I hate work.

Joan Westenberg
4 min readDec 4, 2023

The piercing sound of my alarm shatters the stillness of my room at the ungodly hour of 5 AM, and I reluctantly drag myself out of bed. It’s the same daily grind, a routine I’ve been stuck in for years, first as a sound engineer, then as a tech exec, and now as an indie tech writer. I’m caught in this relentless cycle of early risings and late nights, all in the name of work.

Sitting at my desk, surrounded by those peppy motivational quotes and never-ending to-do lists, I feel exhausted. It’s more than just tiredness; it’s a profound disconnect from what matters to me — spending quality time with my loved ones and looking after my mental and physical health. The relentless drive to be productive, to chase some nebulous idea of success, leaves me wondering where the f**k the joy in life has gone.

This isn’t just burnout. It’s deeper than that. This statement may seem blasphemous in a society obsessed with hustle culture and endless motivation, but let me be honest — I loathe the act of working. I hate it. It doesn’t fulfil my purpose or ignite any passion within me.

If given the choice, I would gladly banish it forever. Given the choice, I’d spend hours leisurely lounging by the pool, engrossed in Agatha Christie novels, sipping on ice-cold Diet Coke until noon.

Our obsession with hustle culture, this idea that our self-worth is tied to how much we achieve, is suffocating. We’re pushed to flaunt our successes online, adding more pressure to this endless race. We end up sacrificing the things that matter — our relationships, hobbies, and well-being.

We’ve been fed this narrative that success comes from constant hard work. So, we push ourselves through school and jobs, only to realize that the work world isn’t what we were promised. Instead of satisfaction, we’re left empty and stressed, chasing meaningless goals.

I’ve seen friends get swallowed up by this culture. Working multiple jobs, juggling side gigs, with barely a moment to breathe. They’re worn out, teetering on the edge of burnout. And for what? To meet society’s expectations of success? What’s the point if it costs us everything?

The idea of a work-life balance is a myth. It suggests that work should be as central to our lives as our passions, which is wrong. We’re made to feel guilty for…