5 Totally Valid Reasons to Stay in a Job You Hate
Every Monday morning, you wake up with your stomach in knots and a looming sense of impending dread. Even the mere thought of throwing off the covers and turning on your coffee pot makes you grit your teeth and clench your fists. Why? Well, you absolutely hate your job.
I totally get it—dragging yourself out of bed every morning in order to spend the day working in a position you positively loathe isn’t fun. In fact, it’s downright draining. But, we all know that leaving your soul-sucking job involves a lot more than simply packing up your cubicle, waving goodbye to your boss, and heading off for greener pastures.
As discouraging as it might seem, plenty of people survive in jobs that they strongly dislike. And, believe it or not, there are actually a few logical reasons for sticking it out and hanging on. In fact, here are five good motives to do just that—even just for a little while longer.
Maybe it seems a little trite to bring up finances right off the bat. But, let’s be honest—feeling fulfilled and emotionally enriched by your position doesn’t pay the bills.
However taboo, money is an important factor for you to consider when you’re thinking about switching jobs. So, if your current position is granting you a hefty paycheck for your misery, it might be worth hanging onto.
No, you don’t need to tough it out for your entire career. But, building up a decent savings account will allow you to have a sense of comfort and security when you move onto something better—especially if that next, more fulfilling position involves a pay cut.
2. A Promising Future
Oftentimes, you can love the company you work for. The culture is great, your co-workers are phenomenal, and you even have a somewhat flexible schedule. It’s simply just your day-to-day job duties that are causing your unhappiness.
If you hate your job, it’s still important to think about your potential within your current company. Do you just need to pay your dues in this position for a certain period of time before you get moved up to something better? Is your employer notorious for starting people at the bottom, just so they have to prove themselves before advancing?
If this is the case (and, if the idea of that prospective next position excites you), you should consider sucking up your pride and putting in your time. It might be worth it in the long run. And, if you still haven’t made any forward progress within the next six months to a year, you can always reevaluate then.
3. Prestige and Connections
You might hate your position, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely worthless on your resume. And, this is especially true when it comes to the reputation of your employer. So, think about your current company. Is it an organization that’s well-known and highly respected within your chosen industry? Will sticking around for at least a year provide a nice resume boost and open other career doors for you? Are you meeting powerful and well-connected people who might come in handy down the road?
Maybe those factors won’t make your daily job duties any more enjoyable. However, considering your company’s influence is still an important part of the process. Because—let’s face it—most employers are immediately skeptical of the candidate who stayed with that super awesome company for only two months.
4. An Expanded Skill Set
When you feel trapped in a job that feels like it’s sucking the life out of you, it can undoubtedly be tough to stay positive. But, regardless of how much you hate your job, you need to realize that you’re still getting something out of it.
Maybe you’re mastering your Excel spreadsheet skills. Or perhaps you’re becoming an expert in successfully running team meetings. Or maybe you’ve gotten the chance to experiment with coding projects.
Every job (no matter how miserable) presents an opportunity to try and learn new things. So, if your current position is allowing you to become well-practiced in an area that you could use some improvement in, it might be worth sticking around to refine those skills. That way you can be extra qualified and impressive when a bigger and better opportunity comes along.
Typically, I don’t ever recommend jumping ship until you know exactly what you’re moving on to. And, you’ll have a hard time determining your next step if you don’t have a clear idea of what you really want to do.
Some of us flounder in our careers every now and then, and that’s totally OK. But, there’s no point in kissing your steady paycheck goodbye only to be unemployed or to find yourself in another job you hate just as much (or even more!) as the one you have now. So, look at your current detested job as your opportunity to get a solid handle on the types of things you don’t like.
It’s definitely important that you take some time to evaluate what you’re really looking for. And, gaining valuable job experience and collecting a paycheck while you do so? Well, that definitely doesn’t hurt.
There’s no doubt about it—toughing it out in a job you absolutely hate can be a challenge. But, there are a few things that might just make it worth it. Use this list to weigh your options carefully and determine whether or not sticking around will eventually pay off. And if it does, give yourself credit for making a smart decision for your career in this moment. After all, you don’t need to stay in this job forever.
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Kat is a Midwest-based freelance writer, covering topics related to careers, self-development, and the freelance life. In addition to writing for The Muse, she's also the Career Editor for The Everygirl, a columnist for Inc., and a contributor all over the web. When she manages to escape from behind her computer screen, she's usually babying her rescued terrier mutt or continuing her search for the perfect taco. Say hi on Twitter @kat_boogaard or check out her website.More from this Author