You’ve probably heard it before… about 70% of Americans hate their job. 70%! — that means about two-thirds of the workforce isn’t satisfied with what they do everyday.
But if you think about it, this isn’t all that surprising. How many of you tell your friends how much you hate work? How many of you feel the ‘Monday blues’? How many of you go to work like a zombie everyday only waiting for weekends to arrive?
Here’s the real question — If you hate it so much, why don’t you quit already?
I’m sure it’s not that simple. But based on numerous articles about this very subject, it isn’t all that complicated either. It really comes down to 5 main reasons why you are reluctant to take actions:
Reason #1 Money
It’s true — our job today gives us a stable paycheck. Maybe, it’s a fat paycheck with great benefits. Maybe it’s that job title that makes you feel proud (although this doesn’t directly translate to money, it adds value by creating sense of ‘pride’). Or, maybe, you are the breadwinner and your family depends on you.
Bottomline, we all need money and have bills to pay but let me pick your brain a little bit here. Assuming that most of us work in a Corporate world, here’s something to consider:
- Typically, an annual pay raise ranges 0-3%. Inflation rate is about that range, which means it’s very unlikely that you will make more money in the future.
- The downside to stability is that it’s stable. Let’s think about the best-case scenario vs. worst-case scenario. If you work in a Corporate world, what is your best-case scenario today, realistically? How about your worst-case scenario? I would argue that both cases aren’t so far away (meaning, there won’t be a drastic change to your career within 5 years, therefore pretty stable). However, if you were to follow your passion or own a business, what’s your best-case and worst-case scenario? I bet your reward (not just monetary but also emotionally) is lot greater in your best-case scenario. That alone, I say it’s worth the bet — the possibility of making more in the future.
- You don’t have to quit today. We all have financial obligations and it will be unrealistic (and scary) to give our notice without an exit strategy. Notice the difference though — Not quitting vs. Not quitting today. Don’t be stuck but rather be stuck temporarily so you can be unstuck forever.
Reason #2 Fear
Fear— We all have it and for a very good reason. At the very least, it helps us to avoid danger. Now, let’s take a step back here. What are you fearing? What would you lose if you quit your job?
Well, there’s fear of other people’s judgment. For example, people will think I’m crazy to quit this lucrative job!
There’s fear of change. Getting out of your comfort zone makes your stomach turn and you aren’t sure how you will make this work.
And there’s fear that grass won’t be greener on the other side. What if this shift turns out to be a big mistake?
Whatever fear you may be experiencing, at the core, it’s the fear of not knowing.
You may have the perfect exit strategy or bullet-proof business plan, but there’s no way to tell what the outcome will be. But here’s the truth — we will never have the magic ball and we shouldn’t because, in a way, that’s the beauty of life. One thing for sure is what you’re facing isn’t dangerous, so put your fear away and greet the challenge.
In one of the interviews with Robert Greene, the international best seller, he talks about how you shouldn’t be afraid of connecting with your passion but rather be fearful of staying where you are today.
“If you are afraid of connecting with it [your passion] because if it means that you have to do something different and not sure how you are going to make money you should really be more afraid of what’s going to happen to you in 5 years when you start disengaging from that job…(Your job is going to be replaced)…because your hearts not in it and you’re not paying attention to the things going on, and you have to be afraid of that…the one that really makes it is the one that brings out your (uniqueness and) weirdness at the end. They are not really afraid of it, so you shouldn’t be afraid of it if you really want to achieve something.”
He makes a good point — It’s obvious you hate your job today. How would you feel about keeping that job you hate everyday for another 5, 10, or 30 years? Now that sounds like something you should fear for.
Reason #3 Don’t Know What You Want
Now here’s a tricky one. What if you know what you don’t want, but don’t know what you do want? You absolutely know what you hate about your current job yet the thought of making a leap to a new direction makes you question — What is it that I want to do next?
Well, here’s a start — always choose what you love or like, at the very least. Yes, love because your job is really like your significant other in a long-term relationship.
No relationship is all fine and dandy everyday. There’s ups and downs. There’s many laughters but also many tears. But what makes the relationship long-lasting? — the magnitude of your love. Without love, it’s a broken marriage and it’s only a matter of time.
Now here’s a million dollar question— what if you don’t know what you want?
I hear this all the time, like 99.9% of the time. I also, at one point, wasn’t sure what is it that I really wanted. But here’s what I realized. The reason you don’t know is because you never really asked the question.
So, start today. Start asking. Start researching. Start jotting down. And start looking for opportunities. (Need a little help? — You can start here.)
Here’s a powerful quote from Sermon on the Mount:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Don’t be the one who never asks, seeks, and knocks.
Reason #4 I’m Not Good Enough
Self-doubt is a habit. Okay, maybe this is a women thing, but here’s the common conversation we have:
(In a dressing room trying out clothes)
Me: OMG! You look so cute in that dress!
Friend: Really? I think I look too fat. Look at my thunder thighs. Well, you look really nice in those jeans!
Me: OMG NO. They are too tight on me and my muffin tops are out of control…
Maybe this was an overly simplistic example, but you get the point — We always find flaws in ourselves.
When it comes to job or career, we aren’t any different.
We feel that we lack skills.
We feel that we don’t have any special talents.
And we feel that we aren’t good enough.
So, what do we do? Play safe and stay inside the safety zone. Keep that job and do what you’ve been doing, because at least it pays your kids’ childcare.
Let me tell you again, even though you probably heard this before — everybody, yes, everybody has a natural, unique gifts.
For those who’s rolling their eyes and thinking ‘Uhhhhh, no I don’t,’ I totally disagree and will tell you this. Have you even put an effort to find them? Have you read all the books out there about finding your strengths? Have you taken an StrengthsFinder assessment? Have you asked your friends and family what you’re particularly good at?
Don’t just think about it for few minutes and conclude that you’re not good at anything. If you are really unsure, start investing a little bit of your time each day (can be only 5-10 minutes) on discovering your natural, unique gift.
As Marie Forleo, the motivational speaker, always says, “…the world needs that special gift that only you have.”
Reason #5 Have No Particular Reason To Quit
In any decision making, it’s all about cost and benefit. Yes, you may hate your job, but it’s actually manageable considering the alternative — spending time and energy on finding a new job or career, learning new things, and familiarizing yourself with new people.
I get that.
See, what you’re really dealing here is motivation — You are just ain’t motivated. Being too comfy simply means you aren’t too motivated to do things outside of your comfort zone.
We all know too much of a comfortable life isn’t always a good thing.
Imagine a life where you only do things that makes you feel comfortable: stay in bed, never wash the dishes, eat take-outs, watch TV all-day long, or stay in an unhappy relationship, because it’s comfortable after-all.
The point is this – I truly believe we all want to be better. We all want to move forward. We all want more in life. And we are all motivated to do that. I really think you do, we all do.
I believe you lost motivation because you were just too busy and tired. I think you’ve stayed in the comfort zone for too long, it happened to become your long-term habit. I suspect that all you need is a gentle push that can help you to stumble out of your comfort zone.
And here’s the gentle push:
I’m not here to judge — I was part of that 70% too. I have bills to pay too. I was scared shitless too. I was unsure of myself too.
But, this was my tipping point — I just couldn’t watch my soul die little-by-little, day-by-day. I just didn’t want to wake up in sweats one day thinking ‘what if…’
So, I freakin’ quit.
Am I 100% sure where I’m headed next? Absolutely not. But reading this article (3 Reasons to Never Take Another Job), made me feel SO much better.
It’s my birthday five days after my last day of work — It couldn’t be a better time to start fresh. Here’s to a new beginning, lots of change, and an awesome life!
Did you enjoyed this article? Or, perhaps, did I picked your brain a bit considering to quit that job? Either way, I would love to hear from you — Please share your thoughts, insights, or opinions in the comments section below.
Main Picture Credit: Damian Zaleski (unsplash.com)