7 Reasons I’d Keep Working a Job I Hate

September 21, 2017

Enjoy this post from our guest KK and tell her how wonderful she did in a comment below. 

At one point or another, I suspect most of us have worked a job that we hated (or at least really disliked). Over the past 15 years or so, I’ve worked my fair share of full and part-time jobs that totally stunk. From cleaning houses and pools, to working the nightshift at a homeless shelter and serving up lobster at a greasy snack bar, I’ve worked a lot of crappy jobs. Some of them were worse than others, but there was always a reason I kept showing up.

Sometimes I stayed for the money (cleaning toilets can be pretty lucrative if you work for the right company!) and other times I stayed because I was working my way up the promotional ladder. While I don’t advocate working a job you hate for 20 years, I do think there’s value in working a job you hate in certain circumstances.Working a job you hate

7 reasons I’d keep working a job I hate:

  1. I need the money for basic necessities. This one is pretty obvious, but if I needed money for food, clothing, shelter etc., I’d work a job I hated to make ends meet. Nobody is going to be cold or go hungry in my household if I have the ability to work.
  2. I’m working towards a bigger goal. If working a job I hate helps me see the, “light at the end of the tunnel” I’m more than willing to work I job that I hate to get to reach that end goal. The bigger goal might be working a job I’m passionate about, starting my own business, working from home, building an emergency fund, etc.
  3. I’m paying off debt. If working a crappy job helps me pay off debt at an accelerated pace, I’d keep working the crappy job. When I was paying off my student loan debt I wasn’t always happy at my job. I was working the nightshift and barely got to see my friends and family. But I knew that making a temporarily sacrifice was worth it to be debt-free.
  4. I need the benefits. If someone in my family had a serious health condition (God forbid), I’d stay at a job I hated to temporarily have good benefits, like health insurance. You can’t put a price tag on health and working a job I hate is a small price to pay for life-saving healthcare.
  5. The job I hate will get me to the job I love. Hate your current job but know you’ll get promoted to a job you like? I worked a job I really disliked for 6 months because I knew that I would get promoted into a job that was much more enjoyable (and better paying).
  6. The job is for a limited amount of time. If I know I only have to work a crappy job for a limited time, that makes it much more bearable. I wouldn’t work I job I hate for 5 years, but 5 months? Maybe! Sometimes I’ve had to grit my teeth and bear a crappy job for my long-term financial health.
  7. I need the money to help friends or family. Similar to bullet number 1. I would never let my family go hungry or be homeless if can work (whether it’s a job I hate or not).

Take this job and Shove-it: Reasons I’d quit a job I hated immediately

  1. The job isn’t in line with my values. I couldn’t work at a job where I was asked to do things that I don’t believe in. For some reason, working for a tobacco company comes to mind. After losing my grandmother to lung cancer, I could never work for a tobacco company, no matter how big the salary.
  2. The job puts me in physical danger. Many jobs involve some degree of danger, but I wouldn’t do a job I felt was overtly dangerous just for money (working as a private contractor in a war zone, being a firefighter on an oil rig etc.)
  3. My employer is abusive. I could never work for an employer or boss who was emotionally abusive to myself or others. Name-calling, threats and nasty remarks should not be tolerated in the workplace and are a “deal breaker” for me.
  4. The job is illegal. Similar to #1, but slightly different. Here I’m talking about jobs or actions that actually break the law. Obviously I wouldn’t sell drugs or rob people, but I also wouldn’t work for a company that lies or steals. Employers that actively try to evade taxes, lie to the government and use charity funds for personal gain are a definite “no go” for me. No amount of money is worth participating in activities that are against the law.

Have you ever worked a job you hated? Why did you keep working there and when did you quit?

Author Bio: KK lives and works in the greater NYC area with her boyfriend and their menagerie of rescued pets. She is a non-profit professional, writer and guacamole aficionado who blogs to document her struggles and successes paying off over $30,000 in student loan debt.

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33 Comments on "7 Reasons I’d Keep Working a Job I Hate"

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Student wanting a good future
Student wanting a good future
Soo… At the moment I’m working at a place I feel contradicted about. The social aspects are awesome, talking to strangers, but also horrid, as a phone marketer people don’t always respond kindly. However I know I’ll be needing the money for my future studies to become something I actually feel okay with being… There’s one thing though: is a little money better than no money? I still have a couple of years before I actually need my savings and I have another work with better pay when summer comes, should I still continue with this one? It is eating… Read more »
Victoria
Victoria

Certainly in agreement regarding the points about keeping a job that you hate. In my experience working with job seekers, there have been few-if any- who are actually capable of leaving a job without another one lined up and still making ends meet (or not going further into debt- emphasis on the word “further”)! On top of that, it usually takes several months to find another gig. I always have a knee-jerk reaction when I hear of people leaving their jobs without having another one lined up, but by the same token, I have to admire their chutzpah!

Guy that thinks he has a life
Guy that thinks he has a life

I worked at a legal services company that wanted me to break licensing for software they were using. I said I couldn’t do it and the next day I was led to the elevator door with my stuff in a box. I had to pay my own parking to exit the building.

Bobby @ Making Money Fast and Slow
Bobby @ Making Money Fast and Slow

Congrats on the Lifehacker mention!

Jason
Jason
Great Posting. I can relate a lot to it as my situation is very similar. I get paid ‘OK’ but just have no spare time to do anything with friends or family. I work from home but I am so kept up in this room all day from morning to night. I look at my life just dwindling away as I see friends doing stuff I wish I had time for, or spending time with family that seems to be diminishing away every day. It’s heartbreaking I can’t spend my time with my mother who health is not the greatest… Read more »
Mortgage Free Mike
Mortgage Free Mike

I’m in the “Do what you love and when you don’t, find something else” camp. There comes a time when enough is enough.
Life is too short to let a bad boss ruin your life!

Free To Pursue
Free To Pursue
Hey KK. Nice guest post. In looking at the list of reasons to stay and 5 of the 7 are financial. That is all the more reason to say that we all need to make sure we have F-U money to be able to leave a job that is not a good fit (psychological stress can lead to serious health problems in and of itself!). Instead of using “retail therapy”, we need to use “savings therapy” by living well below our means so that no one can “make” us do anything – including ourselves! It’s hard to rationalize staying in… Read more »
Terry @ Path to Simple
Terry @ Path to Simple

I’ve learned to hate all jobs. I’ve stayed too long in some so I could raise my family. One more year of saving and then it’s time to get out from under a “boss”.

Frugality Magazine
Frugality Magazine

I can honestly say that I hate my job right now. But I see it as a means to an end. It pays far more than any other job I’ve had before and I’d really struggle to earn a similar amount doing a similar job for another employer. So I’m living on as little as I can, banking the rest and planning just 12 more months before I get the h*ll out of there 😉

Samuel
Samuel

I don’t know how people can work at the job they hate, and I’m talking about those people who have no bigger goals in their lives.

A job is a very important asset to ones life and if you need to work there in order to keep your life afloat, then so be it.

Keep work the job you hate so you can have one day the job you enjoy working at everyday, passionately.

Thanks for the post!

– Samuel

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

Thanks for the comment Samuel. I agree with you, I think it’s sad that some folks work jobs they hate with no future vision for something better. Nobody deserves to be stuck in a miserable job!

Erin @ My Alternate Life
Erin @ My Alternate Life

I worked a job I hated for a year and a half. I stayed because I made plans to quit 7 months before I actually did. I spent that time saving up money to move across the country and pay my bills until I got another gig. I ended up just making my freelance work my day job 🙂

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

Yay for freelancing and getting out of a job you hated! A perfect example of doing something you don’t like to get to something you love.

MakintheBacon
MakintheBacon

I’ve quit many jobs in the past for several different reasons: they were temporary and I wasn’t making enough money from them, I was getting bored and couldn’t see myself doing that job any longer than 3 years, too stressful and a lot of micromanagement. My biggest mistake was always quitting when there wasn’t something lined up right after, so I often had gaps in my employment history. I guess I was so frustrated with my jobs I couldn’t wait till something else came along.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

I don’t think you’re alone in quitting jobs and having employment gaps. I recently hired someone and there were quite a few folks with gaps (that were explained away by miserable job circumstances). Once I spoke with them and heard some of the horrible work environments they were in, I totally understood why they quit.

Michelle @fitisthenewpoor
Michelle @fitisthenewpoor

I am actually working up to quitting my job. (It’s no secret. Everyone knows.) My job sadly has no more growth opportunities. I’ve been told to stop asking for a raise or promotion because it isn’t happening. All the while, my coworker who has only worked here a total of 10 months has been given a 20k raise. Sadly, they have tried to “make it up” to me by giving me all of these awards. Meh. Over it. I’m going to take my time and risk it.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

Awards and no pay increase, that’s interesting isn’t it? Maybe it the award was the pay increase you deserve they wouldn’t have to “throw” awards at you. Hoping you get out of there soon.

Me Against the Debt
Me Against the Debt

Great post!

Would you please provide the link for you blog KK so we can follow. I am also blogging to document my journey of paying off $22,000 in graduate school loans.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

Hi Me Against Debt, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I apologize for getting back to your comment so late, I was on vacation last week and didn’t have Internet access. I’m over at http://www.studentdebtsurvivor.com, stop on by and let’s talk student debt!

Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life
Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life

Great post! There are a lot of people out there who work the job just to have something to put food on the table. But there are still things you can take away from the job that not only make you a better employee but a better person overall. I would definitely take it for what it is and try and get through each day if I were in that position.

KK @ Student Debt Survivor
KK @ Student Debt Survivor

Thanks Amanda. I definitely thing there are things you can learn from, even at jobs that totally stink (I know I have). If you can learn things cleaning toilets and scrubbing pools (I’ve done both), you can learn just about anywhere.

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