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If you hate your job, here are three reasons why you might hate it, and what to do about it.

Do you feel anonymous?

If you feel like your manager doesn’t really care who you are as a human being, or care about your life, aspirations, or interests, then this could be one reason you hate your job.

Also, does your boss try to burden you with their issues, never letting you talk? That’s another cue that they don’t care about you or what you need to be successful.

Do you feel irrelevant?

Do you feel no matter how much you raise, it will never be enough? Do you feel that even if you help one person have a meaningful volunteer experience, it doesn’t matter to your boss? Do you feel like an interchangeable cog in an enormous wheel?

Every nonprofit employee needs to know that the work they do impacts someone’s life–a donor, a client, a co-worker, even a supervisor–in one way or another.

Even if you’re doing data entry, it would be nice to hear, “Thanks for doing that data entry, we don’t know what we would do without you!”

Do you feel as if there’s not enough measurement going on?

Does your boss toss your need for supervision back at you? Does he or she say, “You have to supervise yourself, give yourself your own metrics, give me the goals”? How ridiculous! You need their feedback. You need realism. You need, in short, someone to help you reach your goals. You can measure how much you’ve raised in your database, but other measurements, like social media measurements, are more subtle. Or just entering checks into the database, you can say, “I entered 50 checks today” but so what? Do you have to rely on your manager’s subjective opinion to gauge your progress or contribution?

Why doesn’t your boss give you recognition, relevance and measurement?

Few managers take a genuine interest in their people, remind them of the impact that their work has on others, and help them establish creative ways to measure and assess their performance.

Your boss may think that they are too busy, as an executive director, to praise you, to give you relevance and measurement.

Unfortunately, your boss might see himself primarily as individual contributor who happens to have people reporting to him. She might fail to realize that the most important part of her job is providing people with what they need to be productive and fulfilled (a.k.a. not miserable) in their jobs.

She might also have forgotten what it was like when she was lower in the hierarchy. He somehow forget how important it was to him when a supervisor took an interest in them, talked to him about why his work really mattered and gave him a means for evaluating his progress.

How can you fight back when you hate your job?

Talk to your manager. Tell them what you need. Tell them how you feel. I know it’s scary, but you can do it.

Tell them, “When you do this, I feel…” or “This is what I need to be successful in my job.” Make a list of at least 3 things. Say,

I need to hear you appreciate me. I need to hear you find something I’m doing right.

I need to hear that you see the results I’m having, and you’re pleased with these results. I need you to help me get metrics that are reachable, not pie-in-the-sky.

I need to hear that you want me to succeed in this field. I need you to give me permission to go to nonprofit networking meetings or fundraising conferences. I need to get books to be a better fundraiser.

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