You wake up in the morning. Go through your routine. Eat breakfast and get dressed for work. If you work in an office, you head out the door. If you work from home, you go get in front of your laptop.
But, for whatever reason you find yourself a bit numb when starting your day. Maybe you’re not necessarily dreading going to work, and it’s not that you don’t want to work at all, but you just find yourself regularly feeling kind of disinterested and disengaged when starting your work day.
If the above description resonates with you at all, you may be in a place where you’re feeling like “I don’t care about my job”. And if you’re in that spot, it can be tough. The average person spends 90,000 hours at work throughout the course of their lives. So, being in a place where you simply don’t care about your job doesn’t feel great.
To that end, this article is going to unpack common questions around what to do if you’re feeling like “I don’t care about my job” and offer best practices and recommendations.
Let’s dive in.
- 1 Signs You Don’t Care About Your Job
- 2 Is It Normal Not To Care About Your Job?
- 3 What To Do When You Don’t Care About Your Job?
- 4 How To Know When It’s Time To Quit Your Job?
- 5 Conclusion
Signs You Don’t Care About Your Job
The first thing to do if you’re feeling like you don’t care about your job is to make an honest assessment about whether or not you actually do care about your job.
Here are the most common signs you don’t care about your job:
1. You Feel Like You’re Going Through The Motions
If each day work day feels routine and uninteresting to you, that is one of the common signs that you may not care about your job. I’ve heard it described as feeling “numb” at work.
It’s the type of feeling where you don’t necessarily want to quit your job everyday, and your job may not be making you miserable, but where you just feel checked out and just want to go through your routine and clock out at the end of the day.
2. You’re Doing The Minimum
Similar to feeling like you’re going through the motions, if your work output is “just enough not to get fired” as the great Peter Gibbons from Office Space once said, that is a strong sign that you don’t care about your job.
Other behaviors that would fall under this umbrella would be saying no to everything outside of the normal course of your job, actively avoiding additional projects and work, etc.
3. You Can’t Focus On Your Work
If you feel like you’re distracted and can’t focus on your work, that could be another sign that you don’t care about your job.
Work that is exciting and interesting tends to be immersive and pull you in and make time feel like it’s flying by. If you’re struggling to even concentrate, that’s a sign that you simply might not care.
4. You’re Not Very Interested In What The Company Is Doing
Do you ever find yourself in an all company meeting and feel like you just couldn’t care less about the big initiatives for the year? Or if a new project comes up, is your first thought the dread of the work that it’s going to add to your plate?
If you find either of those resonating with you, then you may not care about your job.
5. You Don’t Really Care About The Company’s Performance
Lastly, if you find that your really don’t care how your company is performing, outside of the extent to which your company’s performance impact you or your peers’ job security, then you may not care about your job.
A lack of concern for company performance is also sometimes even tied to feelings of resentment towards founders or executives that get far more of the upside when the company does well and eventually sells.
Is It Normal Not To Care About Your Job?
Yes, unfortunately, it is normal not to care about your job. In fact, a recent survey showed that 60% of people felt emotionally detached at their jobs.
Additionally, trends like quiet quitting, which refers to the act of employees doing the absolute minimum to meet the requirements of their job, have received mainstream attention recently.
And lastly, the great resignation coming out of the pandemic showed staggering numbers of employees leaving their jobs for better opportunities.
To me, all of that makes a strong case that it’s very common for people not to care about their jobs.
What To Do When You Don’t Care About Your Job?
If you don’t care about your job, then I encourage you not to settle and to go find a work situation that you are going to care about and that’s going to fill you with life.
As previously mentioned, the average person spends over 90,000 hours of their life at work. That’s roughly a third of your time during the working period of your life. That is just too much time to go numb and accept a job that you don’t care about.
So, more practically, if you’re in a situation where you’re thinking “I don’t care about my job,” here is what I recommend that you do:
1. Figure Out The Role That You Want Work To Play In Your Life
Too often, I find that people try to build their lives around their work, rather than fit work into the life that they want to build for themselves.
To that end, the place to start is to make sure that you have a clear vision of the overall life that you want to build for yourself. And then figure out the role that you want work to play in that.
I walk through how to do that in the “establish a vision” section of our what to do with life article.
2. Figure Out Why Your Current Work Situation Isn’t Working For You
Once you know how you want work to fit into your life, do an honest assessment of why you don’t care about your current job.
To do that, I recommend that you walk through the seven factors of a job, as presented in the book, What Color Is Your Parachute.
As you go through those areas, assess how well each of those fit into what you want out of work situation and how you want that work situation to fit into your life.
From there, identify problematic areas and what you would ideally want those to look like.
Here are the seven elements of a job, according to the book:
- Your compatibility with the people
- Your workplace conditions
- The skills that you’re using
- The purpose behind your work
- The knowledges that you’re using
- The money that you’re making
- The location of your work
3. Try To Improve Or Find A New Work Situation
Once you know the role that you want work to play in your life, and why your current situation isn’t working for you, it’s now time to take the next steps to improve your situation.
In some cases, you might be able to enjoy work more by negotiating a better situation at your current job. For example, if you find that you don’t care about your job because you’re bored and not using the right skills, you can see if you renegotiate your work responsibilities with your boss.
If there’s not a way to negotiate an improvement to your current situation, then it’s time to go look for a new role that better aligns with what you want out of work work.
Lastly, if you’re not sure what your overall work path should be, then I recommend that you do some evaluation and experimentation with alternate career paths to try and discover what might resonate.
Steps #2 and #3 in the what to do with life article walk through how to conduct an evaluation and experimentation process.
How To Know When It’s Time To Quit Your Job?
It’s time to quit your job if you feel like you have a good understanding of the reason why you don’t care about, or are not enjoying, your job and the root cause is something that you are not able to negotiate.
At the end of the day, your work is such a significant portion of your life and life is simply too short to not like what you’re doing.
Now, if you have decided that you’re going to quit your job, I do have some recommendations for how you approach the situation:
- Get another job before leaving your current job (avoid quitting with nothing else lined up)
- Provide sufficient notice to your current employer and resign professionally (avoid an immediate resignation)
If you find yourself thinking “I don’t care about my job,” then work to get to the root cause of why you feel that way.
Once you understand the root cause, see if you can improve your current job situation.
If you can’t improve your current job situation, then go find a better work situation.
Life is too short to do work that doesn’t bring you to life. So do everything you can to make a contribution and find work is meaningful and that you enjoy.