No one likes to work, right? Let’s face that most jobs aren’t inherently fun and there’s at least a million memes to prove it.
So where do you draw the line between good, healthy contempt for being told what to do and realizing that your job is straight up terrible?
I’ve had my fair share of these internal debates. I once worked a job in leasing where at the end of every shift I had to turn in a detailed report of everything I did that day, who I called, who I emailed, who I spoke to. I had to copy and paste the URL of every listing I refreshed on online platforms as some sort of proof that I did it. It was ridiculous, invasive and distrustful and I did this everyday for 8 months.
Luckily, I had a better opportunity come along and had the chance to leave. Would I have quit had I not? No. Here’s why:
If you hate it but you’re learning a lot, stay.
I was making minimum wage for quite a demanding job. I had a lot of responsibility and bosses were on top of me 24/7 to make sure I knew that and I didn’t mess up. Unenjoyable for sure, but I learned so many lessons there that I would take with me to my current position. The owner was an extremely intelligent businessman and shared his wisdom openly and I’ve benefited because of it. Even though the pay wasn’t great and I dreaded showing up, it was worth it.
If you’re at a job and it has nothing to do with your future career goals (let’s say you want to be a photographer and you’re working at a bagel shop) and you’re learning nothing of value, then it’s time to look for something else. I highly recommend looking for something, even if the pay is a little lower (but you can afford it, of course), in your desired industry or something with transferable skills. Like working as a photographer’s assistant!
If it’s affecting your home life/mental health, QUIT.
It’s hard not take work home with you. It’s okay to vent to friends and family about your workplace gripes. But when does it get to the point where this is all that you talk about? Do you notice it is starting to put a strain on the ones closest to you? Do you cry because of your job? There was a point in time I’d average 2 cries a week because of my previous position! And not because of the work, but because of how I was treated.
Everybody, especially us young people going through a lot of change and trying to navigate these new waters, needs to be extremely conscious of their mental health. If you don’t have your happiness or your peace of mind, you don’t have much and it’s time to prioritize you.
There’s no real science of knowing when to stay or go, but I believe in trusting your gut. I recommend waiting until you have a concrete job lined up before quitting, but you’ll know if the time is right.