Staying at a bad job is the behavior of a psychopath.
I don’t get it.
You wouldn’t waste your life. Why would you waste the time you spend working on a nightmare job?
A friend of mine is two years from retirement. He’s finishing on the biggest low of his career — a soul-crushing job. When the lights go out in my career, I wanna go out with a big freaking bang.
We shouldn’t settle for second best in our careers because we don’t have to.
(Arguably) the worst job in history
One job takes the cake for me.
The workday used to start with “who’s ready for a competition?”
That question meant my boss was about to have fun with us. We were his entertainment. He thought 80% of our team were total retards.
How do I know? He openly told me, and did it in front of others (mind-blowingly stupid).
The competitions he set up all had a booby prize, as he liked to call it. Last person to get their name on the whiteboard got the label of loser. One afternoon we had to do some product training and get a pass on the test.
The other teams in our office worked together so they could all pass the test faster and get back to helping customers.
Not my boss.
He wanted us to suffer. He made us do it by ourselves. As usual several members of the team were away.
One woman had recently had a baby and needed more time off than normal. The other guy was often away, too, as he was suffering from an illness that was likely to lead him to an early grave.
My boss hated anyone who regularly took medical leave. He called them weak. To mess with them he’d make sure to schedule his competitions when they were away.
“If you are away it’s not an excuse,” he used to say. Luckily there were normally two people away at the same time.
This would lead to what he called sudden death. The two weak people that dared take medical leave would compete in front of the team to desperately hope they didn’t finish last. One of them always did.
“That’ll teach em to be away” he used to say.
Hitler was a puppy dog compared to this guy.
“Heads will roll” was his motto. He was a middle-aged man that got given too much power (and too much coke) at a young age. For some reason he was never without a job.
Some company always needed his services.
“They hire me when they need a drill sergeant. I’ll stick my finger in the backs of any person to make them feel stressed about whether they can pay their mortgage this month. If anyone dares challenge me, they’ll feel my wrath.”
Torture was his motivation.
I didn’t last long in this job. I was undervalued, underpaid, and treated like a piece of garbage humans walk on and don’t even notice.
My boss even canceled my bonus in the first few weeks when I started without telling me why. Many people go through similar situations at work.
If your boss didn’t get enough boob time as a baby or love from mommy, it’s not your fault.
You don’t need to put up with this crap.
Why don’t we just quit then…
What’s bizarre is after I left nobody else quit.
They put up with his antics. They got used to the torture. They dreamt of brighter days but never did anything to find them.
They’re like abused lovers.
They got tortured yet they couldn’t find their way out of the abuse. They became too beaten, too mentally scarred. I’ve wanted to quit other bad jobs before and couldn’t. So I’m no Rocky either.
It comes down to fear.
We fear we’ll miss something we do like about the job. We’re afraid a bad boss will torment us on the way out or screw up the new job we apply for.
We’re scared recruiters will mention employment gaps that occur when we’ve gotta parachute out of a bad job quickly without another job to go to.
So we stay for what we think is just a little while.
Years can pass by in this state of flux.
The bad treatment can start to feel normal. We can even feel we deserve it, like some sort of self-inflicted drug abuse.
Here’s the brutal truth that will get you unstuck
Self-respect is quitting a bad job.
If you don’t respect yourself, no employer will.
There are so many things you could be doing in your career.
A job isn’t a life sentence. The way to escape the asylum is to go on LinkedIn and start applying for jobs. Connect with hiring managers and recruiters.
The change you seek in your career won’t happen overnight.
But if you start today you can begin to imagine a brand new future. The thought of that future will help motivate you through the difficult transition.
The amount of days I spent in those bad jobs, wishing I could stay home and write all day, helped me make it through.
Now I’m doing the type of work I imagined all those years back when I worked for that terrible boss. You’re so much more than one job.
Quit a bad job so you can find the right job that lights a fire inside of you. You’re going to die one day.
You’ll regret not quitting bad jobs when you look back.
Quit. Move forward.