I Don’t Want to Work Anymore: Why & What to Do

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Is the first thing you think when you wake up during the workweek, “I don’t want to work anymore?”  

And then you think, “but I need the money” so you drag yourself out of bed?

We have all been there at some point in our lives.  It’s a normal part of life to want to take a break from the rat race once in a while.

And rightly so.  Working is exhausting and when you work for a long stretch of time without any kind of physical and mental pause, it can downright drive you nuts!

But if you are feeling like you need (or want) a more permanent break, it might be time to look deeper into your life (and your job) to find out why.

There are lots of reasons why you might be thinking you don’t want to work anymore.  And I am going to cover some of those today.  

I will also give you some ideas on what to do when you don’t want to work anymore.  Unfortunately, most people can’t just quit their jobs because they don’t want to work.  

You probably have bills to pay, mouths to feed, health insurance to carry, and other necessary financial obligations.  

So what can you do if you really don’t want to work?  Keep reading for some ideas.  

Don't Want to Work: Woman working on computer at desk

I don’t want to work anymore: Why and what to do

Is it normal to not want to go to work?

That’s a tough question to give a straight answer to.  Why?  Because everyone has a different work ethic.  The value of working at a job is different for everyone.    

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, work ethic is a set of values that are centered on the importance of doing work; the belief in work as a moral good. 

There are many articles that refer to work ethic as a characteristic that is innate, or one that you are born with.  Others say work ethic can be taught and learned.  

Whichever is the case, it doesn’t matter for our discussion.  What matters is that you think about what is normal work ethic for you.

So to answer the question, “Is it normal to not want to go to work,”  the answer is yes for some and no for others.

If you happen to be one of those people that doesn’t value work, then not wanting to go to work is probably a frequent thought you have.  

But if you typically value working as part of your life, then no it probably isn’t normal for you to not want to work anymore.  

If you are a person that usually values going to work and now all of a sudden you don’t want to work anymore, then that could be cause for concern.  

You may want to do some soul searching to figure out the cause of your shift in mindset.  

Let’s talk about some reasons you don’t want to work anymore.

Don't Want to Work Anymore: 3 Women sitting around table working on laptops

Why do I feel like I don’t want to work anymore?

Feeling job burnout

Job burnout is when you feel physically or emotionally exhausted at work and you don’t feel like you are accomplishing what you think you should be. 

So feeling burned out at work can make you not want to work anymore.  But if you can get to the bottom of your reason for feeling job burnout, your mindset about working may change. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of burnout can also be related to depression. So if you are feeling any symptoms of burnout, talk to your doctor. 

Here are questions to ask yourself to assess your job burnout symptoms as per the Mayo Clinic:

  • Have you become cynical at work?
  • Do you force yourself to go to work and then have a hard time getting started?
  • Have you become irritable with coworkers, customers, or clients?
  • Do you lack energy at work?
  • Are you having a hard time concentrating?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Are you using food, drugs, or alcohol to feel better?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Are you experiencing headaches, stomach, or bowel problems?

To find out more information on job burnout, like causes of burnout and how to handle it, check out this great article on mayoclinic.org.  

Being stressed

Feeling stressed out about circumstances at work or a situation at home can cause you not to want to work anymore.  

Maybe you have a deadline coming up on a project you are struggling to finish.  Or maybe you are having a dispute with a family member and it’s taking its toll on you.

Whatever the cause, stress can take a major toll on you both physically and mentally.  So it is important to learn how to destress so you can get yourself refocused on your priorities.  

There are many ways to cope with stress.  But not all stress management techniques will work for everyone. 

So it’s important to figure out a few techniques that will work for you.  Some ideas for stress relief are:

  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Yoga/stretching
  • Outdoor activities: hike, bike, walk
  • Listen to music
  • Dance
  • Play with your pets
  • Talk it out
  • Write in your journal
  • Use aromatherapy

If you are having trouble managing your stress, talk to your doctor. 

Feeling taken advantage of

The feeling that you are being taken advantage of at work because of your heavy workload can be very overwhelming.  

And feeling overwhelmed at work is enough to make you feel like you don’t want to go to work.  

Workload expectations can grow over time.  As you gain more experience and can finish your workload more quickly, many companies will give you more work to do.  

And many times your pay doesn’t increase with the workload.  So that feeling of being taken advantage of can be very real.  

You could try discussing these concerns and feelings about your job with your supervisor.  Maybe you could work together to figure out a resolution (i.e. more pay for a heavier workload).  

Feeling uninspired

Feeling uninspired or unfulfilled at your job could cause you to feel like you don’t want to work anymore.  

Maybe you have been working at the same company for years and you have witnessed all the changes the company has made and you’re not a fan of them.

Or maybe your job just isn’t what you expected it to be and you know it’s not a good fit for your personality.

It may be time to check out some other employment options.  Or maybe there is a different position within the same company you could apply for that would be more fulfilling.

The desire to spend more time with family

Are you thinking you don’t want to work anymore because you want to be able to spend more time with family?  

Maybe you have a baby on the way.  Or maybe a family member is not doing well and you want to be able to be there for him or her.  

Feeling like you are missing out on time with family members can cause you to not want to go to work.  

Not getting along with your boss or coworkers

Animosity in the workplace is a common reason for not wanting to go to work anymore.  I mean, who wants to be around people they don’t see eye to eye with? 

Animosity can cause you to feel uncomfortable and can turn any normal situation into a very stressful one.  Which, of course, is not good for your overall well-being.  

I Don't Want to Work Anymore: Open lap top sitting on messy desk

What to do when you don’t want to go to work anymore?

#1 Develop a plan for passive income

If you have decided you don’t want to work anymore, you will have to develop a plan to get there. 

Because, if you are like most people, you can’t just quit working without some kind of income or money coming in.  You will always have bills to pay, necessities to buy, and mouths to feed.  

So if you have decided you don’t want to work anymore, you will need some kind of passive income stream for when you stop working.  Passive income is money that you earn without actively working for it.

Many forms of passive income take work, and sometimes, an investment upfront before there is a passive cash flow.  Some forms of passive income take a small amount of work just to maintain the cash flow.  

And passive income takes time to grow.  So start brainstorming your plan for passive income right away if you don’t want to work anymore.  

Here are some types of passive income:

  • Rental income
  • Dividend-paying stocks
  • Affiliate income
  • Renting out your car
  • Renting out your storage space (i.e. garage or shed)
  • Sell digital products on Etsy
  • Start a blog
  • Sell stock photos
  • Create an e-book and sell it online
  • Start a CD ladder

Once you decide on the passive form(s) of income you want to pursue, you will want to set goals for your plan.  

#2 Set a goal

Goal setting is an important part of any financial plan.  Quitting your job is no exception!  If you have in your mind that you don’t want to work anymore, you should decide on your end goal. 

What is a realistic time frame that you can achieve your goal? 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?  

And what exactly do you want to accomplish in that time frame? 

For example, a goal you could set would be to grow an Etsy business for selling printables to $1000 a month of income in 5 years.  

This is just an example.  You may be able to grow an Etsy business to that level of passive income in less time or it may take more time.  

My point is, having a plan and setting a goal are the first steps to following your dream of not working anymore.

#3 Pay off debt

Having debt will make it so much harder not to work.  If you don’t want to work anymore, and you have debt, focusing on paying that off will help put you in a better position not to work.  

Let’s face it, debt is expensive.  The average credit card interest rate is 16%! 

And debt makes it difficult to reach your other financial goals.  So work on paying down that debt right away if you don’t want to work anymore.  

Related Posts:

I Don't Want to Work Anymore: Woman working on silver laptop

#4 Cut expenses

Finding ways to reduce your monthly expenses while you are paying down your debt will help you twofold. 

By cutting down on your monthly expenses you will be freeing up more money to throw at your debt.  

Once your debt is paid off, you will have all that extra money to use toward your financial goals.  And you will need less money to live off of.

There are tons of ways to reduce your household expenses.  Here is a shortlist:

As I said, these are just a few ways you can reduce your monthly expenses.  If you would like to read about other ways to save money, check out these posts:

#5 Live a frugal lifestyle

Developing and living a frugal lifestyle will be important if you don’t want to work anymore.  Living frugally is all about spending your money intentionally.  

Reducing your monthly expenses is important for living below your means.  And living a frugal lifestyle goes hand in hand with reducing your monthly expenses.  

Many people associate living frugally with being cheap or being a “tightwad.”  This is not so! 

Living a frugal lifestyle is about spending your money on the things that matter most to you and not spending money on things that you don’t value.  

For example, one thing my family places high value on is going on vacations.  So we make sure we budget for a family vacation every year.  That is something we willingly spend our money on. 

Something we don’t value is going out to eat.  So we end up eating 99% of our meals at home because we prefer not to spend money on food that someone else cooks.  

Since we don’t go out to eat much, that is part of our monthly budget that we can cut way back.  And because I meal plan for a month at a time, I am also able to keep our grocery expenses super low.  

See how living frugally and reducing your monthly expenses go together?  

If you would like to read more about living frugally, check out some of my other posts:

#6 Save money

If you have decided you don’t want to work anymore, you will need lots of money saved up.  

The amount of money you need depends on if you want to completely stop working altogether or if you are planning on working, but in a different capacity (i.e still working on your side hustle).

You will want quite a bit of money in an emergency fund.  Most financial advisors say you should have 3 to 6 months of living expenses put away in a safe place (NOT the stock market).

A safe place to put your emergency fund money would be in a high yield savings account.  Then you would be earning passive income in the form of interest on your money.  

If you don’t want to work anymore, you will also want to be saving money in your employer-sponsored 401K (or another type of retirement account) while you are still working. 

Try to contribute as much as possible to your retirement account.  If you are in the process of paying down debt and you need your full paycheck right now, try to at least contribute enough to get the full company match, if your company has one.   

Once you stop working, there are still options for saving for retirement, which I am not going to get into. But Investopedia has a great article you can check out here if you are interested.

If you don’t want to work anymore, it would also be a good idea to have another savings account to use for other things.  

Having a savings account that is separate from your emergency fund money will help prevent you from using your emergency fund for something besides an emergency.  

And having that extra cushion of money will help you feel financially secure.

Woman sitting at open laptop with open notebook next to her: Increase passive income if you don't want to work

#7 Increase your income

If you have decided you no longer want to work, you may want to try to increase your income while you are still working.  

This will allow you to save more money and build a nice cushion of cash.  There are many ways to increase your income.    

The easiest ways to increase your income are:

  • Ask for a raise at your current job
  • Work overtime hours if they are available
  • Find a part-time job

But if you don’t want to work anymore, working overtime and finding a part-time job may not be appealing to you, even if it isn’t permanent.

Another way to increase your income that I believe is easier than asking for a raise at work is taking online surveys, watching videos, or playing games to earn money or gift cards.

Now getting paid to take surveys online will not make you rich.  But you can put a few extra bucks in your pocket to use for whatever you want.  

And the best part is you can do it from the comfort of your couch!

My favorite survey sites are Survey Junkie and Swagbucks.  Here is some information about them so you can decide if you would like to give them a try.

Survey Junkie is an online market research community.  When you participate in Survey Junkie, you get to share your opinion to help brands improve their products.  

After you complete surveys, you will earn virtual points that you can trade-in for Paypal cash or e-Giftcards for places like Amazon or Target.  

You can sign up for Survey Junkie here.  

With Swagbucks, you earn points that you can trade-in for PayPal Cash or gift cards just by taking surveys, shopping online, watching videos, and playing games. 

You can earn gift cards for your favorite brands like Amazon, Walmart, Visa, Target, and more!

Many Swagbucks members earn between $25 to $100 per month that they can use to save for a vacation, use for fun money, or cover expenses.  

If you would like to check out or sign up for Swagbucks, you can do so here!  

Of course, there are other ways to increase your income while you are still working.  Starting a side hustle to make extra money may be the way to go.  


Because the amount of money you make from your side hustle is directly related to the work you put into it.  You have the potential to turn your side hustle into a money-making machine.

And a side hustle could be turned into your main source of income when you don’t want to work anymore at your day job.  

This brings me to another frequently asked question.

two women sitting at table writing on paper

How can I make money if I don’t want to work?

As mentioned earlier, you will still need income when you decide you don’t want to work anymore.  

And there are essentially 2 ways to bring in income, passively and actively.  

Passive income is income you make that is not associated with working a job to get a paycheck.  You have cash flow coming in but you don’t have to do much, if anything, to maintain it.  

Of course, the opposite is when you have to work to make money.  You are actively performing a task and getting paid for it.  

If you don’t want to work anymore, you will have to figure out how you are going to bring in your income.  Will you have passive income to pay for your living expenses or will you still have to work to make an income?  

I gave you a list of passive income ideas above.  But if you need more ideas, check out this list here. 

The other thing you could do to make money even if you don’t want to work anymore is to start and grow a side hustle while you are still working.  

Use your hobbies, skills, and interests to find something you will love to do.  Then when you are ready to stop working, you can continue your side hustle.  

And it won’t necessarily feel like work if you love what you do.  

Here are some possible side income ideas:

  • Become a reseller
  • Flip furniture
  • Start a blog
  • Babysit
  • Become a caregiver for the elderly
  • Teach private lessons based on your skills/hobbies
  • Become a virtual assistant (VA)
  • Learn to do hair, nails, or makeup
  • Become an event planner
  • Start an errand-running business
  • Cater
  • Sell baked goods
  • Walk dogs or dog sit

For more ideas and ways to make extra money check out these posts:

Final Thoughts on “I don’t want to work anymore”

It’s normal to feel like you don’t want to go to work once in a while.  But if you wake up often feeling like you don’t want to go to work, there may be other underlying issues.

Take time to think about your job, your home life, and your mental health.  Figure out what the real reason is for not wanting to work and try to address the issue.  

Maybe you will find you do want to work after all.

But if you still feel like you don’t want to work anymore, you will have to develop a plan for how to survive (and thrive) without working.  

It won’t be easy, but many people have done it.  And you can too.  

What kind of passive income ideas do you have?  Are you working on a side hustle to prepare to leave your job?  If so, what’s your side hustle?  Let me know in the comments!

Woman sitting on floor working on computer

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