4 Reasons Employees Keep Jobs They Don’t Like

You were excited to receive your job offer, and you threw yourself into this work with the full force of your enthusiasm and ambition. Your first week passed in a giddy blur of optimism, and during the next few weeks, you were so determined to stay positive that you tuned out and ignored a growing series of subtle warnings. The first time your boss threw you under the bus to protect himself from his own mistake, you started to see the light. But by then, you were fully invested. At this point, the job that once felt like a golden opportunity has now become a pair of golden handcuffs. Or more accurately, a golden train wreck. But for some reason, you’re still here. But just so you know, you’re not alone. There are similar workers facing the same situation all around you, whether they talk about it openly or not. Here are some of the most common reasons we tend to stay in jobs that aren’t right for us.

1. Your boss knows how to keep you onboard.

It wasn’t an accident when he made that offhand remark about how “terrible the job market is right now” and “how rough it is out there for some people.” He wasn’t just commenting idly on the state of current events. Managers are often well-trained in the art of retention, and they know how to convince talented employees to stay with the company when those employees are leaning toward the door. Effective, responsible managers do this by thanking their teams for their hard work, praising them, and finding monetary and non-monetary ways to compensate them for their contributions. Weaker managers use other forms of manipulation.

2. Your perspective is limited.

You may honestly believe that this is the only job you’re good at, and this is the only way you’ll ever be able to make a living. But this simply isn’t true. If you’d like to be somewhere else, you CAN get there from here. You just need a road map, or a long term plan that you can break down into smaller and smaller goals until each mini goal is a molehill, not a mountain. People switch careers and venture out of their comfort zones all the time, and almost all of them survive to tell the tale. The first step is the hardest: The decision to act.

3. You’re afraid you may end up with financial regrets.

This one is an easy challenge to overcome; you’ll just need a calculator and some common sense. Determine how much money you need in order to survive for one week without an income. Then six weeks, then six months, then a year. All else being equal, this is your margin of error. Work within it…but get to work. Don’t be paralyzed by unknowns. Turn unknowns into knowns and get moving.

4. You’re afraid this place will fall apart without you.

It won’t. Trust us. If this is your own company, then do what you can to tie up loose ends and leave your employees in capable hands before you exit. But if this isn’t your own company, then its fate, post-you, isn’t your responsibility. Not on any ethical, practical, or philosophical level. File this under “not your problem”. Then focus your attention on applying your talents, your determination and your admirable devotion to another organization—one that deserves you.

Start Drafting Your Resume

When it’s time move forward and start searching for employment elsewhere, you’ll need a strong resume. Turn to the experts at MPR for guidance, tools, and support.