How to Survive a Bad Job and Get the Next One

This article will act as a guide to not only help you survive a bad job but also to help you get a better one.

A bad job can be a serious roadblock to a person’s professional career.

There are many reasons why a job may have a negative effect on your career or personal life, but regardless of the root cause, you need to ensure that you can survive a bad job and keep up the momentum for the next step in your career path.

According to a recent report shared in Business Insider, 73% of workers are actively considering quitting their jobs. While there can be countless reasons driving resignations, it’s important to exit any position in a graceful manner and learn how to maximize the professional outcomes of even the worst jobs.

This article will act as a guide to not only help you survive a bad job but also to help you get a better one.

Remain Professional At All Times

It can be a challenge dealing with a job you hate, but it’s critical to avoid becoming overwhelmed or making any decisions based on negative emotions. An emotional outburst can disrupt your work further and create an even more toxic work environment or even result in the sudden termination of your position. Even if others are acting irrationally, it’s best to remain professional at all times and do your best to think with a clear mind.

Make Consistent HR Reports (And Keep a Copy)

If you are facing labor violations or abusive behavior from management or co-workers, then you need to ensure that you submit a clear HR report for every issue that you face. More importantly, you should keep a copy of the report, as well as any other evidence that you can collect that demonstrates the problems you are facing in your position. This information may become essential if you ever need to engage with a labor lawyer or the US Department of Labor.

Don’t Wait To Start Applying For New Jobs

A positive coping strategy for a bad job is to start applying for new jobs immediately. This will not only help keep you focused on a positive change in the future, but it will also help you avoid the potential of being unemployed or stuck dealing with a job you hate. There are a few different strategies for job hunting when you are limited by your current job, but making a small effort every day can make a big difference to the future of your career.

Learn To Compartmentalize Your Work & Personal Life

It can be difficult to separate work and personal life at times, but when you are caught in a bad job, it’s crucial to avoid letting your professional life negatively affect your personal life as well. Do your best to keep work and home life separate, which means shutting off notifications during off-hours and being vigilant with your work schedule and vacation time.

Don’t Complain To Co-Workers or Management

It might be tempting, but it’s always best to avoid complaining to co-workers or management about your job duties or problems in the workplace. It’s even more critical to never indicate that you are actively applying for new jobs or considering leaving your current position. This may result in unintended consequences such as losing your job prematurely or being pressured to quit sooner than you are ready.

Provide Generous Notice & Request a Reference Upon Resignation

When you are ready to leave your position, provide generous notice and emphasize that you want to help with a smooth transition. Although it may be hard to imagine any more time in a terrible position, a small act like this can help you exit gracefully and increase your chances of earning a positive job reference. It’s important to request this as you resign, as it can be leveraged as part of your exit strategy.

Tips To Get The Next Job

Ultimately, you will be able to ditch a bad job as soon as you have a new opportunity. This means you should prioritize your job search once you have made up your mind to leave the organization. 

It’s not easy dealing with a job you hate, but never lose hope, and your next job might just give you a whole new perspective on your career path.

Ready for the next step in your career path but unsure if you are qualified? Check out these Executive MBA programs to help accelerate your career growth.


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