Why You Still Work at a Job You Hate

What if I told you is that out of every group of 10, 8.5 of those individuals HATE, their job, and since I like to round off to the nearest 10 I’ll go ahead and make that 9…So basically 9 out of every 10 people you know are unhappy at their current job.

If you’re reading this right now I can almost guarantee you are one of the 9, and if this is so, I want you to know that you are in the majority.

Imagine spending a little more than a ⅓ of your life eating at a restaurant you hated, and every time you stepped foot in that restaurant you told yourself that this time was the last. Yet after another dreadful meal, you came right back to the same location to eat a meal you hate.

Though such an analogy may sound dramatic, it is the reality for most people in the modern world. Year after year you tell ourselves that this is it, this is the last week, the last month, the last 6 weeks, the last year you will work in a job that sucks the life out of you, yet here you are, in the same place as you were 3 years ago.

Maybe you did leave that job, or perhaps you were laid off, this was your opportunity to finally make a pivot, but instead, you make a U-turn, a return to conformity and comfort. Though there is nothing inherently flawed with having a job, when you are in a job that does not align with who you are, you are unintentionally eating away your life force.

Instead of continuing to dig into this wound of yours, I would rather spend the rest of our precious time here explaining why it is that we stay in jobs we hate.

  1. Security

How many times over your life have you heard the word “job security”? Perhaps you were raised by parents who believed that your main aim in life should be finding a job that will keep you until the good Lord calls you home. Jobs have been connected to a sense of security, as most occupations come with a reliable paycheck that is promised to cover your immediate expenses. This false sense of security often leads us to neglect a higher calling and has us settle for an exact amount every two weeks, or month

2. Comfort

Much like a false sense of security, jobs often give us comfort because according to our conditioning/upbringing, a job is reliable. The human brain is built to bring us into a place of comfort through the avoiding of perceived pain, therefore if stepping into the unknown is seen as pain, a job will look like pleasure. A job also provides the perceived comfort of community and tribe. Even for those who cannot stand their co-workers, showing up to a place you know is familiar often brings a sense of comfort.

3. Validation

Parents, teachers, and the sort often congratulate their kids for their employment, and the more their form of employment matches their paradigm, the more validation the former student receives. Mainstreet modern society seems to place a large value on specific job titles, and companies that create the perception that these jobs are the only way to go if one is fully accepted and acknowledged by society. One of our highest needs as human beings is the need to be accepted by our tribe, which leads many of us to follow the road most traveled to gain this validation. Though such a trade-off may seem fair, in reality, nobody cares whether or not your heart is full and your soul is fulfilled within your occupation.

4. Benefits

Ever since the formation of job unions, millions of workers have been incentivized to work within specific organizations due to the benefits they provide for their employees. For example, companies that provide healthcare, pensions, 401k plans, etc are more likely to gain the loyalty of their employees. If you ask the average person why they are afraid to leave a company they’ve been working for any significant amount of time they’ll more than likely tell you about the benefits they are currently receiving and how difficult it would be to let go of such a “good deal” when in reality the only person benefiting is the person they are working for.

5. Saturation

Most people believe that any idea they have, somebody else is already doing, and any industry they may be passionate about is “already saturated”. Yet in reality, there are more workers than there are self-starters and entrepreneurs, which the most saturated place on the planet is the workforce. There are more people with competing resumes for a single job than individuals are looking to build a similar company within that industry. One who decided to follow their life’s purpose is more likely to find themselves on a road with a lot less traffic.

6. Uncertainty

Who do you trust more, you who you’ve known for your entire life or your boss who was introduced to you at some point in your professional life? It truly amazes me how willing we often are to give away our power and trust an outside source with our future, and direction in life. Some of us have been trained to see a job as a source of certain whereas being our “own boss”, however, this may look, if sometimes seen as the bigger risk. Post covid many have experienced the true uncertainty that comes with a job that may have once seemed secure, and some have been forced to rely on their ingenuity to continue to provide for themselves and their families. When you become your boss you no longer have to worry about the politics of another that may threaten your job, or the uncertainty of a company that you have no say in. In reality, the biggest risk one could ever take is placing your future in the hands of another.

7. Competence

There are millions of individuals in a job they hate right now that would rather be doing something else, yet the only thing stopping them is their belief that they aren’t “good enough”. I acknowledge the fact that many of us are overcoming mental blocks that were programmed into us decades ago, but the one that is easiest to override is the belief that you aren’t skilled enough to make your passion and purpose a career. If you’re in a job right now the odds are you had to learn a certain set of skills to work in your current position, so to do so, you dedicated hours of your time to do exactly that. If you believe that you need to build up a specific skill-set to live out your purpose, then the odds are you are far more than capable of doing so, if you were willing to dedicate so much time and energy into something you do not enjoy imagine how much more of an investment you will put into something you truly love.

Written By. Tinashe Hwande

Founder of “Closer to Om: Finding & Following Your Purpose”

Your entire life should be a passion project. I am here to guide you into that passion by helping you find your Purpose and giving you the confidence to follow