Are you in a job that looks, from the outside, as if it is perfectly stable, engaging, good paying, and the kind of position that people in your profession would die to get?
Yet you, as the person in the job, feel trapped, under siege, and desperate to do almost anything else, but you can’t leave.
What’s up with that?
Maybe it’s golden handcuffs, or you’ve been trying to find another job for a long time, but you can’t land anyplace. Possibly you want to launch your own gig, but it’s not the right time.
Whatever the reason, you can’t leave that shitty job, which leaves you feeling demoralized, powerless, and stuck with no clear career strategy to fix your situation.
Dear Job, I Can’t Quit You
If you’re mired in a situation like this, what should your career strategy be? Here are some ideas:
Actively work to lower your dependence on the current job, as best you can.
Put yourself in a position – financially, emotionally, or whatever else – to need this job less.
Make the crappy job as small a part of your life as possible.
Fill your outside life with incredible experiences as a way to sustain yourself through the miserable times in your job.
Assess what is beneficial and good about the job.
Once you identify those things, work like crazy to maximize those parts of the job. Even if they are a small part of what you do, find ways to do more of those things.
On the job, conduct yourself as if you might quit the job at any time.
Don’t succumb to acting like you are dependent on the job, even if you are. Just as in a personal relationship, you want to create a sense that you don’t need it if you hope to retain some power for self-determination.
Separate your personality from the job.
You can’t let yourself become synonymous with the job. It’s a job. You are you. That’s true before, during, and AFTER you have the job. Don’t define yourself within the context of the job.
Keep working on quitting.
Step up your energy and focus on getting out if it’s too miserable to continue. Don’t lull yourself into sticking around for your own career destruction.
Own Your Career Strategy
That’s my advice to stay sane and move your career strategy to a place where you can say: Dear Job, I’m Going to Quit You Right Now! – Mike Brown