Why It Sometimes Make Sense to Stay at a Job You Hate Resources

There are few things worse than having a job you despise. After all, most of us see our coworkers more than we see our friends and families, and if waking up every morning brings the promise of eight (or more) hours at the last place on earth you want to be, life can turn pretty crummy pretty quick. The more you complain, the more people tell you to quit, but that’s not always the option.

And as Daily Muse writer Kat Boogaard explains in recent post titled “5 Totally Valid Reasons to Stay In a Job You Hate,” it sometimes make sense to hold on to that soul-sucking gig just a little bit longer.

Her first reason to potentially stick around is perhaps the most obvious and the most important: “money.” Compensation shouldn’t necessarily be your main consideration when it comes to looking for work — not if you’re more interested in doing something that’s challenging and rewarding and perhaps even inspiring — but there’s something to be said for feeling secure. If you’re making decent money, the smart play might be to stick around a little while and amass some savings before moving on. As Boogaard writes, your next job might involve a pay cut, so you want to be ready.

Another reason to stay put: the promise of future growth. If you’re in a situation where you like your boss and your coworkers and the company in general but can’t stand your actual day-to-day work, ask yourself whether there’s potential for movement later on. Some companies are slow to promote, and you may just need to put in your time at the bottom of the totem before getting moved up.

And then there’s the matter of “prestige and connections,” Boogaard’s third justification for staying someplace that’s slowly driving you bonkers. If your company is a real industry heavy hitter, and if hanging tough for a year will benefit your resume and enable you to make all sorts of worthwhile professional connections, than it probably makes sense to hold off on printing that resignation letter.

On a similar note, your terrible, terrible job might offer really excellent opportunities to learn new things. Perhaps you’re becoming a social media ace or getting really adept at making PowerPoint presentations. As Boogaard writes, sticking with a job that’s making you more marketable could pay dividends when you do decide to mosey.

Finally, there’s “uncertainty.” Boogaard isn’t just talking about the uncertainty of leaving a job when you don’t have another one lined up, but also the uncertainty that stems from not knowing what you truly want to do with your life. Why leave a lousy job if you’re just going to end up unhappy someplace else. If nothing else, a job you hate represents an opportunity to think about what you’re looking to get from the perfect job. There’s wisdom in suffering, and remember: It doesn’t have to be forever.


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