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7 Terrible Excuses You Tell Yourself to Stay in a Job You Hate

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When you find yourself unhappy in your job, what do you do? While the first thought would be to change the dreaded position, for most people this is rarely the case. Many employees continue to struggle and stick it out, lying to themselves why they can’t quit and hoping that things will get better.

Unfortunately, staying in a job you hate doesn’t usually magically get better. The longer you stay, the more your stress will increase, and you’ll be headed towards a fast burn-out. Here are 7 excuses that people tell themselves about why they can’t quit.

At Least I Have a Secure Job

We get it. The thought of having to face the unknown realities of an uncertain job market are scary. Knowing that you have a secure position with your current employer can seem comforting.

But job security is often not nearly as guaranteed as we think it is. With the market constantly changing, there are fewer and fewer jobs that are truly secure. What would you do if you suddenly lost your job anyway due to a buyout or merger? Why not do that now?

I’ve Invested Too Much

You went to college, earned your degree, and worked hard to get where you are. Isn’t this exactly what you wanted? Realizing that you made some bad choices for yourself can be the hardest thing to do.

The appearance of having worked hard and achieved success might leave others thinking that changing tracks now is a terrible mistake you’re making. Remind yourself that you didn’t put in all that hard work for them, and that you didn’t put all that hard work in so that you can be miserable.

I Need to Plan For My Retirement


The idea of jeopardizing their retirement planning and possibly receiving reduced benefits is unnerving. But unless you’re within 5 years of retirement, you can easily make up the reduced benefit amount by accruing retirement benefits at a new job.

But I Have Family Obligations

If you have a spouse or children that are dependent on your job for financial security or health insurance, it can definitely make you think twice before you just up and quit. But keep in mind it can be a process, and that you can manage a career change with a smooth transition for your family if you go about it right.

In this case you will want to look for another job and secure alternate employment before you quit, but if you keep the goal of getting out of your miserable situation in mind, you may find it easier than you think to find a new job.

I Lack Marketable Skills


You know, nobody starts out with a strong skill set. These are things that take time to develop. Focus on things like your soft skills. These are the general things like people skills, good communication, organization, and determination. If you’re switching careers, no one is going to expect you to have all the skills starting out, but you will learn them, just like you did for your current career.

I’m Comfortable Here

People resist change. Whether it’s your home life, your opinions, or your job, deciding to make big changes in your life can be difficult. You may find yourself so settled into a routine that the idea of upending it and trying something new is overwhelming. The important thing to remember is that change can be a good thing, especially if you’re miserable.

I’m Too Old to Change Paths

This is a really poor excuse for staying in a job you hate. If you’ve recently realized that you’ve spent the last 20 years doing something that you abhor, why on earth would you decide to spend the rest of your working life doing it? As we get older, our opportunities decline simply because we have less time in which to try new things. What are you waiting for?

There are numerous other excuses that we make for sticking with an unfulfilling and frustrating job. But they are all still just excuses. Staying in a job you hate is only going to cause you more stress and difficulty in the long run.

pearls of wisdom
Evie Cooper
Evie Cooper
Evie Cooper is a project manager and a team leader, working at online data libraries like Postcode Checker. Particularly interested in increasing one's career opportunities, Evie is often online, sharing her career, management, and education tips with both employees and job-seekers. Feel free to reach out to her on @CooperEviee.


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