Ask the CHO: Should you work for a year in a job that sucks

Bad job

In a previous post I argued against some commonly used phrases at work, including the idea that you can take a bad job “just for a year” to make some money.

Dirceu asked this question in a comment on the post:

About the “It’s not my dream job, but it’s only for a year…? phrase: a person can work on a not-so-good job for one year just to save enough money to do what he/she want, just for security.

Me, for example: I’m renting an apartment and paying a graduation course on a local university. If I want to change my focus from computers to, say, museums I really need to have money for security reasons.

I know about the advantages of low-rent living, but with zero money, no living. :-(

Please, talk more about this. And go on with the blog: it’s being, as always, very helpful.

Great question Dirceu!

Many, many people seem to think that sometimes you’ve just got to knuckle down and take that sucky job because you need the money. You can be a student paying your tuition, a new graduate paying off your student loans, a new home owner struggling to make the mortgage or any number of other situations that mean you depend on a steady income.

But does that really mean that you must accept being unhappy at work? There is one question you must ask yourself:

Leaving a bad job may cost you some money. Sure.
But what will keeping that job cost you?

Being unhappy at work steadily saps your energy, will power, self esteem and motivation. The longer you stay in that situation, the harder it gets to see any positive alternatives and to take action and move on.

And it doesn’t just affect you at work, it also affects you outside of work. When work is something that gives you no pleasure, has no meaning for you, gives you no victories or appreciation and is simply no fun, your life outside of work is likely to suffer too.

The worst thing about this is that it sneaks up on you gradually. Your energy dissipates slowly. You’ll hardly notice it from one day to the next but before you know it, the life has gone out of you. You become cynical, tired, uncreative, negative – maybe even depressed, stressed and sick.

The thing is, the cost of leaving a bad job is very clear to us because the effect is immediate. The cost of keeping a bad job can be much higher, but it sneaks up on us slowly, and therefore we often forget to take that into account.

What is your experience? Have you tried staying in a bad job for the money and the security? How was it? Write a comment, I’d really like to know!

126 thoughts on “Ask the CHO: Should you work for a year in a job that sucks”

  1. What makes a bad job? The coffee? Loser coworkers? The commute? For those just starting out it may seem like the grass is greener elsewhere, but it rarely is. In the dotcom days people jumped ship for the dumbest reasons like they have snacks and free drinks. Or they are in a cool part of town. Whatever.

    Everyone back then saw opportunities to move into different roles. I eventually changed because I didn’t think the company I was with was headed in the right direction. That company lasted about eight months before being sold off twice in the same year.

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying, but I think we need some perspective especially for newer guys entering the workforce.

  2. I took a job that was well below my skill level (and interest level) simply because I’d been languishing in unemployment for 6 months. It was a “temp job”…meant to be a two-week gig to get them through a tight deadline. I ended up doing that job for nearly two years. Fortunately, my direct boss was fully cognizant of my situation and skills, and I have since been promoted and moved to a new department. Four years later, I have a nearly ideal job (except for the problem CEO…possibly a type 3, I fear) and I’m really glad I took that underpaid, boring two-week gig.

  3. I am currently at a job that I don’t like…and I’ve been at it for 2 years.

    A little like what foxydot said, I guess I have been waiting for something to change at my current workplace. My boss keeps giving me a slightly higher salary almost every 6 months, with verbal promises of promotion, title change, more responsibilities, company expansion, etc, etc. The money’s probably just to keep me in place until those things really come along.

    Boss-wise, co-workers-wise, they are actually very decent people. They’re not the evil type out to suck the life out of me. But I just simply do not enjoy the nature of my work.

    Yet I’m still here, because of the money. This is my first real long-term job out of college and I’ve never been paid this much before. If I leave and change my field of work (which I am considering), I will have to start again at half of what I am earning now.

    In retrospect, I wish my boss never gave my any raises, because that would make deciding to leave so much easier.

  4. Having experienced the worked-at-a-crappy-job-for-longer-than-I-wanted thing, I can whole heartedly say, “don’t do it.” I was coming out of college and heading back to Citigroup where I had interned through college. Same department, so I knew I liked the people I worked with, however, I assumed the shittier parts would go away as I moved from an intern to a full time employee, and if they didn’t I should be a man and tough it out (“where did this kind of societal machoness that thinks it’s good taking crap come from?”).

    I had allowed myself to be talked into going back by a professor and somewhat my parents. The reasoning was that with a name like that on your resume, it’ll open up doors years down the road, so just give it a good two year try. Boy, was that a mistake, and I should have quit after two months. Still, I left before the two plan, and had made the decision to quit probably six months in, but I figured the best time to move wasn’t for another six months, so I tried to stick it through until the right time, which doesn’t make the situation any easier in the least.

    Even though I had college loans, money’s never really been an issue for me because all the jobs I’ve had were very well paid + bonuses. It actually wasn’t hard for me to look at what I valued and move towards that, but my parents were a little worried seeing that I was going to quit, buy a car, move across country to CA, and had no job waiting. I don’t have much sympathy for myself for the time I spent there when I didn’t want to, and I have little sympathy for people who know they should leave but don’t. It’s really easy, and usually fear is the driving factor, and no one can live life by fear.

    The key was knowing what I valued in life, and going out to get it. I didn’t know if I would get it or not (I have and continue to get what I value), but striving for it made all the difference in my life. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed plenty when working at Citi. Had a decent social life, earned plenty of money, my manager had some really great traits (and my problems with him were more bureaucratically induced problems), but there was too much else missing, and too many pains beyond those points. Be strategic about your leaving if you can, but if you can’t then don’t wait. Move on. The mental price isn’t worth it.

  5. I think that the problem is often that it is hard to find out what a new job is going to be really like, until you are there!

    I left one job where I loved the work and was successful at what I did, but hated the organisational set up, bullying and injustice.

    It was hard at the age of 51 to move jobs to somewhere where my skills and expertise weren’t recognised,, really out of my comfort zone!

    The new organisation is much larger and much fairer . However the work is really boring and not at all how I thought it would be. I am back to being a hidden cog in a large wheel but it has helped me to step back and not moan all the time! I can see that there are people in my department who are really not suited to the type of work at all and who are unhappy and sadly missing out on fulling their potential and I probably include myself in that category.

    However, I will stay for a year because a) the full cycle of work will be complete and b) not being one who likes change, it takes me a good long time to get used to something c) I only feel confident when I know what I am doing and the training takes a full year.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, staying a year can be justified!

  6. You’re dead on Matt, i as well worked a job i absolutely hated once upon a time just so that i can save some money for my next venture and it turned out that my venture didn’t need all that much money to get off the ground after all.

    So i would say that if you were to quit your present job really take a look at just how badly you need the money and research how much you would need to save up to have all your finances in order for a month or two before you find an opportunity that is more to your liking.

  7. I really think it depends on how much you hate your job. If there are things that you can do (ever so slightly) to make things more pleasant, I would do those (and see the effect) before you decide to leave. I have realised one thing though, it always seems we are looking for a ‘perfect’ job in a ‘perfect’ organisation, but if an organisation was already so ‘perfect’, then they probably wouldn’t have vacancies, and wouldn’t be hiring additional staff to ‘fix things’.

  8. “The thing is, the cost of leaving a bad job is very clear to us because the effect is immediate. The cost of keeping a bad job can be much higher, but it sneaks up on us slowly, and therefore we often forget to take that into account.”

    Thanks for sharing this, Alex! I’m pretty sure that many people can be inspirated by this post, and it certainly answered my question. :-)

    I think that, while we still need money to survive, we MUST pay attention to the cost of being unhappy.

    Great post, thanks!

  9. Money is always going to be a motivating factor but it’s been proven that millionaires aren’t happier than the average joe. I’ve met brilliant people driving cabs who didn’t enjoy the rat race. They simply enjoyed meeting new people and a stress free job. I think everyone at some point in their life has taken a job beneath their talents but than again people always overestimate their true worth. Matt is right on the money. What do you value in life, money or happiness? I chose happiness.

  10. I am currently working, 8 months out of college, at a job that I don’t enjoy. I make lots of money, a decent salary + bonus, but I just hate making sales calls all day. I am both creative and a perfectionist, and being in an environment where I must make calls all day is emotionally draining and not a lot of fun to my creative side. My day brightens when I talk to happy customers who listen to my sales pitches but darkens with all the hang-ups, failed sales, and generally rude people. Right now my job is costing me happiness in my personal life as I get in my car at 6 pm everyday and cry before heading home. I’m tired of it but do I really have the skills to leave for another equally paying job? I’m buying a house in a few months with my soon-to-be husband and can’t take a cut in pay. It’s frustrating and sometimes I wish I had never taken this job and just held out for one that lets me be creative and doesn’t make me call people all day long.

  11. Hey!

    Just wanted to point out one important factor:

    Leaving a bad job is an easy way out. Making a bad job to a good job, for you and the others around you, is what really matters. I know it takes time, it takes guts and it takes perseverance, but in the end it’s more rewarding than just tapping yourself on back of how courageous you were to quit your sucky job. If you take that path, you might just keep looking for that perfect opportunity out there and never find it.

    There! Chew on that!

    -Tomi

  12. chus3r: I agree – sometimes it’s not even the workplace, or it’s not even that bad. On the other hand, no one but you know if you’re happy or unhappy at work. If you’re unhappy in a job and have been so for a while, it’s time to do something.

    foxydot: Great to hear it. It sounds like you had a bad (or at least boring job), but that you had thought through what the downside was and why you kept that job anyway. And it paid of. When you make that trade-off consciously, it can be a way to become happy at work later on. Kudos!

    Office lady: Don’t stay for the raises. That probably isn’t worth it.

    MyNameIsMatt: Thanks for the great story. “knowing what I valued in life, and going out to get it” – that is exactly the point.

    Deb: Thanks for another great story. I admire your decision to leave the first company. It sounds like your story illustrates the fact that to be happy at work we need both results, ie. doing good work and relationships, ie. feeling good around the people there. You last job had one, your current job the other. Finding a job that has both (or making your job so that it has both) is the key.

    Theo: Precisely. And even if the spreadsheets may not support the decisions, your gut instinct may still be telling you to get out.

    Al & Tomi: I agree completely. First try to fix your job. If that doesn’t work or is plainly impossible, move on. Most of us have many ways to influence what work is like – often more than we think. Blindly accepting conditions at work is not the way to go.

    Dirceu: Exactly – we need to look also at the cost of keeping that job. I’m glad you liked it.

    Chris: Yes! Choose happiness!

    ImASadGiraffe: You’re in a bad situation, and I definitely sympathize. If I can add to your misery for a second, it also sounds like your unhappy job situation is actually making it harder for you to find a new job, because the job eats away at your energy and drive. My advice: Think hard about what staying in that job is costing you. Then talk to your husband to find out if it’s worth it.

  13. Leaving a job when it is no longer fruitful is a good idea. Going out and getting what life has to offer is important. i am leaving a job that I have been at for 5 years. I hit my peak about a year-and-a-half ago and now realize that I should have left then. I just got another offer at 50% more than my current salary, great benefits, 401k etc and am still worried if I am making the right choice. Onlydownside is that I have to commute 50 miles one way and will have to buy a new car. I know that it will be an economic boom for me and the work is interesting, but the author is correct. My energy has been sapped from me and I am tired much of the time at this old job. Should have left back then. Live and learn.

  14. I recently made a tough decision to leave a good job to take one that I thought might suck just so I would have more opportunity and security in the future. Here I am a year later, and unfortunately it does indeed suck. Transported back in time and given the choice again, I probably would not make the same choice. Who knows – maybe in another year I’ll feel differently. Starting a new job is always difficult.

    For me, it’s about direction. Do I hate my job more than I did last month, or less? If I continue to hate it more and more, I will have to get out eventually.

  15. Working attitude is the prime factor in everything in the working life. No matter the motivation behind the purpose of having the job. Even though it “sucks” I think we need to question ourselves on “what sucks in the job?” or “why does it suck so bad?” If it’s your boss or colleagues that hinders your potentials then look for something else before quitting.

    I’ve worked at a chinese takeaway for quite a long time. My boss wasn’t the best in the world, neither the worst. I get crap from him nearly everday, but when I look at things differently. I realise that it is my working attitude that sucked, hence all the scolding and yelling from him. If I would have changed to another job, it would still sucked for me, unless the boss doesn’t really give a crap about his business or the way that I handle things.

    Question is, how well can you self-criticise? ;)

  16. During the post-911 business downturn I lost my job, and then spent 9 months trying to get a new job and running through my savings. Eventually, my savings ran out and I had to stop looking for a job in my chosen field and find anything that would keep a roof over my head.

    I didn’t like the job I was able to get, but it was either that or move into my car. So for 18 months, I sucked it up and did the job. I did it as well as I possibly could, and did so well that I was promoted twice in that 18 month period. Still, I was miserable, and I got out as soon as I could.

    I agree that there is a cost to keeping a bad job, but sometimes we do what we have to in order to make it through to the better times. There is no shame in that.

  17. I have worked at sucky jobs for most of the past 30 years. You do what you must to feed the family. While I really believe “I am the Master of my fate, the Captain of my destiny”, sometimes G-d puts you in a rowboat in a hurricane. In that case, no matter how motivated or skilled a Captain, you are in deep yogurt and it will take a long, diffcult effort to get through. Yes of course I have continuously angled for better work during these years, at each sucky job I have found some parts enjoyable, and things have improved step by tiny step. If I dumped the family it would be simpler for me, but they *are* what is important to me.

  18. Ok…you are going to love my story. I went to work for my father at his construction company….and I have been there 5 years. It is sort of flexible ( time off is like pulling teeth)….but he is very abusive and mean. I stay because of the money and flexibility with my family. I get off early. But it is taking it’s toll on them too. I am extremely unhappy. I recieved a job offer with my daughter’s pediatrician’s office, and it is a 4 day work week, and about 3,200.00
    a year less than what I make now. I am losing sleep over do I take it, or do I not.
    I can’t see the forest for the trees. Please help.

  19. OK, hey Office Girl! You state that “…time off is like pulling teeth…” and then you state that you “…get off early… Which is it then? You will find abuse and meanness everywhere you go, but it ususlly hurts from family the most. Know that when and if you take the job for with your child’s physician, that relationship will change because he or she will now be your boss as well. Money?……….forget it. As you probably already know too well that you will make it with or without extra cash. The questions you must contemplate are the following: 1. Will the new work be fulfilling? 2. Are you willing to give up a few extra dollars for sanity’s sake? 3. Can a new job springboard you to a new career path? 4. Perhaps college? That always results in more $$. 5. Will your child glean a new attitude? What I mean by that is that you come home from working for your father a. feeling abused, b. feeling depressed, c. treated meanly, therefore who will you be mean to in return? MMmmmmm……. 6. Will leaving the “fold” get you new respect from your father? Is that what you are looking for? 7. You state that you are unhappy? 8. Your new offer is 3200 less, but with a 4-day work week. Well, OG, it seems to me that you will break even! You can always get another P/T job for a day…..maybe at your father’s company? That is only if you want to deal with the meanness and abuse. From the sound of things, you sound in your very early 20′s with a child. OG, now is the time to make the move for yourself AND your child. Do not lose sleep OG. Live life to the fullest. Get out and make new friends. Take a class on your new day off. Be with your child at the park! Many people will give much for a 4-day work week! Oh, while we are at it, let’s take a look at the money factor….3200.00 right? How much an hour are you giving up? 3200/50 weeks in a year is 64.00 a week/40 hours is $1.60/hour. But since you are only working 4 days a week you are really breaking even! So, that actually puts you ahead of the game! I will add that your post indicates that you hold fear for your future. We all do. Face the fear and move on. We all fail at times too, but that is what makes success so great! How can one experience success if one does not taste failure first? Permit me to indulge you about fear. Everyone experiences fear. It is how we deal with it an react to it that makes us who we are as a person. So, I hope that the trees are more vivid and the forest is much more clear. Be happy, take healthy risks and live! Best to you! John JW

  20. John JW. that is perhaps the most clear view I have had on the whole situation from anyone.
    I can clarify the getting off early ( I only have to work till 3:30) I have no sick time or vacation time. If I need a day off it takes me about three days to get him to say yes.
    I could have made myself clearer. Sorry about that.
    You have truly made my day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  21. Hi OG! Well, I am glad that my words offered some guidance for you! Just a couple of more comments on your latest post. You get off work at 3:30; OK what time do you go in? You have NO vacation or sick time? I bet that you are earning in the neighborhood of $11.00/hour? If you need a day off it takes about three days for an answer? You know, OG, sometimes working for a family member can be 3x as hard as working for a stranger. Family is great, but on the flip side you have to realize that sometimes family can be not so great. I am sure that you love your dad and he loves you very much. There are phases in life that I was taught and I would like to share them with you: 1. As children, our parents made ALL of our decisions (age birth – 20) 2. From 20 – 40 we are straightening out the things our parents put upon us. By that I mean that at times they tried to relive their younger years through us. For example, you want to be on the tennis team and your parent was on the soccer team and they force you to play soccer instead of you doing what you want to do because they never got to be a soccer star as they dreamed they would like to become. Do you see how this can create regrets and poor feelings in ourselves? 3. We are truly discovering ourselves from 40 – 60 and then anything from 60 onward is a gift and should be treated as such. There is a saying that “…love is love, but business is business…” and it is extremely hard for the two to meet. You have been mixing them and that is why you are so confused. One part of you wants harmony and happiness in the family and the other part wants freedom and to be treated with respect and dignity. Because you are working for a family member, the family member feels that he or she is doing YOU a favor. In reality it is you who are doing THEM a favor and saving THEM money because anyone else would NOT take a job without at LEAST SOME vacation time. I do hope that you have decided to move on to another position instead of being held down. Be happy, be healthy and move on steadfastly into your future with hope, happiness, optimism, clarity and a glad heart.

  22. Okay… I have taken the job. I am very nervous..it’s just normal I guess. I appreciate all that you did to help me make an informed decision. My dad won’t even speak to me after i told him. that hurts..but in a strange way…it helps me to know that I am doing the right thing. It’s funny, all this time I have been in an emotionally and verbally abusive workplace, and it’s my biological parent who does that. It’s still hard to break free, and I know it won’t happen in one day. I know the decrease in money has to be worth the increase in sanity. Sometimes it’s still hard to see that right now. But your words and kindness are helping. I have had a couple of offers in the past, and I always let them go. I was too afraid letting fear keep me where I was. I am moving on. I always wanted to be in the healthcare field, and I feel like i am getting in on the ground floor, and it will take me new places. I will keep you updated…I just pray I can hang in there long enough to get in the groove and give this a chance. I don’t want to go back where I have been.
    I can’t thank you enough.,,,your words have been a true inspiration to me. =)

  23. Dear Office Girl,

    I admire your courage in taking the offer from the pediatrician’s office. I believe it is a decision that you will NEVER regret.

    As has been pointed out already, working 32 hours/week instead of 40 (+?) hours/week with NO time off unless begged for has you coming out ahead.

    In addition, you will gain self-respect, self-esteem, and renewed confidence in your abilities to make a positive contribution to the workforce and to society in general. And you will be a great role model for your child.

    Even if you find that you don’t like the work at the new job, or you don’t like the people, or even that they don’t like you, it will be the best step you could take right now. You will be learning new things and you will be establishing relationships with co-workers in a very different way (which will take some getting used to, so be kind to yourself if you make some mistakes). And, you will be finding out more about yourself and who you really are.

    Your father’s reaction will be very difficult to bear, but you can do it. And I think that eventually he will soften towards you. Right now he’s using the same behavior he always has to get you to do things his way. But you are an adult now, and you have your own way, and it is just as good (if not BETTER) than his way. Stay strong, and do not cave. If you can do that, you will have broken a very destructive, dysfunctional pattern, and your relationships with others will never be the same.

    Trust your intuition, lady, and you can go as far as you want to go and on your own terms.

    Be sure to let us all know how it’s going after a few weeks and then again a few weeks after that. I, for one, am rooting for YOU.

    Michele Engel Edwards
    San Diego

  24. Hi Office Girl!

    Well!! Good for you! As Michele says she is rooting for you and so am I. Your dad will get over it in time. You know, its hard to give up good help when you have had them under your thumb for a long time. Don’t worry about it at all.

    You now have the chance to do what you want and the world is your oyster. It will not be easy at times, but you will get used to it and you will never regret your decision.

    Keep us posted because we are interested in how you are doing. We are all in the work world together and it is great to have others to lean on in times of need. And all of us on this blog do not even know one another!

    Be happy, keep smiling and…..just THINK OF THE POSSIBILITIES!!!

    John JW

  25. Hi Office girl, hope the new job and the people are great. The hard part is over,,, making the decision must have been really difficult. Don’t look back, you made that decision for the best reasons. My Dad told me that you don’t regret the decisions you made, just the ones you didn’t make.. and that has been true for me so far!
    Keep us posted.

  26. Hello all.I appreciate so much all the advice you guys have given!
    I am in the new position, and I have been training for a week now, and I realize all the new possibilities for me. I really did make the right decision. You comments, helped me so much to enforce that. It hasn’t been easy…but that’s a whole other issue. My dad is still avoiding me, and that part hurts. But again, it helps me to realize that was the right thing to do. I know if I had let this pass me by… would have regretted it.
    I guess fear always kept me where I was…and it’s like I am coming out of my shell. My daughter will be better for it I know…I want her to always take the high road and be strong.
    As for the other being a bad job, I tried to hang in there, I guess out of fear and guilt. Those are the same things trying to hold me back! You feel like working for family, you have a different obligation to them….but mine was a very bad obligation. Better now, all by my own decisions, which I am just learning to make on my own. Thanks so much….I hope I am still this positive at 3 months on the job! =)

  27. Hi OG!

    I am very happy for you! Oh, yea, you will get a little bored from time to time b/c that is human nature. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and your mouth closed more often than open. You will be suprised at what you see and hear!! Keep us posted here. It seems that it is a very exclusive club here. Remember, life is what YOU make of it. YOU have the choice to be happy or sad each day you wake up. Choose to be happy. Go get em’ tiger and enjoy life. Keep us posted here!!

    Best,
    JohnJW

  28. All I want is to like my job – even 60% of the time… is that too much to ask?
    I started work, right out of college, working in corporate finance for one of the largest corporations in the world. Sure, I was successful there. At least, the boss and reviews all said I was successful and doing a bang-up job. But I wasn’t happy, and found I liked my job at most 1 day per week. I was capable of more, and trust me, the boss knew it and was giving me more to do without compensating me for it or giving me the opportunity to advance when it was due. I knew that a year from then, had I stayed, I would have gotten a promotion anyhow – with much more responsibility and visibility, longer hours, but only a modest compensation increase. It wasn’t worth it to me to stay in that job for another year and wait for that development opportunity. So I left. And magically, they counter-offered with a sexier role and slightly-more pay, but I have too much pride for that – “too little too late”.
    I took a new job at another large corporation, for significantly more pay, and (little did I know empty) promises of opportunities to develop quickly. I’m now 7 months into it, and it’s awful. Sure, the pay is better, but this is the #1 worst place to work in finance in America right now – no questions asked. 80% of the finance team wants out. 60% of them are new hires at the same time I came in. If I leave now, i will forgo a pro-rated portion of my signing bonus and a modest year-end bonus. I can’t afford that, but whatever.
    For 3 weeks of every month, I’m miserable. It affects my sleep, health, and relationships with others. The work is not challenging me. It is not developing me. And there is very little opportunity to advance afterall (I’ve spoken with other people in similar positions here). I was sold a lemon, and the people that hired me are no longer here either because they resigned shortly after I came in!
    Businesses should be held accountable for lying to new hires. Straight-up lies.
    And, of course, there’s no “worker’s compensation” law for a company causing you stress, high-blood pressure, and sleepless nights. And I’m only 27!
    I’m of the mindset that, if you are trying to grow and promote yourself, you should ALWAYS leave a job if you aren’t getting back what you put in and keep trying to find that one job that makes you happy – 60% of the time.

  29. I was very happy in my job for about 6 years. I loved it, it was rewarding, and I was very good at it. Suddenly, my company suffered a major turmoil and fired many people in the administration. Many nasty things went on, and most workers left in bad terms with the institution. Since I was a respected worker, I was promoted to high administrative position, but the company is still in crisis (I have fired several people in the last month, and the ones that are staying are not doing their jobs well). This is draining my energy. Insisting on people, getting on arguments about petty things, making sure they do their jobs. I stayed at this job b/c of the money, the town and the schools, which are very important to my family. However, if given the choice, I would leave inmediately. However, there are no options so far in the horizon. I don’t know how long I could take this, butI would like to think that I am staying to get the work done and the company back on its feet, and that this crisis period will be over soon, and that the company will be the same one I liked so much. However, it has been difficult all the way, and the future looks grim.

  30. I think that sometimes, for me, being unfamiliar in a role, makes me feel out of control and I just hate that feeling and then hate the job. So,sometimes, its worth trying hard to work out why you hate it so much but if there are other things out there that you would rather do, then I feel you should go for them. G has given enough of her/himself and it sounds , on paper as though, if you got out now, at least you could say that you gave it your absolute best shot before and after the crisis point. If it is making you ill, then just don’t do it What is the likelyhood of the future in that job getting better,,, would that be at the expense of your health?

    . My job stress may have caused my thyroid to malfunction and I am not proud of that, I have to suffer the consequences now for the rest of my life. and yes, I am applying for a job that the thought of, makes me feel happy inside,, I know it will be something I love and even if I don’t get it, I will be pleased that I made the extra effort, that it takes, to apply.
    Alexander’s ethos is a good one and it would be great if more people had the same attitude.

  31. I think that sometimes, for me, being unfamiliar in a role, makes me feel out of control and I just hate that feeling and then hate the job. So,sometimes, its worth trying hard to work out why you hate it so much but if there are other things out there that you would rather do, then I feel you should go for them. G has given enough of her/himself and it sounds , on paper as though, if you got out now, at least you could say that you gave it your absolute best shot before and after the crisis point. If it is making you ill, then just don’t do it What is the likelyhood of the future in that job getting better,,, would that be at the expense of your health?

    . My job stress may have caused my thyroid to malfunction and I am not proud of that, I have to suffer the consequences now for the rest of my life. and yes, I am applying for a job that the thought of, makes me feel happy inside,, I know it will be something I love and even if I don’t get it, I will be pleased that I made the extra effort, that it takes, to apply.

  32. I hate my job. Basically my story is, I moved to a new city in 2006 and was having a hard time getting a job. I eventually hooked up with a temp agency who placed me as a receptionist in a law firm. I was making $10 per hour, working in an extremly stressful law firm under horrible partners doing work that was mind numbingly boring. After 7 months one of my coworkers hooked me up with my current job: making $13 per hour as a legal secretary in another firm. This job is also boring. I’ve been here almost 9 months and I’m ready to leave. My thing is: 1) I’m too over educated for this job and, most importantly, 2) I have ZERO interest in the legal field. I want to work in non-profits, especially non-profit development. I have stumbled into the legal field out of desperation for work. I really want to look for a job after the New Year, but part of me thinks I should give it a year (until March). Then again, another part of me feels like I’m wasting time at a job I don’t want to do in a field I have no interest in. As time goes on, I’m just pidgeonholing myself into a career I hate. I know one thing for sure: lawyers make me miserable.

  33. All of you need to understand about a JOB. It really means (Just Over Broke). My recommendation is to start your own business at get the hell out of Corporate America. Let the H1B visa people work in their companies and make their stockholders rich not you. America has changed for the worse and the companies only care about making vast amounts of money quickly off you backs and not paying you what you deserve. Since loyalty is a thing of the past be loyal to yourself and get out there to start your own business. It may be tough at first but you call the shots and make the decisions yourself. They won’t be able to ship your business oversea like they can you JOB (Just Over Broke).

  34. #
    Bob Said,

    April 10, 2008 @ 8:13 am

    All of you need to understand about a JOB. It really means (Just Over Broke). My recommendation is to start your own business at get the hell out of Corporate America. Let the H1B visa people work in their companies and make their stockholders rich not you. America has changed for the worse and the companies only care about making vast amounts of money quickly off you backs and not paying you what you deserve. Since loyalty is a thing of the past be loyal to yourself and get out there to start your own business. It may be tough at first but you call the shots and make the decisions yourself. They won’t be able to ship your business overseas like they can your JOB (Just Over Broke).

  35. I have been stuck in a terrible job now for the last year and a half because we bought a house when we moved here and can not financially leave until we sell the house. The job has a great salary – exceptionally high pay, tons of vacation time, unlimited conference leave and paid year maternity leave. But the work situation is toxic – the person that hired me lied to me and gave me no resources to do the job. When I bought in resources and worked myself self to do a good job, he took all the credit for it and then tried to put me down constantly because he became threatened by my success and promoted one of his friends above me who micromanaged me and bullied me and both blocked me every step of the way. When I finally could not do my job and was exhausted working 120 hour weeks and weekends, they told me I was a failure and that I should seek counselling if I could not cope. I have to leave my home, friends, family and country to do the subspecialized work that I do and move to the states and I take a loss on the house, take a pay cut down to 1/3 of my salary, 1/2 of my vacation time, no health benefits, 1/4 of my maternity benefits and instead of a guaranteed job for life that I have now, I will only have a guaranteed salary for three years and if unproductive in the states will have no income or be fired. Plus will take a step down in quality of life in terms of cities where I can work in the states – I live in a great city now. I am so discouraged as nothing amazing has come about in the states and I am so burnt out that I can not even get out of bed in the morning and it is getting worse. Is it worth leaving?

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  38. I am at a job that I absolutely hate, so much so that on Sunday night I get a horroble feeling inside and drink myself to sleep. The irony is that this is the only job that I have actually been able to keep in years and that I have actually gotten a lot of praise at. The problem with it is that the politics are downright dirty, the organization doesn’t run the least bit efficient (a we get in trouble for that, of course), and I am literally ruining my back with the continuous heavy lifting. I need to stay, though, because I can’t seem to stay long at office jobs due to my autism (I have Asperger Syndrome) and I remember how bad it was being dirt poor. I would love to get a “better” job but I see no alternatives.

  39. Absolutely great series of articles, Alex!

    I have just gone through another one of those abominable, archaic, annual reviews that have somehow crept into workplaces all the way from early twentieth century factories. You know the ones: incompotent reviewers, other people’s bad behaviour landing up in your review, focus on the negative, no positive reinforcement about all those extra miles!!

    What luck that I should find your site. I plan to quit my job with finances to last me about a year — at a stretch!

    Wish me luck. Back my courage.

    Neva

  40. Hi, I am a police officer and i hate my job. I thought this would be the job for me because i have a strong passion for helping people. I am so disappointed. It has been 5.5 years. Everyday i dread going to work. i even cry sometimes. The only thing holding me back from leaving is the pay which is now 84,000 a yr and the benefits. fortunately, i do not have any debt and i have saved over 40,000 thru the years. This is such a huge decision and most people think im crazy for thinking about leaving, but i am emotionally and physically drained. This job is all numbers! how many summonses you write, how many arrests you make etc. Your days off are not even yours because they can easily assign a detail or make you do overtime. it is very controlling in every way. i just feel that can help people in another field. I

  41. Looking back over the past two jobs I’ve quit, I realized that my mistake was that I stayed too long, because I was doing “what I was supposed to do”. I’ll never truly know what opportunities I missed by working in dead-end jobs that were toxic and generally a poor fit. Happily, things are better. Now I have my own business; I do not make what I used to, but my needs are being met. More importantly, I’m happier and I have the time, energy and drive to take care of myself…that, in itself, is worth $$$

    I, too, wonder where the stigma of admitting failure started. Regardless, if you’re in a job that is only paying the bills: Quit!

  42. Call me crazy but my commitment to providing for my family (wife and two children) outweighs everything. The job may be getting progressively suckier by the day, but the pay is good enough to provide happiness for my family and that matters more to me than personal happiness.

    I think you really need to look at your priorities and contextually make the determination for yourself. “Just quitting” isn’t always the best choice. Sometimes it can simply be the most selfish choice.

    /.02

  43. GS

    Indeed, with a wife and children, you can’t just quit; however, you are no good to your wife and children if you are not personally happy.

    Three choices: (a) Your job is not that bad and you are actually quite happy. (b) The job is not good and you are not happy, in which you can plan a change without adverse financial consequences. (c) You don’t like your job, you are not happy, and you are using your wife and children as an excuse not to change, in which case you have a situation waiting to explode.

  44. I have been in a horrible job now for over 2 and a half years. I finally realized that it will never change and the people in charge are not committeed to making any positive changes or making the system work properly. Nobody cares or will stick up for me and it is very dysfunctional. I have finally given up…it has take a long time. I went and interviewed at a job that was incredible and I don’t know what will happen yet but have my fingers crossed. The sad thing about interviewing is that I realized that there are functional happy work places out there that are productive and people work together and get along. I realized that I made so many excuses out of fear and reluctance – in terms of money and vacation and benefits but in the end of the day…I needed to wait to find the right job but I also realized what an incredible waste of time it has been staying in a bad job that made me too miserable to get up in the morning. I realized that there are good jobs out there and I have been an idiot not leaving sooner. Some jobs are not that bad and maybe worth staying in but when you are in a terrible job that sucks the life out of you…you know it and your friends and family know it and it is really not worth staying in. The cost of personal happiness is far too high and life is too short to stay miserable for such a long time.

  45. It is really great reading and advices that it help me a lot on my present job. I really don’t like my job which i am working now. I worked for 4 years in which 2 years that i like to work for, but before 2 years ago, i have to transfereed to another department that i don’t like to work to. I really hate my job after transfeering to another department for 2 years until now. I don’t like my boss, they are really very awful person. I want to change my job, but i am very afraid cannot find another job i prefer. I’d like to study a MA master degree….. life is really very tough indeed…

  46. More than bad job, it was something, i didn’t like, rather i didn’t want to deal with…. it actually is a cool, easy job with excellent people around… but somehow, i am not made for business journalism… i entered with suspision, btu an open mind,, but within few weeks, i learnt it is not my cup of tea, still stuck to it for one year and now i want to quit… but the decent salary and perks are forcing me to find an alternative job before quitting

  47. Hello Everyone,

    I have been working with a local bank here in Qatar for over a year now, and i really hate every single day of it. Even weekends are just days with negative thoughts about the begining of weekdays.

    The only reason that influenced me to join this bank, is that i was really unhappy not with the job, but with my previous managers at an Advertising Agency.

    What i used to love about the Ad Agency is the freedom to think, to share thoughts, the ups and downs, and then the ups again…however, i was really stressed out with my managers.

    Then on one creepy day, i resigned and joined the bank, it was the biggest learning opportunity ever “In other words, Mistake”…now i wake up every morning, late to office, surfing the internet looking around for blogs, and job postings, but i cannot really find a job that make me say :i really really would love that job”….

    I sometimes think of having a long time out “3 months probably”…because i have no energy, no motivation, and surely not a clear picture of what i really want to be…

    I love strategic planning, and just sitting there in one room alone for a while analyzing a case, a problem, and then be gathered with a group of people to discuss opportunities for improvement…But i cannot find it anywhere on the net…

    I am not looking for a big salary…no titles, and no subordinates…i will be 25 very soon…am still young and i can start all over again with an entry level position “with a fast track” opportunity….heheheh…

    I had an excellent interview with an Ad Agency, they said that i am the one, which they are looking for…however, its been three weeks, they have sent an email asking me to wait…but i really cannot wait anymore…the current job at the bank is killing me….

    and what kills me the most…i will not declare these informations because of this stupid ethical code of conduct that i have signed prior to joining…

    any advise people.

    Bilal

  48. Hi Bilal,

    Don’t wait for the people at the ad agency, unless you have a firm offer. If you do, three weeks is a very short time to wait. If you don’t, you have to wonder whether they are hedging their bets or unable to make decisions. Whatever the reason, they are not being straight with you. That might be a bad sign. Move on and start planning your life. In the meantime if they call, and you still think it is the best opportunity for you, no harm done.

    The best part about your story is your age: young enough to take control of your life. You say you love strategic planning. This is your opportunity to tackle the most important case problem that will ever come your way: Your life. You have to become your own CEO.

    You need to personally brand yourself. Create Brand You. Your brand is the promise of value that others will receive. It includes everything about you: your values, your aspirations, your goals, your talents, your image, your successes, how others perceive you. If you don’t brand yourself, others will.

    Why brand yourself? To stand out from the crowd. To be true to your core. To take control of your life. To work at what you love. To be the best you can be. To create options. To create trust.

    These days there is so much uncertainty in the work place – here today, gone tomorrow – and a dysfunctional job market of thousands of real job hunters and job speculators filling databanks with cookie cutter résumés never to be seen again — a nightmare for those who don’t differentiate themselves. You have to think of yourself as your own CEO, not as an employee of Company A or B. You owe your loyalty to you, not to your next boss.

    How do you brand yourself?

    Step 1: Decide what you want to do and be. Focus on your passions. What do you love doing? You say you love strategic planning. Which careers involve strategic planning and project management? Do you love everything else about advertising? Decide on a career that revolves around your passions and fits your temperament. Become the very best at that career.

    Step 2: Write down your Future Picture: your life twenty years from now (your career, your finances, your family, your interests, your community involvement, etc.) It is important to write this down and refer to it often. Groove it into your brain. Fine tune it when necessary.

    Step 3: Create goals that will make the categories in your Future Picture come true. Work backwards. Turn those twenty-year goals into medium-term goals, short-term goals and finally daily goals.

    Step 4: Brand yourself around those goals. How?

    Network, network and network, so that the next time you need to change jobs, you can call one of the CEO’s you know, rather than waste time tweaking your cookie cutter résumé hundreds of times.

    Start making yourself the best at what you have decided to be, so that people turn to you for your expertise. Don’t wait for any employers to send you on their courses; take extra courses yourself. In your spare time speak to groups or write about what you do. Get yourself out there and known.

    Give yourself a makeover so that your appearance reflects what you are and what you do.

    At work become known for being the best of your brand; the expert; the point man.

    Work on inter personal relationships, so that you can handle mediocre managers, be the manager, or walk away and join the effective managers at the firm across the street, with whom you have spent time networking and developing friendships.

    If you have to go back to university to achieve your goals, then work that plan into your goals. Time flies by; before you know it, you will have your dream degree.

    Etc., etc.

    You get the drift. Take control of your life. Be proactive. Not reactive. Become the CEO of you. In an uncertain world, that’s the only way to reduce uncertainty and create peace of mind.

  49. I lost my job 2 mos ago and found a job at a new resto that has an extremely disorganized management. I’ve only been at it for less than a month but I feel the energy and motivation draining everytime I go to work. I am staying at it until I find another job but someone told me to stay at a job for 6 mos before you quit. I’m not sure what is the right thing to do.

  50. I have been at a horrible job for 5 years – bad from the start – abusive – hostile – backbiting – totally dysfunctional. I am well educated – but older. I have tried to improve the situation from every angle I can – and all angles are used up. I am looking for another job in a deep recession. This job has destroyed my mental and physical health. Looking back – I would have done things alot differently – kept records of the abuse sooner – gone higher up to report abuse. Maybe they would have fired me – but at least they wouldn’t have me around to abuse anymore.

  51. I am a single mom. I had a job as a choir director in a church.
    It was very toxic. One faction would complain bitterly that I never did new music. Another would complain bitterly that I never did the old music.

    Used to laugh and say at least I was an equal opportunity displeaser. The minister was in the choir, not a musician by any means, and would constantly ride me about the complainers. “Why didn’t you do a sectional last rehearsal?” “I don’t like this piece.”

    I came home one day in a great mood, and there was an e mail from him asking, again, why I didn’t do a sectional. Enough! I had gone in that week running a fever and just barely got through rehearsal without passing out, let alone a “sectional”.

    I wrote back “I quit.”

    Then I went “Holy cow! Did I just do that???”

    I had been staying in fear, so afraid to do without steady income. I felt like it was a church, I should be able to create a positive environment.

    I asked God for a sign and within hours had three private students needing rehearsal night and coming up to the same pay I’d been getting for wed. night and Sunday morning.

    I was losing my love of singing, my love of directing, my love of music, my self confidence.

    It’s like being plucked, one feather at a time and before you know it, you can’t fly!!

    Turns out the same complainers had chased several people away from the church. I got a lot of support from people there about my decision.

    It was sad. But, boy, I love my work and that is a gift. I’m glad I didn’t let that love go out of fear.

  52. i had worked with ICICI bank ltd for past 3yrs.i had done my job at my best.i got an oppurtunity in telecom sector.They asked to give 10days notice period & joined the company.i did resigned but my bank did’nt allowed me.it gave me option of 45 day notice period.i lost the job oppurtunity.I could not bear this & resigned from the job.

    Now i am facing a problem in other interviews in answering the questions as “WHY U LEFT THE JOB”.Should i say the right ans..?

  53. honestly, this website and alex is sooooo right. after three and a half years of a terrible job that overworked me with an abusive boss that paid me a lot of money, I finally found another job in the middle of the crashing economy. Due to financial reasons, family illness and death and my boss sabbatoging attempts at finding a new job, I finally found an incredible job in a great city that was the right fit. It took a lot of work and many interviews but Iit happened with perseverence! People are nice and supportive and it is healthy and happy. It was so hard to make the change and harder to physically and emotionally leave after investing so much time and energy but honestly, I realized that Alex is right! Nobody ever wishes they could have stayed in a bad job longer. People that are too scared to change convince themselves that a new job with unknowns may not be any better and better to stick with the devil they know. Well _ it is definately worth it. I only wish I could have left years earlier because nothing is worth being miserable at work. Rather than spend hours dreading work and feeling like vomiting at the thought to going in to work in the morning, I actually look forward to it and I can not believe how much better it can be. The longer you stay, the harder it is to leave. Alex is so right! Leave the job if it is making you unhappy and the sooner, the better!!! thanks Alex for your wise advice and thank you for this incredible inspirational website.

  54. now that i am in a happy healthy work-environment, i realize i should have left earlier. the toll that being in an unhappy job is far too high a price to pay and the many years of being in a bad job have really sapped my energy, optimism and confidence. what a waste of time and life. It is going to be a long road back but at least the the recovery has started. I can not say enough good things about your website and your wisdom. thank you again.

  55. My anecdote to why you should leave your job and not wait a year is that I just finished that “year.” My group changed drastically and I felt that I should leave when it did. I didn’t respect my new manager and it was a big step backwards for everyone in the group. But, I convinced myself that I should stick it out for a year because things were bound to change. And, things sure did change. I’ve now got a new manager who’s even worse than the last. The groups taken one more step down the totem pole and I feel even more marginalized. There is, at least, one bright point: I resigned last friday:)

  56. To Geolie,

    Ask him/her why he relocated you. It might be because he/she sees abilities in you that he does not see in others.

    Meantime, take the time to create long-term goals. What do you want to be doing in ten years’ time, incorporating your passions and what you love to do; then work those goals back to mid-term (five years) goals; then short-term goals (one year); then daily goals.

    If that future picture includes your current job, start working and communicating with your boss. If it does not, start doing what you have to do to get where you are going, whether that means school, courses, meeting the right people, a new job, etc. While you are at it start saving, saving, saving for emergencies.

  57. Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions… this will help me a lot in my further journey and plans in life.

  58. Hope my thoughts do prove helpful.

    Most people hate their jobs. We hear those conversations all the time, every day. The reason is that they are in those jobs by default. They needed a career and fell into a profession without sufficient research and matching of passions. They needed a job and fell into the first job offer. As a result, they don’t excel in their jobs by personally taking responsibility for extra activities that will catapult them into security. They just take required courses. They also become very vulnerable, as they don’t develop the contacts, experience and courses to quickly walk into another job if necessary.

    Most people are doubly vulnerable, because they don’t save money. As I mentioned in my first e-mail, save, save and save some more. Savings will be the difference between either riding out an economic downturn and job loss, or having to downsize into a relative’s spare bedroom — or for some even the streets.

  59. i stayed a an abusive job for 3.5 years but due to family issues and financial issues could not leave until i found another job – which took a long time. much happier and have great coworkers and a wonderful position that i have been working in for over 8 months now. it is amazing how having a good job can impact your entire health, relationships, friendships and life and outlook. My blood pressure is now normal and the rest of my life has been so much better. It has taken a long time to get over the abuse and bullying from the last job and realize it was not me – in retrospect in terms of the price i paid in my health, relationships and marriage, i realize how stupid it was not to leave sooner but glad i did before the job and people destroyed me. sometimes it is not possible to see out of a solution when you are in it and rationalization can really be a detriment. thanks alex for your website and the great advice to everybody!

  60. I need to find another quickly or else I just may die. The job is killing me slowly. Please God help us all.

  61. I have been at a bad job for 5 years now. Its ironic because I really thought this would be my dream job when I got the job offer! It has really been disappointing but eye-opening and I have learned a lot. Sometimes I get down on myself for being so stupid and jumping at the job offer so fast. My self-esteem has suffered as my lead person has always bullied me and tried to undermine my accomplishments here, with the indifference of my Manager. I have gained 35 pounds during the last 5 years. I am miserable and lonely every day, with no friend here. All my co-workers back the lead person, are afraid to say anything or even like her. I would love to change jobs but the economy is so bad now. Also I bought a house 1.5 years ago and now have a mortgage. I am trying to get a degree and now have student loan debt and credit card debt. I really feel trapped. My life sucks.

  62. Hi Carole,

    You have to leave your job. It’s that simple.

    What is not so simple is the road you take to do that, particularly in view of the debt you mention. Although you don’t mention how much, it sounds as if you may by carrying a chunk of it.

    Our lives are short and precious. It is not worth being so unhappy in a dysfunctional workplace.

    Your first priority is to pay off your debt. Here are some ideas abut that and your future:

    Sit down in a quiet place (away from work) where you will have no interruptions and plan out your future in writing.

    Create your FuturePicture — where you want to be in ten years from now in the areas of career, finance, family, health and fitness, personal activities/hobbies, and community giving (if you are so inclined). In your case, focus on career, finance and health and fitness (without those you cannot be the best for your family).

    How? List five important values, such as honesty, etc.; five passions — what you love to do and do well (what you would do if money were no object); five strengths (what you consistently do well and gravitate towards doing; up to five things you hate to do.

    Then choose a career/job based on those values, passions and strengths, being cognizant of leaving out, as far as possible, what you hate to do. In other words wrap your future around your passions.

    Next, break that career FuturePicture down into goals you will have to accomplish to get there: education you will need (night school, industry courses, or even back to university), getting rid of your debt, leaving your current job, finding a new job conducive to your new goals, sticking out your current job in the meantime, etc.

    Break those goals down into medium-term goals (five years), then short-term goals (one year), then daily goals. Commit to completing your daily goals. Completing daily goals is one of the best ways to start feeling good about yourself and to start getting where you want to go.

    Start working on your goals right away. Focus on yourself and your future, rather than on your dysfunctional workplace and the people in it. What you focus on is what you get.

    Two priority goals will have to be getting rid of your debt (unloading huge stress) and losing weight (feeling good about yourself again).

    Mortgage: Weigh the pros and cons of owning your home: is your mortgage payment less than rent would be? Do you have equity in the home? Should you sell it? Is there potential for the equity to pay down your debt? etc. Hire an impartial professional to help you to make the right decision, if you are not sure of the consequences yourself.

    New Focus: Your challenge will be to stick it out at your current job, until you have found another job conducive to your goals. With your debt, you can’t be without an income. However, once you start concentrating on yourself, you will be amazed how your current job will improve. Start swinging along with the flow. You are only parking yourself there for a little while longer, so the flow should be neutral to you. That might improve relationships in that dysfunctional place. If not, you will have more important things on your mind.

    Weight Loss: This is a difficult thing indeed. I know. I gained my weight from eating goodies people bring in to work, unhappiness at work, and lack of exercise because of the unhappiness — about 30 lbs as well. Make it a priority to exercise. See if you can find a Zumba class in your area. It is a really fun way to exercise (Latin music/dance/aerobics). Commit to working out (whatever you choose) a minimum of three times a week. Walk/jog/create your own routine the rest of the week. As for diet, just do one thing: cut out high density carbs (muffins and baked goods, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, added sugar (no sugar drinks or pop), etc. Eat lean proten, fruits and vegetables. No fast food or take out.

    With the exercise and the new way of eating, you will be amazed at how fast the weight comes off. You will be amazed at how your life starts changing. I talk from experience.

    New Career: Start doing all the things that will be needed in your new career: education, as soon as you can afford it, self-learning, new job in your new field, part-time job in the field (maybe — will help with the debt as well), meeting the right people, creating a top-notch resume, signing on to LinkedIn and connecting with the right people, seminars, networking, speaking, etc.

    Start concentrating on your future. Become your own CEO. Commit to being a successful CEO. Save, save and save some more (with debt reduction in mind to start). We cannot rely on governments, corporations or even families for our futures. We are in charge of our futures. Taking charge and planning puts us in the driver’s seat, and enables us to flow from one job to the next (for whatever reason) through connections and reputation in our chosen industries.

    Hope this gives you some pointers. You deserve the most for yourself.

  63. I have a history of depression and I am currently working in a job that makes me unhappy. I work for a fantastic, creative, award winning advertising agency. I did not get a degree, I was given the job on my own merit and personality, not what was written on my CV. I should be over the moon, but I find it degrading, meaningless, and a selfish profession.

    I am currently in the process of writing my resignation letter, not to go to another company, but to go to South East Asia to live my lif a little. The prospect of this excites me, but the day where I hand in my notice terrifies me. At the end of the day, you have to do things and make positive changes that will make you happy. And if those changes don’t make you happy, hey, at least you tried. And you can tick that off the list and move on to the next big thing, whatever that may be.

    This blog is really helpful, thankyou for all the great advice.

  64. I know the feeling of working at a dead end job. After undergrad, I took a part time job as a mentor doing skill building for adults with developmental disabilities. I had worked with this population before, and thought I would enjoy it. What I didn’t realize is that my supervisor would try to get me to work five days a week (which is not feasible as I am also a full time graduate student), and change routes, groups, etc every week. I feel like a glorified chauffeur (I drive around an entire county to pick individuals up and take them home), and a babysitter (I’m so busy taking care of individual issues that there is little time to focus on actual skill building). In addition, I am not particularly comfortable with the idea of driving a ten passenger van during the Michigan winter, and I feel there is little room for advancement. I’m currently applying for part time administrative assistant positions at local nonprofits, and I just hope this short stint will not reflect poorly on me.

    Thoughts from anyone else?

  65. @Stefanie

    You are taking the right steps: looking for another job.

    When you leave a job, because it does not to prove to fit in with your passions, goals, strengths and brand, for those in the know, it reflects well on you. You would be unwise to work for someone who thinks it reflects badly on you.

  66. Everyone is dependent on my wages. I started temping at a job and 5 months later was made permanent. I’ve been there close to 18 months (including the temp time). It started out boring, got busy, got boring again (things slowed down) and for me, a person where this is my first job in this country in a bad economy felt that I should hold on to it until my husband found stable employ again. Hasn’t happened. I’m now severely depressed because I’m once again running out of work. I’m on my second day of leave (because I don’t feel well). Reading the posts, I think the best thing to do is quit. I don’t have another job lined up as I’m having trouble focusing myself on that. I just need OUT. It’s a terrible time to, near Christmas. I have a lot of pressures…sole breadwinner, Christmas is looming, family interference etc, but I’m now to the point where…I can’t do this anymore. In my home country, I could go back to several jobs (if they have vacancies), because I was valued. Here, I’m another warm body and unfortunately, for the first time, I’m JUST there for the paycheck to keep my family from sinking. I wrote down earlier why I should leave and what date I should leave (after the New Year)…but unsure if my mind will hold out that long. Do I get out now? Or wait and possibly make my mental health worse (which is affecting my home life terribly)? Not rich and don’t have much back-up, but can survive a couple of months if someone else can shed their debt and say to heck with it.

  67. I quit my job a few months ago without another one handy, and I haven’t regretted it (yet.) Fortunately I had savings and no debt. Looking back, I think I was unconsciously preparing for years by reducing my spending and paying off bills. Too bad I didn’t realize it and searched for another job back then.

    By the time I quit, I was so ground down, I knew I could not go on to a new job and be successful; I hated the person that I had become. I doubt I would have been able to summon the enthusiasm during the interview process to convince someone to hire me.

    It’s been months now; the savings are dwindling, and I’ve only just started looking for a job, but no matter what the (sometimes scary) future holds for me, I know in my heart that I made the right decision to quit. I hate trite statements like “finding yourself,” but this time away has helped me remember who I was before I became that “cynical, tired, uncreative, negative – maybe even depressed, stressed and sick” person that I was before I left.

  68. Hi MIa,

    It sounds like you’ve been where I am. I don’t have mortgage or car payments. Just monthly living expenses (rent and such). I purchased an old clapped-out RV in the home that we can move to a location next year to look for job in a different state. I know what you mean about the trite statements, but sometimes they fit, don’t they?

    Most of what you’ve said about who you had become is about where I’m at. Although I’m starting to snap out of it a bit. I see an end in sight now that I have tentatively set a date for myself to get out of this place (even though I’m not sure how I’ll get there..Sunday might roll around and I’m back to the pre-monday blues).

    I appreciate being able to have read most of the comments on here – I think sometimes we just need our anonymity to vent and share our ideas, experiences and figure out for ourselves vicariously what we need to be doing.

  69. I want to add a thing:

    Even good jobs do not stay good forever. The management may have changed. The corporate direction may have changed. Maybe your company’s losing to the competition. Maybe you’re given more jobs to do – for the price of one.

    When a job is bad, generally you will not be the only want thinking/musing about quitting. Also, people around you are leaving in droves – some may have even served for 10+ years.

    If you don’t enjoy your work and think you have stopped ‘growing’ (may or may not be salary-related), then its time to move on.

    What I have described above was a rough outline of my current job. The commute’s short, the work deals with one of my key interest, the people there are generally friendly and not assholes. However, *much* has changed in 3-4 years. This place I work at once boasted a very low turnover rate, and may folks stayed on for 5 or more years.

    This Friday I will be attending a farewell lunch with a female co-worker who joined around the same time as I did. She’s the latest in a series of resignations this year. Me? I’ll get my year-end bonus, and I’ll leave too. Target date: mid-Feb.

    Maybe I’ll take a break; haven’t had a vacation in 2 years. And this time, I mean a real vacation, not a ‘pray for approval of 2 weeks leave application, then visit location and return home in a rush.

  70. Well I finished my job up today. Had an ‘exit’ interview and some rather interesting and insightful feedback given to me and it turns out some of the reasons I chose to leave weren’t in my head.

    I was polite and said it was lack of work driving me insane, but there were other things and being my first job in the US, I figured this was corporate America. This is how it’s done here. Apparently, it’s not that nasty. I’ve kept my mouth shut on occasions where I could have said something, but being new to a different work environment with less rights for an employee, and possibly more conservative, one is never quite sure how to tread. And being the only bread winner, it was difficult to make the call to quit two weeks ago. But I did and a few days later I had another job lined up – even in this dark economy.

    It’s a pay cut for now, but I’m sure this next job will tell me if all work environments are like the one I just came out of, or if they are generally better. It’s not always about how much you earn, but how satisfied and valued you feel and how you feel about what you do. This move may save my sanity and also may save my marriage (because I was and am still teetering on the edge of returning to my country of origin). In a couple of months I’ll probably report back to this site, because I found other peoples’ input to be most invaluable. Thank you!

    To P.L – you’ve got it. You’re absolutely correct. If you’re not growing, or you’re not happy – it’s time to move on. Every job has its moments and yes management can change, but if things are going nowhere and you’ve seen all you believe there is to see, don’t waste your precious life – move on. You deserve better. Enjoy your vacation and good luck with your new future!

  71. It is interesting that I now spend most of my free time looking up websites Googling words that say “When to quit your job”. I happened to stumble across this excellent website. I don’t feel like I am alone in all of this and that I am experiencing what others are feeling.

    I’ve been in the current work force for over 20 years in my profession, so I am no new-comer. What is a new experience to me, however, is the fact that I’ve only been in my job for 3 months and ready to quit. To give you an example, I’ve been at my longest job for 15 years, so I struggle with this day and night but the job I took was totally different from my skill sets. I thought I was ready for a change and I thought I would be helping people (my job is in the health profession).

    Now I cry almost every other day, I feel dread on Mondays. I am undermined. I face hostile people. I do things on “status quo” because I have to and not because I want to. I have no support. I don’t know what the hell I am doing 99% of the time. The pay and benefits are sub-standard. Turn-over is high. I bring work home – if not physically lugging home the binders, then on a mental level. I am driving my husband crazy and our kids see me crying a lot and I know it affects them as well.

    Since then I’ve developed insomnia…got a rx for sleeping pills last week (I’ve never needed sleep aids before), stopped exercising, drink a lot more, cry, feel depressed and hopeless, have negative thoughts that spiral out of control, pessimistic and always second-guessing myself. Its affecting my self-esteem, our home and family life.

    I know…just QUIT. I am going to do just that. It’s just hard for someone my age and someone whose been in the work force this long with limited opportunities. I never thought I was a “quitter” but its either quit the job or quit my life and give up my sanity and family’s sanity.

    I am so glad this website is here. I feel bad for everyone out there going through such rough times but this has been a real help. The more I write, the more I realize I have to turn in my resignation. I am just scared.

  72. You know you have to quit.

    The decisions are in the details: how you go about doing it.

    Just making a firm decision to quit will make an enormous difference in your life, especially at work. The decision creates a path and gives you a new direction. You don’t have to tell anyone (except your family if you trust them). Here are some steps.

    (1) Set a goal to quit by a certain time (remembering that goals can be flexible).

    (2) Decide what kind of job you really want to be doing and start researching where you can find such a job and what it will take.

    (3) Start exercising and throw in good nutrition, so you start feeling fabulous about yourself (get rid of the sleeping pills).

    (4) Get your resume prepared and start any extra activities that will land you your new job (courses, networking, etc.)

    (5) Start establishing relationships with people in the organizations where the job of your dreams exist.

    (5) Start methodically looking. Don’t get disheartened. It may take some time. Stay focused. Keep looking after yourself.

    As you focus on your new direction, your current job will become a sideshow — just a means to an end. Oh yes, while you remain in your current job, practice the art of detachment. Take things as they come without getting emotionally inolved. Easier to do when you know your future is not tied up in the place.

    Good luck. It is never too late.

  73. I offenced my ex-boss due to he has integrity problem who has rotated to other dept. However, many colleagues just follow him (senior position) to isolate me and not to co-operation with me that caused me cannot to finish my work smoothly. Because of this, my current boss has transferred some of my work to other colleagues in order to get our work can be finished. My personality is positive and pro-active but I realized that I tend to become negative and passive so as to avoid any detrimented by those bad guys.

    I do not resign because I don’t want to be loser (those bad guys done something to kick me away, if I resign, then they will become winner) and my current co. with satisifed staff benefit as well as an acceptable salary? Shall I resign to give myself a bright way.

  74. Hi

    I have just come accross your blog whilst searching for my own answers about these things. I am currently out of work sick for a week because my immune system’s become so low that I got bad flu, been in bed now since last week.

    I am but a “lowly” (it was fine being lowly up to about two months ago) subordinate office worker in a multi national firm. I have recently been handed a lot of extra work due to a new software system, in which there is no on site training. Being the first person to use it and become familiar with the system, I sort of just “inherited” all of the extra work without prior consultation. It also clashes greatly with my primary line of duty which is front of house. I have made this clear to management who have to an extent used their positions to help me by emailing the party who handed the work to me to get me some further training etc, but it feels like too little, too late to me.

    I have become a shadow of the person I was, always feel work is on top of me, cannot catch up because of the training gaps, and am also resentful to boot that this other manager did not approach my manager to discuss me taking on this extra work before it happened. Now that this is all clear, my manager does not even seem to understand that he should be intervening and asking why I was appointed this technical and very specialist task when I am just a receptionist. I think he doesn’t want the work himself so because I showed initiative by studying the training to do my own work, I just got thrown the other work as a result, and as long as no one else has to deal with it, they will show support by sending emails etc. but no one really wants to activley assist me in case they end up having to take the work back from me. I am paid less and I do not think I should be doing this work in reality, it is not in the role description, although all staff have to do it, but I feel that I am doing more than my managers and don’t understand why.

    I am quite angry but also extremely emotional and tear prone at work, have gotten ill now so off for a week but want to quit when I go back, I am seeing a therapist when I am physically better also to see if I have explored every avenue. It is scary leaving your job in this climate with no degree etc. I do have ten years office experience, but I do believe that the level of depression I am feeling about it now will only debilitate me more if I stay. Any words of advice would be grately appreciated….thanks, sorry this is so long too…it feels so serious all the time…I am also isolated and alone all day in my position except to take orders pretty much, that’s all the contact I get aprt from greeting the public so I don’t even have a friend to talk with in there about it. I hate what I am becoming, any words of advice would be so appreciated.

  75. I died and died for this job nad before i could start it only i had bad vibes about it, i was unable to sleep 1 week prior joining. I have to travel sum 2 odd hrs to get there and return hme nly by 11 12 most nites dat too by local mumbai trains.I t is horribly depressing .Please help.I thought of contuning for 2 months atleast and then quit.

  76. What makes a job thats sucks is the following:

    1) an undermining cranky negative uninspiring angry boss.

    These people need help and by no means should be running an office.

    2) No regular pay raise, no holiday pay, no regular bank holidays like the rest of the world.

    This often happens if you are working free-lance, however if you are tided up most of the week by your freelance client…then baby..you ain’t freelance no more.

    3) When your grinding you teeth in your sleep, your tired, you doing nothing in the office for days, your friends call you to go out and you just don’t want too, you can’t see into the future.

    4) Job is going nowhere, no where to climb too, business is beyond slow and your tasks haven’t changed that much since day dot.

    If you’ve got any of the above, consider your situation right away.
    If you have kids, wife, mortgage e.t.c then seriously consider, but if your a young free thing then really…..life is short.

  77. Yesterday I met my cousing and she wanted me to have a lunch with her, but I was like, I can’t I’m working late. And the other day, my friend wanted me to meet her for a coffee and I could’t cause I had to work – late again. It’s happening on a regulary basis and it’s something my boss expects and finds normal. Also, recently I feel like I’m becoming phisically ill, I feel pain in my arm and I have trouble sleeping.. I feel like I’m working at a job that’s literally making me sick (phisically) and I think the cost of staying at it is much higher than if I would actually quit. Even if I lose it – financially speaking, at least I won’t lose my health nor friends and family. And that’s something money and security can’t buy.

  78. quitting bad job is better thank having bad job. in our office people are good enough to speak but not to work.
    new company established in India with 3 directors, which is no use . one lady working hard to get business and clients and she is successful. another two who should do marketing , branding investment is taking months holidays saying personal reasons and very good people in advising and giving hopes.
    in the meantime i am stuck in middle, not able to understand what to do. from 9 months they are forming company which is still incomplete. i am working in this company from past 3 months. and time to QUIT and m doing shortly. enough working with hope .

  79. This site has definitely inspired me. I worked a horrible job for a year and a half. I quit less than a month ago. Struggling with my mortgage payments, the bills, everything. All I could do was get up and go to work every day. I didn’t know how I could change my circumstances. I never had a problem before, quitting bad situations, somehow I gradually lost faith in myself this time though.

    I fully understand what the author meant when he said staying in a bad job robs you of the very things you need in order to move on. My job was so bad that for many, many days during the winter, we went without heat. I ended up doing the job of other people so much that I rarely got the time to do the one for which I was hired. I was repeatedly placed in situations that were either dangerous to me or the people I was supervising, and yet I stayed.
    Right now I’m just dealing with feelings of regret. I realize now that none of the suffering was necessary. I was so fearful and negative about my future that I didn’t think I could find a job, but after I finally reached my breaking point and focused on applying for new work, it took me three weeks to receive three new job offers. To think that all I needed was three weeks to change my life, and yet I suffered for more than a year and a half. My advice to anyone struggling with an unsafe, unfair, horrible work environment is to leave, immediately. Of course everyone’s situation is different. But there’s always a way out. Look for it, and take it.

  80. I’m in a job I need to keep for the insurance benefit being that I’m pregnant. However, I’m so miserable at work I can’t bring myself to care about any aspect of it. I’m a hard worker, I wouldn’t screw over my co workers by not continuing to do a good job, but lately I keep asking myself why j even continue to work hard at all. I have two co workers who can’t keep up, consistently mess up, an overall have terrible work ethics that constantly jeopardize our entire department. Then on the other hand I have a boss that avoids conflict at any cost, so instead of trying to re-train my incompetent co workers he tries to ask me and another lady to help them. I can’t stand being here any longer, and I fantasize about my upcoming maternity leave so I can have just a few months of relief. I don’t think I’ll be returning afterwards.

  81. Having left a bad job over 2 years ago and relocated across the country, to another country and took a substantial pay cut – as difficult it was to leave my home and country and job – I don’t regret it and many things in life are much happier. Choosing the right job is important rather than ditching the crappy old one and jumping into something that may be even worse or not suitable. Overall my new job is better but there will always be politics, stressors and crappy things happening at a job and people that are just bad bosses or who suck to work with. I think what it comes down to – is whether the job environment and the immediate people and higher ups – where there there is any support for you and what you do…and what kind of modifiable factors exist. If the unpleasants are modifiable – great, if you can bypass or tolerate the non-modifiable unpleasant factors and have a reasonable existence that is acceptable – than that is okay…if you absolutely can not bypass or see any hope of changing the unpleasant non-modifiable factors or they have not changed in the last year or will change in the next year and they make you really unhappy – life is too short to spend that much time being miserable.

  82. I love this website.

    I have a great job in a field I’m good at, working for a nonprofit I believe in. I respect my boss, and I feel like I’ve grown a lot and developed my writing and design skills.

    However, the organization has a bunch of volunteer branch boards. These boards used to be independent, but were taken over and stripped of most of their power before I was hired. They are still extremely angry at losing their autonomy, and view everything that people at my office do with unrelenting criticism and suspicion.

    I’ve tried really hard to build relationships with the volunteer boards, but the tasks are extremely time consuming, interfere with my primary job duties, and are almost always culminated in nasty, unprofessional and hurtful emails detailing why my work wasn’t satisfactory. I know that their anger has more to do with events before I was hired, but the constant disapproval and cruelty has made me seriously anxious and depressed. I started going to therapy after I couldn’t stop crying on my way home from work.

    I’ve tried to let my boss know that I don’t feel comfortable with these extra duties and I feel overwhelmed, but the attitude of senior staff clearly shows that they don’t want to be saddled with these people either so I’m getting not a lot of support (in fact, when I speak up I’m often saddled with more work in the form of ‘helpful’ meetings and incident reports).

    What do I do when I have a really, really good job with some really, really bad parts? I feel like it’s interfering with my mental health and happiness but I love all the other aspects of the job.

  83. I’m in this predicament except that I accepted a promotion which I thought would be great, but turns out I liked my other position much better. My old position is now filled and I’m stuck in this new one. It’s better pay. . . But that’s where the good things end. The company is great and so are my co workers, but I hate going to work. I don’t know what to do. If I tell my boss I don’t think this position is for me, there is no where to go really. ..

  84. I became good friends with my team and now they cant actually accept me. In between i messed up with my relations at office
    and spoiled credibility. I too had lots of fun and all of a sudden they cant afford to be controlled and dont wanna see me
    in here. days with no hello and bye is getting miserable. people from the age group 21 – 32 are with me and i just 28.
    the oldies in the team are the big time mess! they trigger the younger ones and make their minds corrupted to display
    the worst of human characters. i wonder how ppl can be like this. trust me i lost all happiness and peace at work like the
    way it used to be some time back. i came to this new employer with lots of hopes and don’t see any support from them too.
    i have a platform to grow but no training, no knowledge nothing.. i have no clue as to how i should lead or do things
    to meet the desires of this management. the management is always behind money and money. they are least bothered about
    the mess the people in my team make. they just wanna buy dollars for each head over here and thus don’t wanna move the
    rotten apples off. i myself have become one now being with them.

  85. This is my fourth company since 2006. I worked for 1 year with my first and second employer. 2years with my third employer
    and 1.7 years with my fourth employer(current). I started as a tele marketing/admin executive, then a customer support
    executive, then a helpdesk executive and finally a sr. customer support engineer. NO where i was happy to stay for long.
    Every where some or the other problem/dissatisfaction made me leave and move on. With my present employer, I was the first
    person to join the team and now it grew up to a 13 member team. I recruited 11 of them and we all grew up together in this
    place. now the company has asked me to take more ownership and handle the team and process, i am losing grip on the team.
    None of them gives a hear to what i say. no matter what i say they revolt. they just wanna have fun and dont want me to
    stop them from loitering around and gossiping. There are many typical gossip stars both women and men who have no other
    work. Mine is not a department with lot of work. our time is 9.15am to 6.15pm. almost by noon most of them are out of
    work and start their routine typical charactertics.internal messenger, going to another desk and chatting, inviting pthers
    to work stations and chatting, laughing, facebook, twitter and so on. When ever i tell to control they just revolt and
    stay witout talking to me and show no courtesy at all. they cannot accept change and just wanna chill always. I have lsot
    grip on all of them and now feel that i cant do anything in here. lost all hopes, scared of women now, turning out to be
    useless now. inspite of complaning to the management and hr they just have to say that people in this team are very
    sensitive and has to be handled very carefully.i dont know i can neither bear the managements rubbish and ignorance nor the
    teams senselessness.

  86. To Soku

    Judging by your two posts, you are not cut out to be a manager. That’s not to say that you won’t be one day, but you aren’t right now.

    The recent global financial crisis has highlighted how important it is for us to be self-sufficient and individually responsible for our careers, futures and security.

    The way to do that is to set life goals and accept responsibility for completing them, without the expectation of assistance from the various corporations with which we happen to work along the way. It is important for our passions — what we love to do, what we are good at — to align with our goals.

    Take the time to determine your passions and life goals (preferably in the following areas: financial and investments, family and home, career and work, health and fitness, hobbies and spare time, community if that’s an interest. Break those life goals into medium- and short-term goals, then daily goals, and be brutal about accomplishing them each day.

    If management turns out to be a goal, then enrol in management courses. Don’t wait for your company to send you to the courses, do it on your own in your own time.

    Meantime, it is important not to be friends and socialize with the people you are managing. It is better to have a distance that will make it easier to handle difficult staff situations. You will gain more respect that way. And a vital rule for managers: never, never, never gossip about anyone.

    Companies are all about money and profit. That’s what they are for. Successful companies create basic office rules, such as no personal texting, no personal use of computers, no socializing when there is work to be done, zero tolerance for gossiping, etc. Create rules for your team that fit in with your company and situation. Either expand their daily routine to fit the work hours or create projects for them to do to fill the hours — projects that will benefit both them and the company and receive buy-in from senior management.

    Reward your team when it meets team goals and accomplishes your projects, penalize them when they don’t. If they continue to fail or disregard you as a manager, arrange with senior management to have them fired (or do it yourself, if you have the authority).

    They will soon realize that you mean business, change their ways or leave. If they leave, you will have the opportunity to pick a new A Team.

    When you do your goal-setting exercise, if management does not turn out to be a passion or a goal, take the steps immediately to change your direction (even if it means going back to school). Do it now while you are young.

    We need to get along with our co-workers, but we do not need to be friends with them.

    Good luck. It is not worth being unhappy at work.

  87. Thanks so much for your mail! Last week the Hr gathered feedback from all employees and they have complained that they are not having enough responsibilities and want more visibility. Finally the management decided to share almost all of my activities with the team. We created separate heads in the team and now all my responsibility is given over to them. Kinda out of place and no work now. The saddest thing is that even still the people are not happy. This is a small Indian company and a totally unprofessional space to work. I moved from a major TTL domain company to this small firm to start this outsourced project. Inspite of all the miserable things my team does to me, i make sure that my client is not happy. Trust me this people work for money, fame, gossiping and back stabbing. These women are just brain washing many guys over here and taking them for a ride. None is able to identify the hidden motives of the person behind all this unhealthy politics in this place. I have no right to fire any one nor does my management want to do because it might spoil the credibility of the company. I agree that I am not cut out to be a manager in this place with the same team. If this team changes, things might change but trust me i am in the verge of letting this job go. should i wait for others to leave or shall i leave this place? The culture in india is so different. people and family and in-laws will betray me if i chose to get back to school. i cant leave this job because of family pressure too. Unfortunately the normal indian institutions dont groom and individual to dream, to have a goal or to be passionate about something. Trust me friend i too am out of focus. i wish i had some one in this world to help me out because i cant help myself.

  88. I am so glad this website is here. I feel bad for everyone out there going through such rough times but this has been a real help. The more I write, the more I realize I have to turn in my resignation. I am just scared.

  89. ooopps… let me correct a statement : I moved from a major TTL domain company to this small firm to start this outsourced project. Inspite of all the miserable things my team does to me, i make sure that my client is happy :)

  90. I am in an abusive work situation with a boss that throws emotional tantrums like a toddler. I am yelled at on a weekly basis by this woman who is also the owner of the business. I have only been there for 3 months and I have almost quit numerous times. It has gotten to the point where I tell myself I am quitting everyday, yet everyday I still find myself continuing to go in because I have no choice since I am single and have to pay the rent, bills, car payment, etcetera by myself. I was laid off from my last position when the economy went south and found myself unemployed for nearly 2 years. I live in a small somewhat economically depressed town where good paying jobs are sometimes hard to come by. I don’t want to move because this is where my family lives but I just feel so trapped right now. I am stressed out to the point where my physical health is being affected now. I am depressed and constantly tense because you never know when the owner is going to blow up. The job doesn’t pay me enough to pay my monthly bills so financially I am going in a hole every month. I am furiously looking for another job, but fear it may take another 2 years to find one and I cannot stay in this job that long. It’s Sunday night right now and I am in tears as I write this because I can’t stand the thought of going back there. I want to quit so badly, but how can I when I’m the only source of income? I hate the owner with a passion, which affects my job performance and my attitude. Just the very thought of her makes me sick. The job itself is monotonous, boring and even worse, it doesn’t allow me to use any of my best and/or favorite skills. If I didn’t need what little money I get, I would have left the first time she yelled/cussed at me. I feel as though I have compromised my dignity and self-respect in ways I never would have before this recession. I don’t know what to do and I can’t find any advice for people that are single and in my situation. I’m trying to do the responsible thing by hanging in, because if I quit and it takes a long time to get another job like it did last time, I’ll end up losing everything. At the same time. I feel like everyday I go to that place, I am taking one step closer to a mental breakdown.

  91. Hi everyone, thanks for all the comments, they´ve been inspiring and helpful. I´m working as an environmental specialist in this company for the last 4 years now.
    The job sounds great and it was fine for the first two years.
    There are things though that I started to notice whcih have made working suck and makes me want to quit:
    1. direct boss has no idea about environmental systems and my day to day work(he´s the quality manager but they added “environment ” to his responsibilities) so it´s always me presenting and informing the general manager, HIS boss. It´s so dysfunctional because my category is much lower thatn the general manager and yet I have to eat all his stupid comments and remarks . plus all this makes me look bad with my direct boss. its driving me nuts.
    2 . a lot of coworkers i have to work with are department heads and bosses by their own right, i.e. higher level than me so a lot of times my emails arent answered, i´m belittled, not listed to, treated like shit. Another dysfunctional aspect to this job of mine. i feel sometimes like im banging my head agains the wall and all i do is annoy people.
    3. The environmental work im doing has come down to paperwork ,documents authorizations and managing external companies, and maintaining an environmental procedural system.
    I carry outt few continuous improvement or betterment projects because nobody is interested here in environment. But they do end up forcing projects on me cause our environmental system requires it and although it´s challenging i hate it cause its all political , nobody´s interested and it just means i have to deal with those darn managers.
    This has sapped most of my motivation and interest i n work.
    4. pay is low for what i do and the responsibilities i have.

    Dont know what to do, i feel like if i quit im a loserand throwing in the towel.
    thanks guys for reading this.

  92. Hi Ferdy,

    Something I have learned over my long years in the workforce is the following:

    If a person settles (for whatever reason) for a job beneath his/her level, experience and capability, he/she will always be treated at that settled level, no matter how good his/her ideas, no matter how much experience, no matter how bright. It doesn’t matter if someone was once a CEO, if he/she settles for a middle-management job, that’s how he/she will be treated. If someone was once a manager and settles for being an administrative assistant, that’s how he/she will be treated.

    People settle for lesser jobs all the time for personal reasons, but most bosses don’t like the idea of brighter people below them. They don’t have the professionalism or leadership skills to work with that or to give people (other than themselves) opportunities to shine.

    Managements that understand the importance of inclusive management — briefing and debriefing all relevant employees and getting the most out of them — do great things for their corporations, but they are very few and far between.

    Get my drift? Do whatever it takes to find a job fitting for your level of competence, even if that means taking some extra courses in your own time, etc.

    As you change your focus on that new goal, the irritations at work will diminish, because you will have more important things on your mind; you will know that it is just a matter of time before you will be leaving.

    By the way, before you look for a new job, take the time to determine (in writing for on-going reference) your life goals to make sure any new job is not only aligned with your abilities, but also with your passions, strengths and lifetime goals.

  93. Hi everyone. First and foremost, I would like to say that I deeply appreciate the comments that I have red here. It was great and significant. To start with, my story is a little bit different but in the end it falls to a similar situation. I am currently in an unhappy work evironment where most of my coworkers are abusive and unprofessional. Im already 3 yrs in my company and working overseas. I left my family, my wife and two kids to be able to find a living but life was not that good for me. I was verbally abused by my coworkers in so many different ways and theres a time where they ask for a fight with me. Until now it was an ordeal for me to work in a place where I know Im not happy. I would say that Im in the good side of attitude, but thing aren’t made that way, sometimes the price of being kind to others is the thing called “abuse”. There is a bullying happening on my workplace. One day I brought up this concern to one of my superior but in short to say he was not able to help me out. sad to say, Im still keeping this pain forthe sake my parents, wife and two kids and for my sister that Im supporting her studies. My work performance was good and expecting and dreaming of a promotion someday but unfortunately for me, people keep on bringing me down and attacking my weakness. I know that they forcing me and wanting me to resign from work. Im worried that if Im going to leave my job, my dream to be promoted someday will not be realized and I fear that I will not able to sustain the needs of my family, my housing loan will be subject to foreclosed because of unemployment if ever I resigned. Is it advisable for me to resign or to continue a job where I am in pain for three years in a row? Please help me be enlightened.

  94. It is important to work for your own dreams and, by extension, your children’s dreams. Not your parents’ dreams; not your wife’s dreams.

    What is your passion? What are your strengths? What are your values? Determine those, then create goals based on them, and do whatever you have to do to make those goals come true.

    You don’t elaborate on the weaknesses that your co-workers are picking apart, so we don’t know if you are a victim in your situation or playing a role in it. In any event a bullying environment is no place to work. As long as you are in the thick of such an environment, you will not be happy in it.

    Happiness requires focusing on our strengths, not fixing our weaknesses.

    We are completely responsible for the situations in which we find ourselves, either by past decisions we have made, or how we react to situations beyond our control (for example, how people treat us at work).

    To be happy, we have to be in control of our lives.

  95. First of all I want to say thanks to everyone, as all your comment and insight on the issue has helped me reach a decision today on whether to accept a job which I have no interest to pursue in the long term and is below my skills and qualifications. I graduated in the summer of 2011 and so far I have been looking for the job that relates to what I have studies. Recently I had an offer for an entry administration job which involves great deal of photocopying and opening mails etc. I decided to reject this job as it is far from what I want to do and reading the majority of your comments and the main article reinforced my decision which I am very happy about.

  96. This whole site about unhappiness at work is all me. I work in retail and I’m trying to get that customer service under my belt so other places can see that and be more willing to hire me. I have about 3 months til I’m going to be there a year. i am getting to the point where I can barely take it anymore. I”m just about fed up. I’m wondering if i stay, will ish hit the fan and i have one big blow up? what do you guys think?

  97. Hey,
    First of all great site, love the topics discussed here.
    Okay, so as a teenager when I started working at 14, I have worked at many different places(all Retail), I was doing it for my own little bit of expenses and pocket money. I left every single place, because of wages and bad bad managers I had to deal with/employee drama.
    I am 20 now, planning to have a career in medicine. I don’t regret any of my decisions of quitting, because as you mentioned in several of your topics that being stress free is better than killing yourself at a job. It was easy for me to leave those jobs, because truly I knew it wasn’t my career or anything, just a temporary money making way.
    What I think about now is that, what if all this drama occurs at your professional career(meaning a career you got a degree for, studied for years, it is your passion and everything) what if all these things like (Bad bosses, employee drama, work stress) all these “work-problems” you thought you left behind comes back in your dream job. What happens then? and on a side note, I have fought my butt off at many of these retail jobs for equality, justice and for everything that I felt that was wrong, most of the time the company did not care, because they knew “teens” never stick at a job for long….
    Just wondering?

  98. Maxi,

    You can count on it – guaranteed. You will have to deal with lousy bosses, employee drama and work stress in a professional career, including medicine.

    A few thoughts as you start your career:

    Learn to be detached. Don’t personalize work issues. Stick to the issues, and never personally demean a co-worker with whom you disagree. Easier said than done, I know; however, if you can master that one attribute you will be ahead. Very few do master it, especially women (for whatever reason); and it creates all kinds of troubles for them in the workplace.

    Make absolutely sure medicine is where you want to be and that you are not going into that field because it is expected, or it is cool, or it offers good money-making possibilities. If you want to excel and do well, it must be your passion — and in that field you must like dealing with people (patients, families, fellow medical professionals, insurance companies, bureaucrats, etc.)

    Do a self-branding exercise to determine your direction and brand. Take a quiet day without interruptions to do this. Be brutally honest with yourself.

    (1) List the following (say about 5 for each):

    Your values.
    Your passions.
    Your strengths.
    Your weaknesses — deal breakers — things you don’t want to do. Remember we should always work on our strengths, not our weaknesses, so don’t focus on these. Just be aware of them, so you don’t walk into situations which will require your working with your weaknesses.

    (2) Write down your FuturePicture (where you would like to be) — your long-term goals in the following categories:

    Financial
    Career (college/medical school would be included here)
    Family
    Home
    Health and fitness
    Hobbies
    Community (assuming, as someone who wants to go into medicine, community would be your bag).

    Make sure the goals you create in these categories, fit like a glove with your values, passions, strenths and each other and won’t require you to focus on your weaknesses.

    Now break your long-term goals down into mid-term goals, then short-term annual goals, then daily goals. Be lethal about focusing on and completing those daily goals.

    Seek out the schools, companies, hospitals, etc. that match your brand (values, passions, strengths and goals); create networking opportunities with them; tell them what you can do for them to be invited to join them.

    Meanwhile network, network, network. Meat the leaders in your field. Connect with them on LinkedIn. Teach. Attend and give seminars. Attend functions and events. Become known. Join social media groups. Join professional organizations within your field. Volunteer. Etc.

    If you do all this, when a job does not work out, for whatever reason, you will have the ready contacts and be on the radar screens of those who count to easily walk into another job, without hitting any unemployment lines. Or you will have created your own self-sufficient enterprise (medicine or other) where you are the boss.

    Your values, passions, strengths, and goals, together with your accomplishments, activities, and image, are your brand. Your brand must be true to your core. If it is not, it will fail just like any consumer brand when it doesn’t deliver what it says it is. Live it and become very successful.

    Save money all the time. Invest. Create secondary, passive incomes so that you are never caught relying on governments, hospitals, corporations, or even your family for your security and future.

    Constantly refer to your goals, create an online picture board to embed them into your mind. Be very specific. For example, under the financial category, it is not good enough to list broad goals such as to be wealthy. Write down the specific amount of money you want in your bank account as an end goal. Your short-term and daily goals will lead you to accumulating that amount. Add it to your picture board and visualize it often. If you still want to go into medicine at the end of this exercise, be very specific about what kind of medicine, which school, what kind of practice — general or specialized, etc.

    Remember goals are not fixed in cement; they can be amended and changed. Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.

    This self-branding exercise will also help you dealing with situations at work, because you will be very secure in what you are about and where you are going. In fact, if you emerse yourself in self-branding/goal setting and you have the right strengths, you could be the boss.

    The more you focus on exactly and precisely what you want, the more likely you will obtain it.

    Good Luck

    Books to read:

    “The Success Principles” – How to get from where you are to where you want to be – by Jack Canfield.

    “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” – Stephen R. Covey

    Article to read:

    “The Brand Called You” – by Tom Peters at the following link:

    http://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you

  99. Hello,

    I am 22 years old and about to quit my job I have worked at this particular company for 7 months. The salary is rubbish the hours are extremely long. When I started I never intended to stay long but rather just a year however I’m at a point where I cannot sleep and I’m always ill. I will be starting my Masters Degree in September so therefore just need a job in order to save up for the degree. Never stay in a job for just the money, nobody will ask at 70 how much you have saved up but rather about your memories, you don’t want to be the person who was stuck in a job for years on end because you felt ‘scared’ of leaving and kept thinking ‘what if’… Fear is nothing. I have friends who have travelled the world and always managed to find new work. I don’t want to be stuck in a job where I cry.

    All the best.

  100. Leaving a job you hate is not the easy way out, staying in the that job is. The hard part is developing a plan and sticking to it. 1. Soul search to find what you would really enjoy doing or what needs changed in your current job. 2. Develop a plan to achieve what you decided in step one, it may take time. 3. During the time it takes to put your plan in action you must strive to still be the best employee you can be at the job you hate (that’s the most difficult part). 4. Once you feel that everything is in place or the opportunity you seek is available then make your move and go. Although money is a factor it should never be the driving force in your plans or you’ll end up back where you started. Getting paid to do something you love is the goal, at that point it wouldn’t even be called work.

  101. I am 36 years old & have been in the medical field 16 years. I love my job( have been here 10 yrs) but the constant conflicts between coworkers & even the business owners are making me consider a switch. I recently received a job offer from a former coworker. Higher pay, nice benefits pkg, seemingly much more organized work environment. Only concern is that it is about a 30 to 40min. Commute compared to 20 min. Now. I am hopeful things will turn around because I love my boss, but these women in the office are just so negative and catty with one another & me at times. The doctors even offered a promotion to me, which I accepted, but when another employee (who does have more seniority than I ) raised a stink, suddenly the promotion just fell out of my fingers and now she is taking on that position. She has in the past month been very condescending to me as if she must prove something to the other employees. I have never been one to care about titles or promotions, but when both doctors on separate occasions approached me about it, I felt proud and honored that they considered me. When it was so abruptly taken away, i was a little hurt, embarrassed & confused. i had only told my husband and sister about the promotion, but somehow the word got around the office so that the other employee injected her opinion before any formal announcement was made. At least that should save me some humiliation, right? Back to the other job offer, it is a lead position, with compensation in pay….just may be extra time on road & gas expenses to weigh. Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? Am I being too sensitive?

  102. Office conflict exists in all jobs these days, especially among women. Men fall into the trap less often. Most of them are not comfortable with negative gossip and/or backstabbing. What does that mean? You will have to contend with it in any new position as well, unless the management is excellent enough to enforce zero tolerance for gossiping. I have yet to see a management do that, and I have been around a long time — in many jobs.

    I did once work with a top female executive who NEVER gossiped negatively or involved herself in office imbroglios or backstabbing, despite it all going on around her. One quickly grasped why she had been promoted to her position. Candidates with her professional designations are numerous; candidates with the personality of a leader are vary rare.

    You have several choices/considerations:

    What kind of management would offer you a promotion, then give it to someone else after that person made a fuss? It’s called very bad management. On the other hand, you have been there for ten years. As you love your boss, one assumes you are able to communicate with him/her without recrimination. Why not talk the situation out with your boss in a debriefing session to find out what exactly went down. Did you misconstrue feelers about a promotion as an actual offer?

    The best way to deal with nastiness and gossip in the office is not to get involved. Just do not talk about anyone behind their back. If others are gossiping around you, tune out or leave the area. This might cause some ill feelings around co-workers to start, but the high road always works out better in the end.

    Is the potential new job doing the same thing? Would you be passionate about it? Those who follow their passions are the most successful. An extra ten to twenty minutes is not that much longer a drive. You mention gas, so I assume your are on a tight budget. Make sure that, wherever you work, you are saving as much as possible every month — that applies no matter how tight your budget is — for emergencies (this job deteriorates completely, new job doesn’t work out, etc.)

    It sounds to me as if the crux of your situation right now is your missed promotion. You have a lot going for you in the job — most specifically a boss you really respect. On the other hand, provided you would be passionate about the work in your new job, I don’t believe such a small amount of extra travel time should be a deterrent. You could always check out the new job with an interview.

    If you decide to stay, start doing what it takes to get that promotion. It’s amazing how quickly things change in an office. That would include extra courses, seminars, connecting with the right people on LinkedIn, never participating in backstabbing or negativity — going the extra mile.

    Recently I came across a teacher (won’t say of what), who is amazingly up-beat, positive, inspiring and encouraging. Everyone is blown away by her — love her classes! A lesson for all of us to learn. Good leaders are chosen for their people skills, not their professional skills.

    Each and every one of us is completely responsible for the circumstances in which we find ourselves, whether by our decisions and actions along the way, or how we have reacted to situations beyond our control. That is always true. Analyze your recent situation honestly in that light, and you will find it extremely freeing, with immediate potential to move forward (in your job or in a new job) and no room for blame.

    Under the circumstances, it would be natural to be sensitive, but you have to leave those sensitivities behind. Just make sure you don’t jump ship because of hurt feelings. Make sure any move is motivated by passion, fits in and aligns with your goals, offers an amazing work environment, and has potential for your future.

    Hope these few thoughts help.

  103. Never! Never! stay in a bad job or relationship, first deal with the FACTS Honestly and learn when to say enough is enough, then cut the rope and move on!

  104. Is it right to state in the resignation letter that you are unhappy with your job?

    Iam still on Probationary status with a big and prestigous company with good pay but extremely unhappy in the environment. I just want out soonest without notice through a letter.

  105. Firstly: Go over why you are unhappy and analyze whether whatever is wrong can be corrected. Analyze with honesty whether you are doing something to cause the unhappiness, or whether you are reacting badly to circumstances beyond your control. Make sure your wanting to leave is not a knee-jerk reaction that you might regret.

    Secondly: If, after honest analysis, you still want to leave, make sure you have another job or sufficient money to cover you while you look for another job. In today’s job environment, that could take a while.

    Be professional and give them notice. Whether you tell them that you are unhappy depends on why you are unhappy and how you tell them. For example, if you are unhappy about co-workers, I wouldn’t tell them, if it involves backstabbing or tattle tales. If you are unhappy because the job is not meeting your goals, then you could tell them. Always be professional, even when you don’t want to be. I am sure you get my drift.

    Good luck.

  106. Well , I left right away. I mean, I felt a bad feeling when I was taken for the job and I still took it . it was wrong of me to do so because I should have listened to my “gut feel”. I gave it days and I told myself that I cant stick up with it because its like a bad relationship. I dont want to pretend everything is fine when its not. Have to get away while its early to not create it being as toxic for me.It was not the right job for me . the desk office job is not my thing. The people though were nice , accomodating but the cost of my unhappy feeling for the job was not right so I had to go .

  107. I stayed in a job I hated for neary 10 years for this very reason. Then a 15 minute conversation gave me an epiphany. Within 3 months my whole life – starting with my job, had changed rapidly and radically for the better.

  108. I’m a fresh out of college MBA and have landed in a real bad job situation. I’m sent in the rural part of India where I don’t understand the language. HER washrooms are used by male employees and coffee maker is washed in the restroom washbasin. My official id has not generated, my salary account hasn’t been made and all I do is sit on my laptop doing practically nothing. I feel unsafe and male dominated as I’m the only female employee. At confronting the HR, I hear her saying ‘it was pan India location’. I’m away from my family, I literally have no friends here. All I do is go to the office ans sit at my work station.

    Now after spending a month and half here, I’m realising I am being fooled. They have lost all the photocopies of my documents and keep demanding me to fill up the employee kit time and again… I have no back up yet, and I’m offered to be ‘upgraded’ to a better location in the same region just because I lost it in front of my mentor a few days ago in the office and threatened to quit. I approached the national head HR asking him to allot me a time when I could call him and talk one on one. My reporting HR told me that she was going call me the next day and was going to have the national head on conference too but that did not happen either. I feel like I’m wasting my life here and I don’t feel cared about at all…should I quit or endure it for at least 6 months more?

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