Bad Jobs—Reasons for Staying? 2
In the first post of this series, Why Do People Stay in Bad Jobs?, I asked you to identify why you are staying in a bad job. In the last post, I explored some reasons often given to continue working where you are. This post will cover more.
I’m already in the best company in the industry.
But why do you think you’re in the best company in your industry? Best paid? Most prestigious? Well-known brand? Whatever it is, give a hard look whether it’s worth the price you’re paying.
You might feel any other company would be a move down. So what? First, your resume will always say that you worked at the best company. It might even help you move to a lesser known company with a better environment.
Best should also include best for you.
I like my colleagues.
Yes, that’s wonderful. But in a toxic work setting, great colleagues often mean people who have your back, or don’t point fingers when the boss wants to know who’s to blame, or can joke about how bad things are. While making the best of a bad situation is admirable, it is not enough to thrive—which is what you want to do.
Remember, positive work environments where you can thrive are also more likely to have happier co-workers. As for your present colleagues, nothing prevents you from coming back from your new job for a TGIF beer.
The job is convenient.
I understand this. Life has so many demands that sometimes a job needs to fit into your life style. A bad job might be an acceptable trade-off for flexible work hours, good benefits, or proximity to day-care.
If you decide this is so, I ask you to do two things. The first is to set a time, maybe once a year, to assess whether the reasons to stay still apply or are as compelling. Once you don’t need day-care, you may have more flexibility to make a move. The second is to make peace with being in a toxic environment. I don’t mean lie down and let yourself be run over, but the extent to which you can withdraw from the office politics and/or being the object of a power play, the more palatable your stay will be. Not pleasant but perhaps tolerable.
There is a career path.
Your company may have a clear promotion path from your present job to one you really aspire to. Therefore a good reason to stay. Perhaps.
Look at the people presently in your dream job. Do you respect/admire them? You usually need to act in a certain way to be seen as promotable. In a negative work environment, that can be posturing, sucking up, and dirty tricks. If you think you can be promoted without playing the game the company has set, you are dreaming in Technicolor.
So the real question becomes: am I willing to do the things or become the person needed to get my dream job? If not, then you’re unlikely to ever be promoted anyway and you might as well look for a more positive work environment.
As I have mentioned, the worst thing about a bad job is the sapping of confidence which leads to a belief that outside forces are preventing you from getting out. Don’t let bad job hopelessness prevent you from assessing whether the reasons you are staying are legit or whether you can do something to get away from the toxic environment.
The next post talks about how to make the move out.