Seems like I have heard from several people lately seeking advice about what to do when a work situation has become intolerable.
The boss is a tyrant, or an evil co-worker is constantly waiting behind a cubicle to back stab you, or even, the work load is so overwhelming that it haunts you day… and night.
This is the point where you need to step back for the proverbial reality check.
How much is all this stress, anxiety, worry, covering your bee-hind, etc. etc. actually costing you?
Is a bad job worth the cost of your sanity… or peace of mind?
When we factor in the paycheck divided by the sheer number of hours we have to spend defending ourselves, going to counseling, or any other activity we have to resort to just to keep our head above water, then Houston, we have a problem.
Usually, the job costs aren’t worth it.
It’s time to get out.
But as a wise person once told me: NEVER leave a job until you have another one lined up. It is much harder to try and find work when you aren’t working, than if you are.
Especially now since so many employers are discriminating against the unemployed.
So what’s the plan, then?
The first thing is that you have to actually create a plan.
Finding that lucky alignment of planets / moons / stars where you can find the right job at that very right moment is rare indeed.
So the trick here is this: The earlier that you realize that job costs are outweighing the pay and start formulating an escape plan, the more success you will have because you will have built a pipeline to a new job faster.
Sitting around hoping things will improve is just delaying the inevitable: This ain’t gonna end well!
As soon as things start to get dicey (listen to that inner voice), make sure you’ve polished off your resume. Keep going to networking events (and if you haven’t been in awhile, now is the time!). Start identifying companies that ARE desirable to work for, and initiate some networking efforts towards contacts at those companies.
The best friend you can have in terrible situations like these is your gut instinct. If something isn’t right, you’ll know it.
Ultimately, you and you alone are in charge of your career destiny, so you need to rely on yourself to advocate for your future.
And when the job costs outweigh the pay, that is a clear signal that you need to move on to greener pastures.
For your own sanity, and personal health.