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The job you hate can actually help you – and no, it’s not about the money

Varsha Roysam
22nd Nov 2016
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Why do we stick to a job we hate? Financial stability, personal responsibilities, and a lack of other offers or options – we’ve heard these reasons before. Because they are necessities, and intimidating ones at that, they seem like excellent reasons to suck it up and head to work every day. We accept these as the only ways to beat Monday (frankly, everyday) morning blues. But are they?

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Instead of looking at the situation as hopeless, maybe you could try to gain something of it. This way, you’ll be better motivated to hold onto that soul-sucking job. So long as you’re being dragged by the current, you might as well catch some fish along the way, right? If you feel like the system is enslaving you, get back at it by gaining something from it, by snatching from it what you could use for your own benefit. You’ll be the one having the last laugh.

So what is there to gain from the kiss of these Dementors?

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger

Yes, this is a cliché but one can’t deny the truth in it. When you leave your job at a low point, you never realise the strength that lies dormant in you. A horrid job – the one that blesses you with anxiety, fear, and despair, all locked up in your gut, the one that weighs down on your chest – can really be a blessing in disguise. Everyone wishes to be strong and independent, but only a few are willing to walk through the rites of passage.

Before you quit, pause for a moment and ask yourself if history has been repeated. Have you quit before? Was it for the same reason? Is this becoming a trend? The answers to these questions will point out a trait in your personality – the quitting gene. Quitting is not necessarily disgraceful, but if made a habit, it can spell trouble. Doing what you love also requires grit and diligence, and if you’ve become a quitter, chances are you won’t survive the necessities of your dream. Think of your job as a way to fortify your character, so you’ll be better qualified when you attempt the work you actually love to do.

Your long term goals are relying on you

Sometimes we lose sight of our goals when faced by the immediacy of our despair. Our priorities shift under our feet and we barely notice until it’s too late. It is in times like this that it becomes all the more important to keep that goal in sight. Consider it a marriage vow – in sickness and in health. Your goals need you to focus on the painful necessities. Your job, as horrible as it may be, could be a place to pick up a skill, could be a pool of influential connections, or might just offer you a good recommendation that’s a step up in the ladder. Growing in this company may be the only way of getting a place in another. This is the bigger picture, and there’s a very good chance that your soul-sucking job will bring you closer to it.

You get on the soul-searching train

It’s as simple as this – a job that sucks your soul out, gives you a reason to look for it. In the midst of your despair and dissatisfaction, you begin to realise what’s missing. Your idea of happiness will suddenly be different and maybe (hopefully), you’ll begin to cherish the finer things in life, the things that went unnoticed when you were happier. Everyone tells you to “live in the moment” but nobody ever tells you how. Sadness has a way of anchoring one to the present, it teaches us how to walk on its terrain and take in all its horror and beauty. If you think about it, the job you hate is actually sponsoring a soul-searching journey. How’s that for a silver lining?

Despite these reasons, staying on a job you hate can sometimes still be unbearable. It’s crucial to know for sure whether staying is harming you more than it is helping you. Whatever it is you decide, it is always wise to weigh your options thoroughly before making that life-altering decision.

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