Should You Stay In A Job You Don’t Like?
By Larry Kahaner
Unless you win the lottery, the answer is ‘yes’ but not just for the obvious reasons like you have to pay rent, put food on the table and pay your car insurance. These are good reasons (some might say the only reasons) but for those of you in a job that doesn’t seem quite right, one that doesn’t get you up in the morning on a happy note, take heart. It’s leading to something good. I promise.
Let’s look at a college graduate with a degree in engineering, accounting or teaching. No problem. They know what they want as their vocation and they can usually get a job, an entry level position, but a job nonetheless in their field in which they can climb higher. What about art history majors, English majors and the like? They may have their dream job in their head but finding it might be tough. So what do you do? Sleep on your parent’s couch until the job you want comes along or do you take any job you can get even if it’s unrelated to your career destination?
This may sound ludicrous, but I know too many young folks who won’t work unless they find the job they really, really want. Their perfect job. What happens to some of them is that they’re stuck doing nothing, getting depressed or worse yet, watching television all day because they have no cash in their pocket. When you ask them about it (and I have) they say that it’s demeaning (oh, my) to take a menial job or that the jobs they’re offered won’t lead to their ultimate career.
Any job will get you where you want to go and here’s why.
1 – Working gets you out where you can meet people who may know of a job more suitable to your interests. There are no jobs in your parent’s basement.
2 – You learn good work habits like getting in on time, allocating your workday wisely, getting along with others, dressing appropriately and managing a paycheck. Not everyone has these skills when they enter the workforce for the first time.
3 – When you interview for your dream job, you don’t have to explain what you’ve been doing for the last six months. Prospective employers reward applicants with a solid work record.
4 – Work of any type bolsters our self esteem because we’re contributing to society.
5 – You meet different people.This includes obnoxious or odd folks, too, which, to me, is also a good thing.
6 – Sometimes your non-dream job leads you in a direction you never considered. I know of one college graduate who took a temp agency job as an office administrator. It led to a full time job and he loves it, but it was not something he had ever considered.
So, should you work in a job you don’t like? Absolutely, because eventually it will help you will find the job you really want.
A former Washington correspondent for Business Week magazine, Larry Kahaner is the author of 15 books, including the best-selling Competitive Intelligence, a Book-of-the-Month selection that has been translated into six languages. He has also written Values Prosperity and the Talmud; Business Lessons from the Ancient Rabbis, The Quotations of Chairman Greenspan and AK-47; the Weapon that Changed the Face of War. Full bio.
His in-person, interactive, multimedia presentation titled Fiscal Fitness Boot Camp is available to colleges, universities and companies. You can email him directly at Larry Kahaner.
He is represented by Wolfman Productions, Inc.