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Take This Job and ... Never Mind

Part 1: What to Do When You Can't Quit


Female Office Employee Standing at a Computer

She can't quit her job at the moment so she decided to make the best of it.

Cavan Images/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Jim graduated from college last year and is now working at what he thought was his dream job. He was recruited right out of college. Right after receiving his first pay check Jim moved out of his parent's house into an apartment of his own. A couple of months later he bought a new car. All sounds great, right? Wrong.

About six months into his job, his employer merged with another company. Jim's boss, who was also his mentor, got transferred. Jim now has a new boss who pays little attention to what Jim is doing except when he criticizes him. Jim's job is still a dream — a bad one!

With a few more months of experience, Jim could start looking for a job elsewhere. Right now, though, jobs aren't plentiful in his field — at least not for someone with as little experience as he has. He's also not assured of a good reference from his current employer. Jim's situation isn't all that unusual. Many people get stuck in jobs they don't like (or even hate). As in Jim's case, quitting isn't always an option. You may have a mortgage to pay or a family to help support. Or you may not have the experience you need to get a better job. Whatever your reason for staying at a job you dislike, there are ways to make the best of a less than ideal situation.

Figure Out What You Don't Like and What You Do

The first thing you need to do is sit down and make a list of the things you don't like about your job. Now come on, don't say "everything." Sometimes when you hate something, or several things, about your job, it makes you so miserable it seems as if you hate it all.

Pick a time when there is a little distance between you and work. This will allow you to see things more clearly. Vacation time is ideal, but a weekend will do. Be specific. If you say you don't get along with your boss, list the things about him or her that bother you.

Now, list the things you like about your job. Again, don't say "nothing." Sometimes all the bad stuff overshadows the good, but if you look hard enough I'm sure you can find something that you like about your job. Maybe it's your boss, or your co-workers, or part of your job.

Part 2: Fixing What's Broken

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