Five Excuses People Use to Stay in Jobs They Hate

Sometimes people are just in the wrong job. One way to easily identify this is if they absolutely hate going to work every day for a protracted amount of time—say, six months to a year. Granted, everyone has bad days or even weeks, but if you are going months at a time with sheer disdain for your job, that is a warning sign.

Of course, quitting a job is a scary experience and not to be taken lightly. There are many things to consider, including family, finances, mortgages, pension vesting, age—even emotional stability. Sometimes there are valid reasons to stay in a bad job. But there are also reasons people give for staying in a bad job that are really excuses disguised as reasons. Here are my favorite 5 excuses people use, and a short rebuttal for each.

Excuse 1: “The money in my current job is too good to pass up. I won’t be able to get another job with this kind of salary.”

Rebuttal: Taking care of you and your family is important. You need to make a living. But there is danger of keeping a job based on its salary. Follow the words of Benjamin Franklin (who incidentally had a lot of money): “Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”  And Jesus said: “What profiteth a man to gain the world and lose his soul.” Keep your soul; don’t do work that you know you will never enjoy.

Excuse 2: “If I sacrifice and keep working long hours at this terrible job for just a little longer, I will eventually get promoted to a better position and it won’t be so bad.”

Rebuttal: The only thing worse than a job you hate is getting more responsibility at the job you hate. If you hate selling, for example, getting promoted to a better sales job will not solve the problem. If fact, often promotions mean additional pressure and stress, which means you will wind up hating it even more.

Excuse 3: “Nobody likes their job, that’s just the way it is. Work is work, and it’s difficult.”

Rebuttal: True, every job has difficulties, but there is a difference between having a tough job and a job that you hate. Don’t accept the status quo of making a living by doing work you dread.

Excuse 4: “Yes I hate my job, but I have a great family life and this job supports them.”

Rebuttal: Congratulations on your excellent family life. Think about how much better your family would be if you came home invigorated and energized from your work day. You will short-change your family emotionally over the long run if you have a miserable career.

Excuse 5: “Just a few more years of this and then I’ll do what I really want”

Rebuttal: Careful. 35 year careers are build one year at a time. It’s easy to kick the can down the road year after year without making any progress toward what you really want to do. Start now. NOW!

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