I know what it's like to hate your job. I've clung onto bad situations for dear life more times than I can count. Held onto jobs I hated and gave myself every excuse and bad reason to stay under the sun.
REAL TALK: I've never quit anything.
Okay, maybe that's not totally true. In elementary school I did quit ballet. My grandmother kept telling me to put on my leotard and get dressed for class, but I refused. She made me stand in the exact spot I was in until I put it on. Shortly into our standoff, I began crying so bad because I had to “relieve” myself… but she still wouldn't let me move. I kept telling her I was going to go, right there in the middle of our family room if she didn't let me go to the bathroom. Instead of letting me go, she put newspaper under me like a dog. I cried and cried, trying to hold it, until I peed myself on the newspaper, right there in our family room. That was the last thing I ever quit.
Okay well maybe not the last, but the last thing that could impact other people's opinions of me in a potentially negative way. What does that look like IRL?
That looks like, I've never broken up with anyone. I've always been dumped, even when I knew a relationship was over longggg before it ended.
That looks like, I've never quit a job, I've always been fired or had some amicable ending (like the restaurant closed down or my internship ended because the semester was over).
I realize that's totally not healthy or sane… but hey, the things that happen to us as kids shape us. So I am here to tell you today it's okay to quit. The old adage, “Winners never quit and quitters never win,” simply isn't true. In each of our lives, there will be plenty of instances we need to advocate for ourselves and cut something out that is no longer serving us.
5 Bad Excuses To Stay In A Job You Hate:
“Things Will Get Better”
No they won't. That's what people in abusive relationships tell themselves. Unless some major organizational change is impending, chances are people will stay the same or get worse. Think about it, humans are creatures of habit, comfortable in their way of coping with one another and the likelihood of someone changing within an organization are slim to none.
* That's not to say people can't change. People can change, but when you've gotten into a cycle of responding to one another in an organization, the entire organization needs to change. Otherwise, people get triggered and regress to old coping mechanisms that have worked for them. Change starts small and is a slow process.
“I've given so much to this company, I know my time is coming”
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it probably isn't. You don't think the guy to your left and the gal to your right don't feel the exact same way? Well guess what, all three of you aren't getting that promotion or extra shares in the company. Companies try to squeeze as much work out of their employees as humanly possible. They typically do this in the form of lip service conversations about how valued you are and how they really can't wait to get you the compensation package you deserve… but you'll have to wait until that next round of funding, or for x to happen before… their “hands are simply tied”. The truth is, unless you have a pension or some other exit plan/package, you probably aren't going to get what you really desire.
Reality check: we live in a dog eat dog world and you need to create the life and revenue stream you desire. You can't sit around and pray for that next good thing to come your way. Go out and make it come your way. Of course, luck happens, but if you've been sitting on the sidelines your whole life, you probably won't even know what to do with that luck when it does come around.
“But, I make really good money”
Great, and if you did it once, you'll do it again. – Oh and if you were making such good money, then you probably should've been saving some too… #justbeinghonest. You see it's a lot better to leave a job you were making great money at, then to hold onto it for the money. Eventually you'll get yourself fired because you've fallen into a resentful funk and you're miserable to work with. Take it from me, because that's literally what happened. No amount of money is worth your happiness, because eventually both will run out. Take care of yourself first, the money will follow.
“I love my co-workers”
Finding an environment where you adore you co-workers can be a beautiful thing. It's truly magical to bond with these people you spend more hours in a given day with than your own family or friends. Especially as we get older, it can be harder and harder to make adult friends. But that's no excuse to stay in a job you hate.
REAL TALK: I loved the majority of my coworkers at two of my jobs (well more than two, but for brevity sake I am only going to share about two):
Job 1: I loved my co-workers and actually didn't mind my job. Until I started to burn out from too many other responsibilities. My bad attitude began isolating me from my co-workers, and by the time I was finally let go, our friendships had grown to be more transactional than relational and it was hard to ever find the same footing.
Job 2: I hated my boss, and so did my co-workers. We actually overall loved the company though and bonded over our love/hate relationship with both. Eventually, one by one, people got better offers or emotionally vomited on our boss and got themselves fired. The band broke up.
People move on in life, it's just want happens.
“I'll lose my health insurance”
No joke, I've had friends waiting to quit their jobs until they get married so they can go on a spouses plan. The reality is (granted Obamacare is obvi changing) Obamacare's subsidized plans are actually pretty nice. Obamacare unsubsidized plans are the ones that suck. Chances are, if you're on unemployment for a while you will likely qualify for a subsidized plan. With that plan you'll probably pay less for about the same coverage you were getting through your employer.
The reality is, there is never a good reason to stay if you hate your job. Life is too short to wait around for things to fall into place.
Originally published 05/04/18