Working at a job you know may seem comfortable, but that doesn’t make it good or right. Sometimes, people stay where they are because of money, but more often it’s due to fear.
If you don’t love what you do, you’re not alone. About 70 million people in the United States work at a job they don’t love. Misery certainly loves company, but you don’t have to hate your job and stay there just because you know it.
Some will tell you to stay where you are because the money is good or society tells you it’s a good job. However, if you hate what you do, no amount of money should keep you there. You’re a human being, not a slave and you shouldn’t be bought just because the money is good or you’re afraid to leave.
A few of the reasons people may tell you to stay at a job you hate include:
- Money – This is the biggest one, but should be an afterthought as doing something you love is far more important.
- A Possible Promotion – What sense does it make to stay somewhere you don’t want to be just because they may give you a little more money and responsibility?
- Connections – You’ll make connections at any job, so if you hate it, why stay?
- Prestige – You cannot spend prestige and it doesn’t do anything but give you false pride. Staying at a job for prestige isn’t smart if you want to love your work.
- Gain more Experience – Why would anybody want to gain more experience at a job they hate?
- Uncertainty – About as big as money, many will tell you to stay with what you know because of the uncertainty of what’s around the corner. However, what’s waiting for you could be a job you absolutely love.
It’s not uncommon for others to chime in when you mention that you might change careers. However, their opinion shouldn’t be the reason you stay where you are and stick with what you know.
Why You Should Leave a Job You Hate
Just because you’re good at something or know it well, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Your career takes up a large amount of your time. Shouldn’t you be doing something you enjoy doing or at least enjoy the results of what you do?
The main reason you should leave a job you don’t like is because you don’t like it. Life is already full of enough curveballs, disappointments and struggles. Why make the thing you do for 40+ hours a week something you don’t want to do.
Another good reason to leave your job is simply because you weren’t made to do it. Sometimes, we get stuck in a job because we need to support our family and we don’t see another way to do it. Maybe we feel secure at the company and it has become very familiar for us. Change is good and will lead to growth. Don’t be afraid to make the leap to a career you will love, if your current career is just something you know.
Should You Leave Before You Find a New Job
The debate about whether you should leave your current job before you’ve found your new job is ongoing and depends on your situation. If you’re married and your spouse makes plenty to support you, it might be smart to leave your job first so that you can put all your energy into finding the next job. Maybe you’re new career will require schooling, which won’t allow you to continue working at your current job. This is another situation warranting leaving your job before finding a new one.
Other situations, such as being the only one providing for your family or needing a job to get you through school may warrant staying at your job as you make the transition. Your situation may be different than someone else’s and you have to make the right decision for you. Take the time to research the career you want to pursue and put together a plan. Your current job may help you get to the new job and shouldn’t just be thrown away, if it’s a good fit until you get the training or schooling you need.
The decision to leave your current job for a career you actually like is a big deal. You only get one life and there’s no good reason to spend it at a job you hate. Some will tell you to “tough it out” or that “everybody hates what they do for work,” but they are dead wrong. You can love your career and live a happier life, if you want.
Many people change careers and go back to school every year because they aren’t happy with their current work. You don’t have to stick with a job just because you know it, even if you’re good at it. Consider your options, put together a plan and make a strategic move towards a career you will love.