Dealing with a job you hate but can't leave

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by amathew, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    I'm a "recent" college grad who is currently employed as a statistician at an internet marketing start-up. Right after completing my master's degree, I started my own business doing data/statistics support services and survey research for small businesses, religious institutions, and political campaigns/interest groups. However, after a year, the business was still not profitable and I accepted a job as a statistician. I've been employed for about 20 months in my current position, and I really hate it. Don't get me wrong, I like my coworkers, the environment, and some of the work I do. However, it's really not what I want to do. I realize that working in industries or positions that one doesn't like is part of life, but I want to do something I enjoy. Employees have to 'pay their dues' and I get that. However, going to a job I dislike is so overbearing and is taking a toll on me emotionally as I feel so worn out and tired of life. While I dislike my job, I realize that I need work experience and need to keep making money. Plus, I want to work on starting another company, so I need time to work on my product, put together a small business plan, and pursue funding from angel investors.

    I know I'm not alone in my feelings about my employment situation. For those of you who currently have or have previously had these emotions, how did you handle waking up each day and going to a job you dislike?


    I had posted several months ago regarding the minimum amount to stay at a first job before moving on. Well, I never left and am still in that position.
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/300720/minimum-time-to-stay-at-first-job-after-college
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013


  2. LooksGood

    LooksGood Senior member

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  3. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    Why did you major in stats/math/whatever if you hate the work?
     


  4. amathew

    amathew Senior member

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    I like statistics, I just don't like machine learning and using math to determine optimal bidding strategies in online auction systems. I'd rather work with survey data or policy data. I'd also like to do work with data visualization. When I ran my company, I provided data visualization services and it was about helping political 'actors' present data in a strategic manner. In hindsight, some of my visualizations were probably just plain dishonest, but eh.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013


  5. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    Start working your dream business on the side. Live frugally, and save/spend your income outside of your necessary expenses for your side deal. This will give you financial security until you are profitable. After you have consistent and regular income to the point you would be comfortable living off of, you can leave the job you are at now. Or you could stick with both.

    Realistically, this doesn't have to take very long and can be worthwhile long term.
     


  6. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    You need some activities in your spare time to blow off steam. Pick up some hobbies. At least your work could fund them.

    Meanwhile start looking for a new job.

    Meanwhile, spend some of your free time and income funding developing your business idea.
     


  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    +1

    basically, this.

    although, frankly, the basic message should be "suck it up". most people spend their whole lives doing work that they don't enjoy 100%. you tried a business, and it wasn't profitable, so there you go. get used to the idea that life isn't going to be all fun and games. but you have it pretty good - you don't hate your boss or your co-workers, you make a living. suck it up.
     


  8. JilSlander

    JilSlander Senior member

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    All that needed to be said.
     


  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    A job you don't like but cannot walk away from the money? Welcome to the last 15 and next 20 years of my life. Find out what whisky you like best, get someone you want to shack up with, and have some fun in your off hours...which will all be paid for by that job you hate.
     


  10. Journeyman

    Journeyman Senior member

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    I think that there have been some good things said here, including "find some hobbies", "work on establishing a new business on the side whilst still in your current job", and "suck it up". I tend to agree with all of those things.

    I'm not posting here to be critical of the OP, but I do find these sort of threads interesting. Really, this sort of attitude - "I hate my job and really want to find a job that I like and want to do" is a pretty new attitude when one thinks about it. Beyond a few generations ago, most people didn't have too much choice in what they did, and most people didn't have the choice to go to university and study any one of a very wide variety of degrees. Frankly, that would have been inconceivable to most people - and, of course, it is still inconceivable to most people outside a relatively few, wealthy countries.

    However, over the past forty or so years, people in countries like the US and Australia have been increasingly accustomed to being able to choose their own destinies - or at least, they feel that they can. They also seem to feel a great deal of optimism about life (at least when they are young) because they have so many opportunities. When that doesn't necessarily work out - when they're not earning $100k per year before they are 25, when they're not in a job that they enjoy, when they're not on the management track - people often seem to feel depressed, although they've missed out something that they should have, or should be doing. There seems to be a lot more depression in modern societies than there used to be, although of course perhaps it's just better diagnosed than it used to be, and if there is greater incidence of depression, I'd say that at least in part it's because people nowadays think that they can have everything or anything when they are young and then they gradually start to realise that's not necessarily the case.

    As an example of the above mindset, I know someone who was disappointed by their first "real job" after college. It wasn't as challenging or as interesting as they had hoped and they weren't praised all the time - in fact, they were sometimes criticised and told that they should be doing things differently. The person became depressed and regarded it as the fault of the job, as it should have been more interesting. Significantly, he said that because it was the fault of his job that he was depressed, he viewed it as his employer's responsibility to find him a new position (at the same workplace) that was more interesting and stimulating, so that he wouldn't be depressed anymore. I told him that I didn't think that it was his employer's responsibility to make sure that he felt mentally stimulated at work, but his mindset really, really surprised me.

    Anyway, the above is really more of a cultural/philosophical musing, rather than a response to the OP.

    In closing, I'd say that if you do have a job that you love, then that's great and you're very lucky. But it's not the reality for most people. For most of us, life and work are a series of compromises. I've got quite a good job - it's comfortable, it's secure, it's well-paid, my colleagues are good company and very entertaining, it is sometimes intellectually stimulating. On the downside, it's also sometimes boring and frustrating, and I sometimes have to deal with very irritating, frustrating people. However, at such times, I just remember that I have a great family and great friends and that I get to have lunch with those friends a few times a week and that life at work is generally enjoyable and that life outside work is great. Focus on the positives (sometimes easier to say than do, of course) and remember that work is not your life.
     


  11. Aneil4lom

    Aneil4lom Senior member

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    This is what I'm doing right now. My job sucks on some days so I spend some time everyday on my business plan.

    I was self-employed till Spring last year when I was offered this job; the job paid more than what I was making at the time so it seemed like the right thing to do.
    I'm really missing the freedom I had when I was on my own time but I like the stable income of a proper job so I'm working on creating a better situation for myself this time next year.
     


  12. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    What is the go-to software for data visualization?
     


  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    There are a few categories of people who want to leave their jobs:

    1) Hate their job, but have no concrete idea of what other thing they'd do. These people should keep their job.
    2) Hate their job, and have "things on the side" that they really like. These people should take careful stock of whether the things on the side have the near term potential to pay the bills. If yes, quit, and focus on making the side project their main thing, or really work on making the side project a full time project while working the job. If not, stay at your job and at least enjoy your side project.
    3) Hate their job - there is something else they'd rather do, but it would pay considerably less. I say, if you can live "reasonably" (i.e. not be in constant dire straits), then just go for it. Life is too short to be wasted chasing a few dollars more. And if you hate it, you won't be great at it. Don't accept mediocrity for the ability to buy a nicer house or a nicer car. Not worth it.
     


  14. Huntsman

    Huntsman Senior member

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    ^ Succinct. Knocked out of the park.
     


  15. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    Working long term in an industry or position that you hate isn't a part of life. That's what suckers who can't do better (or who just aren't ambitious enough to try to do better) say to explain why their lives suck without blaming themselves. You've got a few options:

    1) If you like the company or see potential in higher positions, take action to find out what you need to do to get promoted. If it still sounds good, then focus on that instead of how much you hate your current job, and get it done.

    2a) If you just want out of the company, then figure out how much money you'll need in your bank account as a safety net, and quit once you have it.

    2b) Find a way to get interviews with companies that you're interested in (it's not as hard as people make it seem like it is IF you work for it...you've got a master's degree for fxck's sake!), and quit when you've accepted an offer.

    3) If all of that is too much to ask, then just quit and hope for the best. If the job's as bad as you say that it is, then quit. You don't have to stay.


    If you won't do any of these things, then just suck it up, and stop whining. A person with relevant education, relevant work experience and the know-how to market themselves will always be able to find jobs.
     


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