In the professional world, there are few things worse than feeling trapped. If you’ve got a job where the bosses are mean, the culture is toxic, and there’s no room for an advancement, you know the feeling. Each day is an ordeal, and hopelessness starts to creep in.
If this describes your situation, don’t get too down in the dumps. As Kat Boogaard writes in a great Daily Muse post titled “6 Reasons Your Horrible, No-Good, Dead-End Job’s Worth It,” you’re not completely spinning your wheels. “Even if you think of your position as nothing more than a soul-sucking nightmare, I’m willing to bet you’re still getting at least a little something out of it,” she writes.
What could that something be? The first one is the ability to tolerate things you hate. Whether you’re turned off by your duties or your colleagues, there are things about your job that drive you mad. And yet you put up with them day in and day out — that takes patience and tolerance, which are qualities that will serve you well for years to come.
Second, Boogard writes, you’re “working on your commitment issues.” By sticking with a job you hate and continuing to do good work, you’re showing the kind of dedication that employers look for and admire.
Boogard’s third and fourth reasons have to do with interpersonal skills: You’re improving in both teamwork and communication. Think about it: If you despise your job responsibilities and/or your coworkers and yet you continue finding ways to complete projects that require you to interact with others in a professional manner, you’re proving that you’re a team player who knows how to communicate. Again, this stuff will come in handy down the line.
On a related note, your hellacious job is giving you actual on-the-job experience, the importance of which can’t be overstated. “In most cases, any job is better than being unemployed,” Boogard writes. “And, even if the position isn’t in line with your eventual career goals, there are still plenty of things you can do to make your experience seem relevant when applying for future jobs.” With that, she links to another Muse article titled “What It Really Means to Tailor Your Resume,” which is something you’ll want to read when the time comes to jump ship and look for greener pastures.
Finally, Boogard says, you’re picking up valuable insight into what you’re really looking for — and looking to avoid — in your career. “Misery can be a pretty powerful teacher,” she writes, explaining that by suffering through a terrible experience, you’re gaining the kind of perspective that will ultimately lead to better things.