Hate Your Job? 5 Bad Reasons To Stay

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.


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Originally published 05/04/18

129 thoughts on “Hate Your Job? 5 Bad Reasons To Stay”

  1. SO much truth to this. Being at a job you hate is THE WORST and frankly, in my eyes, not worth the stress!! I learned that one the hard way.

  2. Great reasoning here. I know people who are in jobs they hate for one or all of these reasons!

  3. This is spot on, Rachel! I think you can often read the handwriting on the wall with a job early on. If you see something not jiving and after communicating with your supervisor things get better- great. If things get pushed under a rug and never really get resolved, then that’s probably how it will always be. It’s easier to stay in a job you hate and be miserable, but at the end of the day I think a lot of the reasons people don’t want to step out and go for something better is mostly out of irrational thoughts they make up in their head. I can completely relate to this right now, and am on the hunt for something new. Thanks for sharing!

  4. you are so right with this post! Money should never be a reason to stay somewhere when you are not happy and it is not the right place for you!

  5. You are amazing.

    I know what it feels like not to quit… and while it’s an INCREDIBLE commitment to have, it also has it’s draw backs. At the end of the day, all of the reasons that you mentioned (and did an awesome job of explaining why they’re not good enough excuses) are all superficial and why I think most people sort of brush them off.

    When you’re spending 1/3 of your life at a job that you hate, it’s literally stealing your joy a little bit a million times.

    1. Awe thank you! and so much yes to the last sentiment! we spend SO much time at work or thinking about work, it’s not worth our happiness!

  6. Love these reasons!

    I’m actually going to add one – “I haven’t been here long enough” 🙂 I started my job in January of this year and quickly found out it was the wrong fit for me. I found myself anxious and sometimes crying on Sundays knowing I had to come back on Monday. I kept putting off finding a new job because I felt BAD because I haven’t been here very long. Well, today I’m putting in my notice. I received an amazing offer with a start-up that I love and I’m glad I finally got over “feeling bad.” I will be honest – still nervous to put in my notice today, though! It’s the worst!

  7. I stayed at a Jon I hated for six years. Knowing in my first thirty days it wasn’t for me. For most of the reasons listed here. Last august I can not tell you how good it felt to put in my notice. And I didn’t even have another job lined up. I am a better person for it.

  8. AGREED! I had two professional internships after graduating last year and now realize how unhappy I was in both of them. I stuck it out because I knew they would help my resume and were helping to pay the bills… and it all worked out because I landed the best ever first job. But I know had I been at those internships longer I would have had to quit!

    xoxo A

  9. It can be a hard happy medium, I have only quit a job once, and it was because everyone there was mean and rude to me, I was never trained then blamed for not knowing hot to do it and the manager was the worst I have ever seen. Too this day I still can’t go into that store and I get a little nervous just walking by it. Talk about bad memories. But I never quit in high school I was too determined to do everything

    1. that’s terrible (your coworkers, not that you quit lol). It’s tough when you are taught not to be a quitter, happy we’ve both been able to grow out of it and advocate for ourselves <3

  10. Shevoneese Mcfarlane

    These reasons are on point!!

    This is so me right now! Afraid to quit because I haven’t had another opportunity to land on. In my country, the job market is low so once you’re out of one, it takes years to get back in or even find opportunities to follow your passion.

  11. Amen to all this, friend! Life really is too short. The only way I think it’s worth it to stay is if you have literally no choice. Like- you will get kicked out of your house because you have no rent money. lol. Otherwise, it’s so worth it to like what you do!

    1. Thank you! Lol yeah, but those are few and far between realities! I think people convince themselves it’s a reality, but unless you’re in San Francisco or something I feel like there is always a money making option out there!

  12. GIRL! YESSSSS! I had to struggle with this when I made a huge career change from news to PR. The first one is perfect. It’s way to wishful to hang on thinking things will change.

  13. AMEN!!! Those are all seriously valid excuses I hear friends/family give for not moving on, but truth of the matter is if you’re not happy you need to move on! Love this girl!

  14. Before quitting my job to pursue my own business all of these popped into my head at some point or another and were reasons I contemplated staying…well except for the pay because my pay wasn’t anything to brag about haha.

  15. Yes! There is no good reason to stay in a job you hate. Just a word of caution…jumping too quickly, or from job to job, can also look bad on a resume. So be thoughtful before you make the leap!

    1. Agreed! But a lot of companies know millennials aren’t going to stay beyond a year now, so at least that’s in job hoppers favors! People should be looking for a better compensation package every 3 years today too, so I always advocate for the job hopper since so much fear as usually been instilled in them!

  16. This was such an amazing post, Rachel! I’ll be sending to several friends who I know will benefit from this tremendously. You’re right about all these points and it’s so important to consider if these accurately describe your work situation and if it’s time to move on.

  17. I really loved this post and everything you said holds so true. I think many of us get scared that we’ll just run into the same problem if we leave your job for another one, believe me I’ve been in those shoes but that’s no reason to continue hating your job! You never know when you’ll find the right job and path for you! 🙂

    1. For sure! That’s why I left my former industry all together – it was really toxic and I did keep finding the same situation over and over. It was for the best because I truly believe I am doing what I was meant to do!

  18. I’m guilty of a few of these – mostly the “I love my co-workers”. Although I thoroughly enjoy spending my days at my current job, it’s not something that I want to do with my life. I really need to just bite the bullet and reach for the career of my dreams, rather than staying here because I’m “comfortable”. The was super helpful!

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

    1. that’s was the hardest one for me too! If they are really your friends, you’ll stay friends. It was sad when I realized that some of my coworkers and I were only close because we liked to talk about work, but nothing really beyond that.

  19. Yes to all of these! I will admit that I’ve stayed at jobs that I have hated until I found something better. Being comfortable because I knew the job well was a huge reason why I did not leave earlier than I should have. Love all of these!

  20. Rachel @ It's A Hero

    I absolutely love this! I actually just quit a side-hustle job today because my time with my family is more important. I hated the idea of disappointing the person who hired me, but I keep reminding myself THIS IS ABOUT ME, not them. So I totally needed to read this today! <3

    1. Good for you!!! I think we’ve learned that being selfish is bad over the years, but its SO important to advocate for yourself and your priorities!! Congrats!

  21. Really interesting perspective on this. The excuses we make sometimes don’t line up with how unhappy we are at our workplaces.

  22. Ugh I’ve ‘stuck it out” for an internship because I knew there was an ending to it (December) and that if I stuck it out, the rewards would outweigh the cost. And it definitely did, but I would never have stayed in an actual job like that! These are such great reasons!

  23. Ugh I struggle with everyday…..the only reason I don’t quit after 12 years is I’m the only household income supporting 5 people 🙁 but within the next 2 years I will leave hopefully

  24. So true! I have lived each of these scenario’s. If you don’t like your job, it can make you miserable and that carries over to other parts of your life.

  25. Ashley Stephenson

    These are great! I am lucky and love my job but I have known so many friends that have stayed at jobs for too long for some of these reasons!

  26. Ahhh, jobs are tough because they can be the source of your livelihood. But, I agree. Life is too short to stay at a job you’re not happy at. Or maybe you’ve been dreaming of something else but too scared to lose the security of a job. Ekk! Hopefully, we all have the courage to go for our dreams!
    Sarah | http://www.sugarmaplenotes.com

  27. This is great. I’ve quit several jobs over the course of my career, and some later than I should have. I’m sure this will be helpful to many!

  28. Sooooo! All of these but the last one, only because I’m on my husbands insurance.
    I’m over my job. I feel overworked, under appreciated and way underpaid. I love my coworkers and I do make decent money for what I do, just not what I should be making or could be making somewhere else. I hate starting over, that’s my big thing. Plus I hate leaving my daughter to come to work. So, that’s making it much less enjoyable to come to work

  29. My mother and I talk about this all of the time. For every job that I have had, I have forced myself to stay longer than I should have and was completely miserable. I worry that I would have to struggle in between jobs, and have thankfully never had to be unemployed (except by choice my freshman year of college) for more than 2-3 weeks. Going forward, I will live my life to the best, and will not allow myself to be miserable working a job that I hate.

  30. Same girl same! I was the youngest and fastest learner at my Office Job, but the pay rate was only $13/hr. Which, was not much for the amount of stress and tasks they assigned to me.
    In addition, they flat-out refused me a raise and women who had been working there 3-5 years only made $.25 more.
    There was no opportunity for growth in that company. I had to high-tail my way out!
    The people were like family, but I have higher ambitions for myself.

  31. Your story about quitting ballet is hilarious! I have quit a lot of things in my lifetime so I can appreciate the need for balance. Sometimes you really do need to stick it out but other times you have to quit and move on!

    1. It wasn’t really meant to be funny… it was deeply traumatic and impacted me for years. But happy it could amuse someone. Imagine being 6 years old and made to stand in your own pee on a newspaper like a dog. See how funny it is.

    2. I’m sorry I thought the point of you telling it was to add a little bit of humor to the retelling. I obviously misread the intent of the post so I apologize for that. I have a very similar story about peeing on the ground in P.E. in elementary school because I wasn’t allowed to go to the bathroom. At the time I was super embarrassed but I laugh at it now. Perhaps I was letting my own experience and how I think of it now jade my perspective on your retelling. I obviously misunderstood that this was so traumatic to you. I’ve left lots of nice comments on your blog before so I wish you could extend a little grace here and understand I’m not coming from a place on malice.

    3. I sincerely appreciate that. I am so deeply sorry I got so passive aggressive/ upset. I think I was so nervous about it to begin with that your comment just triggered me (mixed with some other stuff going on that day). Seriously, I can’t apologize enough.

  32. Ah man, this post is great. I’ve been slowly transitioning from working at a company I love (Though I don’t love everything about it) to working from home. That’s what I’d really like to be doing… and it’s my goal for the next year to be able to quit the job I don’t love and work from home.

  33. I left a career that was no longer serving me several years ago. Since then I have found my passion – creating recipes and working on my blog. It is easy to make excuses and stay in a job we hate, but I took a chance and can say that I have never been happier even when funds are tight as I try to make this into my new career!

  34. YES! YES! YES! TO ALL OF THIS! Millennials especially sometimes have this misplaced loyalty to jobs that are making them miserable (I’ve done it too!) without realizing it might end up doing more harm to themselves than good. Great post!

  35. This is such a great post, Rachel! Our mental health is much more important than a crappy job!

  36. This is so powerful for so many reasons. First off, that story from ballet – damn. I”m so sorry you experienced that, Rach. It’s so obvious how that would stick with you in the back of your head – and it hurts. But you’re right – life is too short to stick with ANYTHING if it’s not what we genuinely love. Thanks for opening up in this. Love you always. <3

    Coming Up Roses

  37. Tiffany Campbell

    you’re speaking right to me! The only thing holding me back is the money situation and the fear of failing. But, I’m slowly realizing I need to take that leap of faith!

  38. I quit my corporate America job almost 2 years ago. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. But when you come home crying almost every single night and sick from anxiety and stress, I think a health issue comes into play that’s just not right!

  39. these are all so so true!! i hear people not wanting to leave because of their coworkers all the time and it’s like.. girl you’ll still see them after work. stop being so dramatic. haha love the post! x

  40. I went through all of these thoughts when I was wanting to quit my job. You finally just have to tell yourself that it’s not worth being miserabe for health insurance, money and good co-workers!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  41. Oyinkan Ogunleye

    It’s soo important to leave any situation where you are not valued and respected. If it’s been bad for a while, I don’t expect it to get better. Great write up!

  42. All of these are so important to realize. I only technically quit one job years ago – it was actually a very similar situation to yours. I loved the job and my coworkers, but my boss not so much. As everyone left for better things, I found myself the only one left. When I finally decided to leave because I found another job, by boss didn’t handle it very well. It only enforced my decision to leave. As stressful as it might be to think about leaving your job, or leaving before you have a new one, it’s even worse to stay and get “stuck”.

    1. Exactly! Happy you got out of there! I remember the last co-worker from my cohort, when she left (she was the last of us), the boss FLIPPED! Like lost her mind, they brought in an internal reviewer and ended up firing her. #drama haha

    2. My boss was the actual owner, so she wasn’t going anywhere haha. But she was so darn rude and unprofessional about it. I told her I’d work for a few more weeks until she could find a replacement, and she literally told me to just leave then. Her reasoning was so that I “didn’t sabotage anything before I left”. I worked in a medical field sure, but I was still shocked that she would think I would do something like that. I had worked for her for years! She was crazy.

  43. I love this post but I am a GenXer and on my site we are writing to your peers about this whole work and adulting thing too but on a international level. I am wondering if you are going to cover this phenomenon of people just quitting their jobs to travel or be travel bloggers. Please let me know if you do as I would love to share it on our site as well.

  44. Macarena Ferreira

    “I Love my coworkers” is absolutely the worst reason to stay! That’s happened to me and I was underpaid and unappreciated, but my coworkers were one of my closest friends! If they’re really your friends, they’ll still be there when you find bigger and better things!

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

  45. I love this post so much. I recently found myself in that exact boat of hating my job and being (a) afraid to leave and (b) wanting to stay for many of the reasons that you listed. I felt that I had put so much time and effort into the company and I did not want that to go to waste. Plus, the pay was great and I got along with some of my coworkers really well. However, I was so unhappy. Now that I have a new job with a new company, I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders!

  46. I know sometimes I felt bad for quitting my last job because I did not want to be seen as quitter. But in the long run I am glad because there was growth with that job. I would still be sitting in the same dead in position for years until someone retires (which still has not happened)! So

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