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Five (bad) reasons to stay in a job you despise

When Frank woke up on Sunday morning, his first thought was, "Oh no!  Tomorrow is Monday. I have to go to work."  Can you relate?  Your gut says you should get the heck out.  Yet, you stay.


Your self-esteem is in the toilet
The boss yells at you.  you've lost confidence in your abilities.   Your self-esteem is way down.  You feel no one would want to hire you.  Unfortunately, staying put is only going to make matters worse.  You'll just keep on getting kicked around and/or being unhappy.  

But as miserable as your current situation may be, it is a comfort zone.  You know what to expect.  After all, it is possible that getting out and talking to people to get another position could confirm your worst thoughts about yourself:  "Hey buddy—nobody here would ever think about hiring someone like you."  Much more likely, is that you will get validation for your skills, abilities, and who you are.  

Of course, you will only get that validation if you have a good self-presentation and approach people intelligently. Many people struggle to pull themselves out of this negative mindset without help.  If you need help, get it, whether it be from a competent friend, coach or therapist.

you're told you should be grateful to be working
Yes, it is a blessing to have a job, but that is hardly an excuse to stay miserable.  We might be grateful to have two feet, but that hardly means you have to put up with athlete's foot.  You owe it to yourself to be working in the right job.  In Buddhism, there is a teaching that is very consistent with our Judeo-Christian heritage:  right livelihood.  The idea is that through our work, we ought to express our souls and provide meaningful service to the people around us. You owe it to yourself to go for the gold—to find work that you love and that pays you well.

you've been taught to keep your job until we have a new one
Certainly, there's a lot to be said for this line of thinking in a bad job market.  It's tough to just quit without a job, especially since quitting disqualifies you for Unemployment Compensation.  However, too often that is an excuse to avoid doing uncomfortable things like figuring out what you want to do next and networking to get that next job. 

(Please note:  there are acceptable reasons for quitting under Unemployment Compensation law.  These include:  sexual harassment, threat of physical violence, a doctor's statement that the job is making you sick, and a change in the terms and conditions of employment (e.g.  you were hired as an accountant with a $65,000 salary, but the boss demotes you to janitor at $18,000.  Consult an attorney about these situations before you quit).

you've been taught to be loyal.
Loyalty is a great thing.  No question.  These days, however, years of loyal service to the employer are often rewarded with a pink slip, a boot into the street—and maybe a few weeks/months of severance.  You owe it to yourself to be loyal to yourself and your family. Besides, if you hate the job, what are the chances that you're doing your best work?

You think things might improve.
Sometimes, people substantially change things at work by being proactive.  They work out difficulties with the boss, get reassigned to another department, or negotiate to get more interesting work.  If you're not being proactive, it's highly unlikely that things will improve on their own.  It MIGHT happen—and you MIGHT win the Lottery too.  Don't bet your career and happiness on spontaneous change.  you've been waiting how long for things to improve?  They haven't yet?  Enough said.

you're not sure what to do next.
This is a formidable obstacle.   If you Don't know where you're going, it's hard to put together a plan.  Paralysis sets in.  All right. This is a great excuse for staying stuck.  Many people spend months and years of their career in unhappy situations, stuck inside their own heads.  Sometimes, we just can't figure things out by ourselves—or it takes much, much longer.  Sometimes, we need a sounding board to help us to sort things out.  That's why career coaches are out there.  Give us a call—or, if you can't afford to pay for coaching, there are organizations that provide services for free or a nominal fee.  

Life is too short to stay in a job that you loathe.  Be in action today!  If you want help, call me:  

Steve Frederick

Frederick Career Services

One on one coaching that Transforms Careers 




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