all jobs suck

Laurie Ruettimann is a workforce expert, author, and podcaster. Please check out the homepage for her most recent books, podcasts, LinkedIn courses, and newsletters.


My email inbox is full of messages from people just like you who hate their jobs.

Earnest folks. Men and women with degrees, professional careers, student loans, and mortgages. Human beings who are frustrated with work and have nowhere left to go except the internet. They google “I hate work” or “I hate HR,” find my blog, and confirmation bias kicks into high gear. They feel like they’ve found a woman who hates work as much as they do.

It’s true. I do hate work.

But all jobs suck. Even the good ones. Don’t email me just to complain. And, if you do, expect a templatized response like this:


An Open Letter to All of You Who Hate Work Too

Hello there. Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear work is so stressful. I will tell you something you don’t want to hear: All jobs suck. There are highs and lows in every field. Want to feel better about work? Worry less about your career and care more about your life outside of work. Get a few hobbies or rediscover your friends. Gain perspective on what matters to you.

I know you see people on the internet who seem to love their jobs. They are lying. Okay, maybe they’re telling the truth. But they’re happy regardless of the work. And happy is the wrong word to use. Most likely, they are resilient. Happy people fall back on relationships and extra-curricular activities when a job is stressful or unsatisfying.

Do you have a best friend? Something to distract you from a tough day at the office? A creative outlet? No? Well, here’s my advice: Take work less seriously and reprioritize your life. Make a list of three things you would do if you had a day off tomorrow. Take the day off and do one thing. Get greedy and do two things. Or be disruptive and tackle the whole list.

Can’t take the day off? American PTO policies suck! Don’t be a jerk, but work 22% less hard tomorrow. Take a longer lunch or go on an extended Starbucks break. Get balance in your life by grabbing that balance back.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Love, Laurie


Fix Work by Fixing Yourself First

People hate this response but, years later, they write back and thank me for my pragmatic advice. They know I’m right. Yes, HR sucks. I’m sure your boss is a dick. But don’t quit just yet. Because all jobs suck, even the good ones, and most of us are in a prison of our creation. Time to open the door from the inside and let yourself out.

I’ve written loads about how you can change your relationship with work, but here are some of my best ideas:

  1. Practice professional detachment
  2. Be a slacker
  3. Take a break from work
  4. Prioritize your wellbeing
  5. Learn something new
  6. If all else fails, create a plan to shift your career in a new direction

Unhappy workers who hate their jobs will wind up here with you and everybody else who wasn’t born wealthy and has a job that sucks. This post will serve as a permanent reminder that feelings are temporary and jobs don’t suck forever. It’s possible to step off the treadmill and grab control of life.

The permission slip you’ve been waiting for — to take the day off, care a little less, or quit their jobs — has arrived. And it didn’t come from HR.


Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your CareerWant more help with fixing work for yourself?

My book, Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career is here to help. I have written detailed and actionable ideas for how you can fix work for yourself and stop saying “my job sucks” all the time. Order your copy of Betting on You today.


  1. I had a job a few years ago that I truly, genuinely hated. It was depressing, and demoralizing. To deal with it I ate all the things and stopped exercising, not a good solution. One day the existential crisis hit and I questioned my life choices; sitting on a bench outside a conference I questioned everything that had brought me to that point and I realized it was me. I brought me to that point, I had no one else to blame, I chose that position but I also CHOSE to get the fuck out. So I went back to school, I used work time to study, because screw those guys, and made my full-time job finding another job.

    Life is too short to hate what you do. Find your way to something you can at least get out of bed for each morning. Yeah, work sucks but it doesn’t have to be miserable.

  2. This is just outstanding. I actually did a little happy jig when I clicked the link and it did indeed route me back to this particular post. Bliss…

  3. Work sucks, your boss and co workers are a pain in the bleep, so let’s all go to a beach bar and have wings and beer. Lol. Or do what you like. Too bad the fun runs out when the money runs out. Oh no, not another crappy job. Sheeesh.

  4. I like this site. It tells the truth. There seems to be two constants in life:
    1. If you’re trading your time for a paycheck that isn’t overwhelmingly large, you’re wasting away.
    2. If you don’t have a bunch of money saved and don’t see an end in sight, you’re a wage slave.

    I’ve learned something about myself: there’s conceptually understanding that I shouldn’t take things so seriously and then there’s actually feeling that I don’t have to take things seriously. Conceptually, yea, I shouldn’t take things so seriously. But when you absolutely hate your existence because the job you do and other jobs that you qualify for ruin your life, it’s hard to actually believe that things will actually work out.

  5. when you get older your not as energenic. Age discrimination is just a phrase. They label you as something else. I guess its the feeling of worthlessness to do a different job because your career ended. Im not proving anything like the younger generation, and after 40 years of pride in work ethic,you cant apply it to a general labor job,there is no time left for promotions, your body is old and painful. People don’t care what you say even if they don’t lie and say they did not hear you or understand. Everyone does only what they want, and I don’t want to do anything. Computers came along after I was out of school, no one cares it is part of the job. Physical stamina fades and younger people either think do it or go home. Experience means nothing on a different job. @0 yer olds have more experience at something you just started. You can’t drive CDL because the safety of others is not worth the chance that the driver may make a mistake or stroke out at 55 mph. The DOT Physicians are right. It could happen. Just like young person could be distracted by their cell phone. Old people should just go home, live in poverty after life style depletes savings. Then just wait to die.

Comments are closed.