Here’s why people might stick around when they’re miserable at work
There are “many sides” to deciding whether to leave your job.
White House aides have expressed private distaste with President Trump’s press conference Tuesday in which he insisted there was “blame on both sides” at a white power rally in Charlottesville, Va., where activists protested neo-Nazis and white supremacists, Politico reported.
According to Axios, economic adviser Gary Cohn was “somewhere between appalled and furious” at the rowdy, combative presser originally meant to tout Trump’s infrastructure plan. Chief of Staff John Kelly — hired by the President to bring order to the chaotic West Wing — was caught on camera grimacing and slouching, arms crossed as he watched his boss speak.
“You gotta look and say, ‘This is not a guy that’s proud,’” Joseph Weintraub, an organizational psychologist and professor at Babson College, told Moneyish. “That’s an inference on my part.”
Despite the apparent disapproval from Trump’s inner circle, no one has resigned in protest. But there are logical reasons to stick with a job you can’t stand, according to experts:
The money, of course. Salary can make people stay at jobs longer than they want to, especially with kids and other expenses, Weintraub said. “Some people are willing to put up with stuff because they may be highly paid, and the ability to find another position at that level may be not there for them in the short term.”
“You don’t want to leave a job if you don’t have the finances to be able to hold you if you leave,” millennial career coach Alissa Carpenter told Moneyish.
You feel you have an impact on the organization. “I would say that if you feel particularly that you’re adding to the benefit of yourself and others, (that) you’re helping other people, there are many reasons that you might want to stay,” said Weintraub.
Your workplace offers opportunities for growth. “You might hate the job that you have, but there might be another job within the same company that you might like,” Carpenter said. “Are there upcoming conferences other learning opportunities that your organization would provide for you?”
You have a healthy ego. “If somebody is strong in terms of their own style, or confident in themselves, (or) able to have things bounce off of them … then it sometimes makes it easier to tolerate bad situations,” Weintraub said. It’s important to have “that strength to realize who you are, what your values are, and also to be able to deflect bad things,” he added, likening the ego to “a degree of body armor” that “makes bad situations more tolerable.”
People don’t tend to last long at your company. You might wait out a difficult boss in organizations with high turnover, Weintraub said. “You’re willing to put up with stuff for periods of time … if you think that this person’s not going to last and you’ve seen it before,” he added.
You have a strong peer network. “If you’re not getting the feedback or you’re not getting the support from your boss, the need to have a powerful support system inside and/or outside of your work is important,” ideally inside, said Weintraub. “Knowing you’re not the only one going through this … You can tolerate it longer.”
But sticking with your terrible gig isn’t always the best call, experts said.
“Understand why you hate it,” career expert Lynn Berger told Moneyish. “Is it because you’re not interested in the job? Is it because you’re not learning? Is it because you don’t get along with the people? Is it the role or the environment? Or if it is cutting into your values and it feels like a moral dilemma … I think you have to examine why you’d be leaving.”
If you truly don’t like your job, you shouldn’t stay in it, Carpenter added. “Because you’re going to be miserable, and you’re going to make other people miserable around you as well.” Start actively job searching while you’re still working at the place you detest, she said.
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