The number of excuses we use to justify why we stay at a job we hate is too high.
We all are familiar with the feeling of dread that comes with getting out of bed every week day. That long commute to work, every day spent feeling unfulfilled, victimised or sometimes even physically in pain, somehow doesn’t propel us to look for other opportunities.
But why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we stay at a job that brings us to tears? Even though all self-help gurus reiterate the benefits of and glorify the ‘love your job’ sentiment, every single person you know probably complains about their jobs too.
So why don’t you just make the change and get a new job?
You Say: What if my boss finds out I want to leave, gives me a bad reference, or even worse, fires me?
First of all, your boss can’t fire you willy nilly. Secondly, you have plenty of options of who to include in your reference list. And finally, there are ways you can job hunt secretly. Oh, and your boss is only human, there are plenty of ways you can turn their negativity into a valuable life lesson.
You Say: There are no other opportunities. Jobs are scarce.
Well, Careers24 currently has more than 20 000 vacancies in South Africa. What you need to do is put some effort into perfecting your CV and cover letter, practicing your interview skills, and finding other creative ways of improving your job searching skills.
You Say: I’ll never get paid as much as I do now
Not only can money not buy happiness but many companies offer different kinds of incentives (like performance bonuses) and benefits (like employee discounts) that may actually mean you go home with a lot more. Other things to consider include medical aid subsidies, housing subsidies, better work hours – the list is pretty much endless. Besides that, a better work environment has health benefits that money really can’t buy – and companies are starting to realise that more and more.
You Say: I don’t really know what I want. I’m confused.
That’s okay. But you have to start looking anyway. Get to know yourself a little better, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and take a few aptitude tests to help you along the way.
You Say: I don’t have the time. It’ll take too much effort. It’s too late now.
You need to start believing in yourself and make your needs a priority. If you really want something, you should put in the effort. Start by finding out what you’ll need to make the change, and map your way there – even if it’ll take years. The key is to take the first step now.
You Say: It can’t be guaranteed that I’ll be happier. What if the new job’s worse, or this one gets better right after I leave?
Find out who the top companies in your industry are and what their corporate culture is like. If you hate your job because of your boss, make that a priority in your job search; if it’s your co-worker or the commute you hate, focus on those elements first. Sometimes, getting away from what makes you unhappy is more important than all the what-ifs in the world.