invest.

  • Freelance

Even though freelancing is technically work, it offers flexible hours and other perks absent in a regular job, making it an excellent alternative if you find full-time work overwhelming.

  • Participate in Paid Focus Groups

This involves answering questions on political subjects or products for money. For instance, you can get $150 per hour for participating in Survey Junkie’s paid focus groups.

  • Monetize a Hobby

Making money while engaging in something you love is the best deal you’ll get if you want to quit your job. Find various avenues for monetizing your passions to replace your regular paycheck.

  • Sell Digital Items

Once you’ve created a digital product, you can make money by selling it on sites like Etsy. You’ll only need to advertise your product after creating it. You can also develop and sell courses on platforms like Udemy and Teachable.


If you don’t love your job, you may wake up one day and say, “I don’t want to work anymore!” One of my cherished quotes is by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. Time disappears when you’re in a flow state, and you get so much done that it’s like magic. Maybe you’re thinking, what next now that I don’t want to work?

There’re many ways you can make money without sacrificing your physical and mental well-being at a job you hate. Losing interest in your job is more common than you may assume, don’t take it to mean the end of the world.

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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