Hate Your Job? Here are 3 Reasons You Might be The One to Blame

Joanne Poh



Have you ever wished the MRT would go off the rails on your way to work just so you wouldn’t have to show up at work that day? Well, you’re just one of the many Singaporeans who hate their jobs.

Ask anyone why they hate their jobs and they’ll give you any number of reasons, from that colleague in the next cubicle who won’t stop chattering away to being stuck with the workload of 10 people.

But sometimes we’re the ones who make our jobs more painful than they have to be. Here are three reasons you might be contributing to your own misery at work.


Poor time management

Lack of work-life balance is one of Singaporean employees’ biggest complaints. We’re right up there with the most industrious countries in the word in terms of numbers of hours worked, and spending too much time at work has been blamed for everything from the low birth rate and rising numbers of singles to rising levels of diabetes.

But if we’re completely honest with ourselves, there are a whole lot of people who work darned inefficiently during the day and are forced to stay back late as a result. In terms of productivity, Singapore actually fares quite badly—this means that the amount of work done by each worker per hour is much lower than in highly productive countries like Germany.

If you’re constantly doing lots of OT and can’t seem to finish your work on time, it could be because you’re just not working efficiently enough.

Maybe the first thing you do when you get into the office is check Facebook. Maybe you’re prone to taking 2-hour lunches with your colleagues. Or perhaps you pride yourself on your ability to multi-task, which to you means catching Pokemon, chatting on Whatsapp and trying to complete your daily tasks at the same time.

Take stock of what you are actually doing at work every day, and find ways to optimise your work day so you can leave as early as possible. That might mean actually sitting at your desk instead of strolling around the office to chitchat with colleagues every two hours, or scheduling client meetings earlier in the day rather than close to knock-off time.

Whatever it is, you might be surprised by how much more you like your job if you’re leaving on time every day.


Bad relationships with colleagues

Not getting along with the people around you can really take a toll on your mental health, and also affect your work, since it’s harder to get things done when everyone is busy pushing the work to everyone else and diligently dodging arrows.

Sure, you might say it’s your your fault if your colleagues are assholes. But you also have to ask yourself if you’re putting in the effort to build good working relationships with them.

You don’t have to be the best of friends with your colleagues, but there are many things you can do to make working together more pleasant for everyone

Little things like offering to help a coworker in need, really listening to colleagues’ suggestions instead of brushing them aside and extending basic courtesy and respect to everyone at the office regardless of what you think of them as people can go a long way.

It also helps to avoid spreading office gossip and refrain from complaining excessively about colleagues you dislike, since these will only lead to an increased desire to strangle the people around you.


Not trying to be engaged at work

Singapore employees have the reputation of being hopelessly disengaged—everyone shows up at work just to pick up that pay check. Disengaged employees are uninterested in their work and don’t give a damn about their company’s progress and reputation.

Before blaming your employer for not being able to motivate you, recognise that you are also responsible for trying to find meaning in your work. Do you have long-term goals for your career, and can you see how your current job fits into the grand scheme of things?

The only way you can enjoy your time at work is by voluntarily putting in the energy to complete your tasks, rather than dragging your feet and trying to get by doing the bare minimum. Actively seek out assignments that challenge you and that you can learn from.

You’ll find your time at work passes much faster, and you’re also a lot less bored than when you passively sit at your desk waiting for time to pass.

Do you like your job? Tell us why or why not in the comments!

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Joanne Poh

In my previous life, I was a property lawyer who spent most of my time struggling to get out of bed or stuck in peak hour traffic. These days, as a freelance commercial writer, I work in bed, on the beach, in parks and at cafes, all while being really frugal. I like helping other people save money so they can stop living lives they don't like.