My job sucks. But for now, staying is better than leaving. Here's why.

These days, with so many options for entrepreneurship and side hustles available to twenty-somethings, and being encouraged from every corner to follow our dreams, it’s not uncommon to be working a day job to pay the bills and work a someday-this-will-pay-the-bills job in the evenings (or vice versa, depending).

It’s also not uncommon for this day job to be uninspiring and even draining sometimes, because it’s so far from what we want it to be, and pulls time and attention away from our side hustle.  Still, we pay our dues, give our day job everything it deserves, and make it work.

But what if we hate our day job?  What if we work a day job so horrible it makes us want to quit, every single day?

That’s my reality.

I have a day job I can’t stand.

It’s contract work, and the rules change all the time, without proper notice.  When I make mistakes because I’m following the “old” rules instead of the new ones, I get blamed for not staying on top of it, and told, “I don’t know why you’re doing it this way.”  Because you told me to.  The quality of the work I receive to do is sometimes horrific; in spite of giving feedback on this, there’s been little to no change.  The pay rate hasn’t risen in the last 10 years and the amount of work available each month dips and soars unpredictably.  The contractor I work with is so mercurial, I’ve been known to burst out crying at my desk after reading a particularly scathing email from them.

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Friends have asked why I don’t quit and find another job, if this one’s so horrible.  They see the impact it has on me, day in and day out.  Some of them can’t understand why I stay.

I’ve thought of quitting.  I’ve looked into other job options, weighed the pros and cons.  As hefty as the cons are of my current employment, it still suits me, for now.

At the moment, I’m also working a side hustle (my dream job) which doesn’t bring in much, if any, income.  It will, though, given time and room to grow.  Because I’m running it as a solo show, I handle all of the administration and technical aspects, as well as the creative side.  And, to be honest, I enjoy that. I enjoy all of it!

So what does this have to do with my horrific day job?  Can I tell you a secret?

It’s comfortable.

I don’t mean that in the sense of being scared to leave my comfort zone.  If that was the case, I wouldn’t be doing half the things I’m doing with my side hustle.  I mean it in the sense that it’s a known entity.

Looking for another job now means sorting out my resume, filling out applications, researching employers, and spending valuable time and energy trying to find myself a position that will (a) pay the bills and (b) allow me the relative freedom to pursue my side hustle. Are there jobs out there like this?  I’m sure there are.

The amount of time it would take me to find a job like this, though, let alone the time involved in the application process and learning the ropes … it’s not worth it.  Not to me.

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As much as I love it, working my side hustle takes mental energy as well as physical energy, and I can’t afford to expend any more than I already am.

I know myself.  I know that things don’t always click for me right away, that I’ll doggedly pursue them until they do click, until I’m doing them to the best of my ability.  I’ve spent years picking up the knowledge and developing the skillset for my current day job, and learning how to run a business–and the actual running of that business–is something else entirely.

Adding even more on top of all that?  That’s more stress than I want to take on or even feel I should take on.

Yes, there are numerous downsides to my day job.  However, it does let me work at home, with no boss to stand over me and dictate when I take my lunch break.  I can take a few extra minutes to do yoga in the middle of the day if work is stressing me out too much.  I have some control over how I schedule my days, so if I want to devote a day to my side hustle and then work like crazy that evening on my day job, I can do that.

Working a job you despise is not the ideal, that’s for sure.

The days when I cry at my desk and cringe at a bitchy email from my contractor make it hard to feel it’s worth it.

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Right now, though, for the most part, it’s working for me.  It’s working for me because it’s not forever.

I’m seeing growth in my side hustle, my dream job, and that’s already helping me breathe a little easier.  The more viable that business becomes, the better I’m able to cope with the stress of my day job.  It’s also forcing me to develop self-care routines, something I’ve neglected for far too long, and those will stay with me and make my life better for years to come.  I’m investing in myself, in my happiness, in my future, and this day job is helping me do that.

For that, I’m actually grateful for it.

I’m grateful to have a job when so many people are searching for one.  I’m grateful for the opportunity it’s giving me to pursue my side hustle with a certain element of freedom.  And I’m grateful for the research skills, and other related skills, it’s helped me develop.

Come quitting day, though, I am going to toss all my work documents in the virtual recycling bin, delete every day job-related program, and never look back, because that is it.  I will never again work a job I despise, because I’ll be working at one I absolutely adore, and this day job will have helped me get there.

You’ll hear my ecstatic cry from every rooftop in the world.

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Are you working a job you can’t stand? How is it affecting your life?