Unhappy at work? Five (bad) Reasons to Stay Put

Here are the top reasons people stay—and what to do about them.

1) You’re not feeling real confident 

Maybe your boss screams at you and calls you names. Or you’re so bored it hurts. You don’t like the people you work with. You’ve lost confidence in your abilities and your self-esteem has plunged to new depths. You think no one in the world would want to hire you. But staying in this bad situation only worsens the problem. Chances are good that your boss has no plans to stop kicking you around any time soon—unless he/she decides to fire you.

Still, the job is familiar. It’s a comfort zone. You know what to expect when you come in. Plus, there is the possibility that if you start to network, you might confirm your worst fears: no one wants you. But that’s not very likely. What is likely is that you will get validation that your skills and abilities are wanted and needed. 

But for that to happen, you’ll need a great self-presentation and an intelligent approach. It can be a struggle to do this yourself. Most do better with some assistance from a competent coach or therapist.

2) Be grateful you have a job, buster! 

A lot of the people in our lives may tell us to be glad we’re not out on the street. Sure, but that doesn’t mean you should stay in a job that makes you miserable. Your misery won’t help the unemployed. You owe it to yourself to be working in the right job. 

Buddhism teaches the concept of right livelihood, which is quite consistent with America’s (largely) Judeo-Christian culture. The idea is that through our work, we should nurture our souls by providing meaningful service to the people around us. So find work that expresses your soul—and pays you well too.

Don’t leave your job without a new one 

Many people can’t afford to just quit their job. For one thing, people who quit are (usually) not eligible for unemployment benefits. But if your finances allow you to quit, you should seriously consider getting out pronto. 

But many times, this reluctance is a bit of an excuse to avoid uncomfortable things like figuring out where you might fit in and networking to find another job. 

Do you want to talk about your situation? Here’s a link to my calendar:


[Please note: check your state unemployment laws to see the acceptable reasons to quit without losing unemployment benefits. These can include: sexual harassment, threat of physical violence, a doctor's statement that your job is making you sick, and a change in the terms and conditions of employment—for example, after being hired to work in Human Resources for $70,000, you are transferred to the Maintenance staff and/or they drastically cut your pay. It’s a good idea to talk to an employment attorney before you quit].

3) I’m a loyal employee!

I’m not going to knock anyone for being loyal. However, many employers have made loyal employees feel like chumps. Many people have spent years sacrificing for the employer and working their fingers to the bone, only to be thrown out in the street without notice or severance. Make sure your (misplaced?) loyalty to the employer isn’t interfering you’re you taking care of yourself and your family.  

Besides, if you hate your job, chances are good that your work performance will suffer, making you a prime candidate for a layoff.

4) Things will surely get better

It’s certainly worth trying to work out disagreements with your boss. You might also seek a transfer to another part of the company or negotiate for more interesting work. But you have to be proactive. Things are not going to get better on their own. Well, OK, things MIGHT get better on their own, but then you might win the Lottery too. Ask yourself how long you have been waiting for things to get better. If it hasn’t happened yet, chances are good it won’t anytime soon.

5) I don’t know what I want to do next

I won’t pretend that this isn’t a formidable obstacle. If you don't know where you're going, it's hard to put together a plan or network effectively. Paralysis can set in. Many people spend months and years of their career in unhappy situations, stuck inside their own heads. Sometimes, we just can't figure things out by ourselves—or it takes much, much longer. Sometimes, we need a sounding board to help us to sort things out. That's why there are career coaches. Give us a call—or, if you can't afford to pay for coaching, there are organizations that provide services for free or a nominal fee. 

Life is short. Don’t spend it in a job you despise. If you want to talk about your situation, we’re here.

Again, here’s a link to the Lucrative Careers calendar: https://calendly.com/lucrative-careers

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