There are so many individuals that are stuck in a bad job, but for some reason, don’t jump into the labor market to find something different. This inactivity may be because of time constraints or the demands of their personal life. The real reason for most, however, is the fear of change and/or not recognizing the horrible effect staying in the position is having on them.

There are a number of reasons why a job may be a bad one. Usually, it is not just one aspect, but several that drag you down into a position where you feel stuck. The most visible reasons are items such as compensation or a bad boss. There are other less prominent but just as impactful areas, such as a lack of career development or a toxic work environment, which make you feel like you are in a helpless abyss.

You may even have one aspect of a job, such as higher compensation, that almost makes you feel trapped in accepting other less positive aspects of the job. If you really stop, however, and think about what you make compared to how miserable you are, then you will probably conclude that it is just not worth it.

If you need more convincing that you should actively work toward leaving your bad job, let’s take a deeper look at what being in this situation can do to you.

• Physical Effects: Perhaps the most obvious effect is the physical challenges that can arise when you are in a bad job. A person will run an increased risk of illness as the mental stress that you feel can lead to a reduction in your immune system. You can also feel the impact in terms of headaches or intestinal issues, such as an ulcer. A bad job that involves working considerable hours can also cause you to feel fatigue and general sluggishness. We could go on and on, including mentioning the larger issues such as high blood pressure. All this for a job you don’t even like!

• Mental/Behavioral Effects: Tied closely to the physical effects are the mental and behavioral effects of the bad job. The stress that you feel can lead to so many issues, driving you further into a behavioral hole such as depression, or some of the physical examples that are noted above. In a worst-case scenario, this bad job may even lead you into an addiction situation. The good news is that this is an area where society has become much more compassionate and educated in, so you are likely to receive support and concern from those around rather than be told something like “suck it up”.

• Effect on Others: Family and friends often endure the most of someone who is in a bad job. A person who is miserable at work usually can’t turn that negativity off when they arrive back home. The effects of a bad job will linger like a black cloud over you wherever you may go. If someone is in a role that physically or mentally debilitates them, someone else such as their partner picks up home activities that they would normally complete. In a situation where someone is really physically impacted, a person may even need to play the role of a caregiver to someone whose job is causing them actual pain.

• Effect on Your Career: To start, all the physical and mental effects will most likely have a negative impact on your performance, both impacting your career and further making the job a bad one. Staying at a bad job will typically stall any career progression, as you may have caused your resume to look stagnant. Hiring Managers tend to get excited about a candidate trending up, not someone moving down or merely treading water in their career. You are probably not learning any new skills or gathering key experiences that will assist you. If you are in a bad job, then you also may be with a company that has a bad reputation, which certainly won’t help you when seeking different employment. Often, the conclusion of a Hiring Manger will be “why did you stay so long” if the job or company was that bad.

Being stuck in a bad job is really a challenging situation to be in. Although you may be nervous about the change, the benefits of making a career move causes the decision to become a job seeker to be an easy one. So, rather than fighting through each workday and trying to make the weekend (if you even get one) visit and place yourself on your way to a new position. While we can’t guarantee that your new job will be terrific, it will be a fresh start, and often that is exactly what someone needs.

As always, best of luck in your job search!

The following has been prepared for the general information of RochesterJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.

Joe Stein
WNY Human Resources Professional

Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at:
Joe Stein


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