“I’m Lucky to Have a Job.” Really?

Female figurine feeling the pressure when surrounded by Disney princesses

Jake LaCaze made an interesting comment on yesterday’s post. In part, he said:

If you truly do dislike your job, be honest. Do not let yourself get content. Do not say things like: “I’m lucky just to have a job, especially in this economy.” That’s how you get stuck in a job you hate.

He definitely has a point here. How many times do people let fear keep them rooted in the same spot? Letting fear dictate the choices you make is no way to live. It may feel like you are taking the safe path when staying in your comfort zone, but there’s nothing safe about it. Plus, as Jake points out, doing so just makes you miserable.

By the same token, being grateful for the things your job provides (a roof over your head, vittles for the cat) isn’t bad. In fact, it can help you get through the rough times so you can keep that job and the benefits it provides you. But, as I said yesterday in response to Jake, that gratitude should never be a reason to resign oneself to the situation. If you hate your job, you need to figure out why and formulate your exit strategy.

Just hang on to that job until you have another plan in place. While I don’t agree with this practice, the reality is that employers are more likely to hire someone who is currently working. If it’s your goal to find another position, odds are you will have a shorter job search if you already have a job.

Or, have you always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and have a great idea for your own business? Use the money from your job to build it up, and when you have a business that is ready to be taken full-time, quit. Don’t be afraid to take that leap. You don’t want to look back 10 or 20 years from now, still in that awful job and filled with regret.

I am NOT advocating quitting without a safety net. The economy is still pretty rocky and the advice my dad always gave me makes a lot of sense right now — don’t leave one job until you have another one lined up. Whether that job is with another employer or is one of your own making is up to you. Just be smart about your choices.

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley

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