Postgraduate study: your route out of a job you hate

Postgraduate study: your route out of a job you hate

If you're not enjoying your work, taking a postgraduate course could help you make the move into a career you love.

Being in a job you hate can be a very dispiriting and soul-destroying experience. Rest assured you are not alone: many people find themselves in this situation at one time or another in their career but the trick is to find your way out. You need to try and find the motivation to make that move. A postgraduate course could help you develop new skills and move into a new area or specialism.

The first thing to do is analyse the situation. Is it the sector you are working in? The particular job you are in? Is it too challenging or not challenging enough? The environment or the people you work with? Once you've identified the source of the problem the next thing to do is examine the positive things in your life.

Look for the positives

Make a list of the things you do like about your sector of work, your job and your achievements. You may be able to use your existing career as a springboard to another (think transferable skills).

Now consider the other skills you have learned as a result of working – life skills and soft skills: all the experience you have gained just by living, working and interacting with others.

Think about the things you enjoy outside of work. People always do best when working at something they like. Is there a hobby or an interest that could hold the key to a future career?

Help and advice

Use your analysis as a basis for considering what to do next. If postgraduate study is one of your options, contact the careers advisory service at your old university or a local careers service to ask for some advice. Having a sounding board to bounce your ideas off can help to focus your thoughts and they are likely to be able to suggest some routes to investigate.


If your company is large and you have a good relationship with them, it may be possible to persuade them to help you (financially or with time off) to retrain while still employed part time, eg to enable you to move from marketing to HR.

But if you decide that you need to get 'back to basics' then you need to research what courses are available. If you need to earn while you learn then you might consider a part-time course or perhaps distance learning. Even if you decide to take a different job while you study, part-time work may prove a more manageable solution. Alternatively, returning to full-time study – a more radical step – is also an option. Use our search facility to assess what could work for you.