Why You Still Work at a Job You Hate

i hate my job

You hate your job, don’t you?

You’re tired of the same schedule and the lousy pay.

You’re tired of busting your ass only for your boss to get all of the credit.

You’re tired of begging for days off. You’re sick of working when you’re sick. You’re fed up with having more work piled on you when you’re busy enough as it is.

I’ll bet you weren’t offered a raise when they said you have to take on more responsibility, were you?

You’ve thought about finding a new job or better yet, working for yourself. Perhaps you want to be the one calling the shots and own the whole damn thing. You dream about taking a day or a week or month off whenever you like.

You envision a future where you don’t have to worry about money. You long for the day when you can say that you “made it.”

How long have you been thinking like this?

  • Weeks?
  • Months?
  • Years?

I know I was born, and I know that I’ll die, the in-between is mine. I am mine.”

I Am Mine by Pearl Jam

What Have You Done About It?

What action have you taken? You haven’t done anything? Oh sure, you’re on Google every night, looking up websites and information about “How to find the next Big Idea” or “How do I find my passion.” It’s a start you say!

Now, on the other side of the coin, there are people who are at the proverbial water’s edge, so to speak — all ready to go but they just can’t make the leap.

They’ve done the market research. They’ve figured out how they’re going to incorporate their business. They have a company name and logo and a domain name picked out.

They’ve written a business plan. Everything is in motion, but then they stop. Why?

Drumroll please ………………………. FEAR!

You Are Afraid

Now, don’t get it twisted. You might not be afraid consciously, but make no mistake — subconsciously you’re scared.

  • What if I fail?
  • What if I go broke?
  • What will my wife or parents or friends think?
  • How will I introduce myself at parties?

Here’s the good news. It’s not your fault!

Picture a baby that is developing in its womb. It is warm and sheltered. Its mother keeps it safe from danger. It is provided with the proper foods and nutrients it needs to grow. All of its needs are being met.

Now, picture a baby that has just been born. IT’S A MESS!

It is traumatized by the birth. It is born into a world where sound is too loud, and lights are too bright. It is cold and hungry.

It can no longer be fed automatically through the umbilical cord. It is no longer automatically sheltered by the womb inside its mother’s uterus. It is literally cut off from its mother. For all the baby knows, it is alone.

The baby must now rely on others for its survival. They must rely on parents or other adults to feed them and shelter them and provide clothing for them. They must rely on parents or other adults to keep predators away and protect them from disease.

This is where fear in each human being originates — from birth. You are born afraid. You need someone to take care of you.

Original Fear

Spend all of your time waiting, for that second chance, for a break that will make it okay”

– Angel by Sarah McLaughlin

This original fear is the basis for all of our fears. It’s why you wake up every day and dread going to the hell-hole you call a job again, yet you won’t quit.

It’s why you do the same thing every day and think that somehow something will change. Maybe this time it will be different. It won’t.

Take a look at how you got to where you are right now. You followed a pattern, didn’t you?

Pre-school to kindergarten to elementary school to junior high to high school. You were sent to these schools. You were told who your teachers would be, what you would learn, when you could go to the bathroom, when you could eat, when you could play and when you could leave.

All of these things were decided for you by others. You didn’t know any better because it’s literally what EVERYONE was doing. So you kept plugging away until you finally graduated high school.

Then what?

I’ll bet you were offered only two choices — go to college or get a job. If you look at it, it’s kind of really only one choice because the only reason MOST (not all) of us go to college anymore is because we think it will land us a better paying job. So really, the choices are:

  • Get a job right away, or
  • Get a job four to six years from now.

So it’s really the same choice with the difference being when you decide to join the work force.

Why Do You Work?

Now, why do we even need a job? Some say it’s because we need money for a house and cars and to pay back student loans and to buy food and have a retirement and blah blah blah. They’re right but they’re also wrong.

The reality is that we need others to take care of us. Just like we did when we were born.

A modern day corporation takes care of you by providing you:

All of these are designed to entice you to work there. In exchange, you do the same thing you did in school. You do what others decide for you.

After all of those years of school, you go right back to being told when you can arrive, when you can eat, who you can talk to, what you can wear, who you can date, when your absence is “excused,” what you can work on and when you can leave. You get to help make other people rich. Doesn’t that make you feel just grand inside?!?

The ‘Real World’ is a New Reality

We try to justify all of this by saying this is “the real world.” These are the sacrifices we have to make to have the things we want. Plus, everyone does this so what’s the big deal?

But do you know that this “reality” is only about 70 years old? Out of the thousands upon thousands of years humanity has roamed the Earth, the “real world” as we are told exists is only about 70-years-old, give or take a decade.

For most of human history, we didn’t go to college or even school. We didn’t work for corporations. We didn’t have flat screen TV’s and smartphones and self-driving cars.

We didn’t worry about retirement or mortgages or cable TV bills or cell phone bills. WE DIDN’T HAVE BILLS. We didn’t have any of these things.

We made simple houses and lived simple lives. We hunted our own food and made our own clothing. We built our own houses and made our own tools.

We banded together to help others in our own tribes. We came together to fight off predators and enemies. We still needed others for our survival but on a smaller and simpler level.

Did Ancient People Find Their Passion?

Do you think that a person who lived in, let’s say, Rome in the second century was overcome with angst because they didn’t know how to find their passion? I think “When am I going to eat again?” was probably a bigger concern.

That is the beauty of all of the things that we have now. We don’t have to worry, for the most part, about where our next meal is going to come from or if we are going to have enough clothes to stay warm.

It is a luxury afforded to some of us that we can even think or worrying about “finding our passion.” You can be passionate about a lot of things. Do them all!

We don’t have to rely on corporations to take of us anymore. All of the technological inventions that we have today have made it possible to do things that you used to need permission to do. The choices aren’t just college or a job anymore. You don’t need giant corporations to give you permission to do things anymore.

Take Control Of Your Life

Time to change has come and gone, watched your fears become your god. It’s your decision”

-Your Decision by Alice in Chains

Here’s a list of things that you can do now, on your own, that you used to have permission from a big corporation to do. You can:

  • Publish your own books.
  • Produce your own movies.
  • Create a podcast.
  • Create your own YouTube channel and have the equivalent of a weekly TV show.
  • Create and promote your own music.
  • Build your own websites.
  • Create your own online courses.
  • Learn how to code.
  • Teach a new skill.
  • Create a business — drop shipping, subscription businesses, consulting, product businesses, information products.
  • Be a freelance writer or a freelance editor or a freelance web designer.

Find Your Inspiration

You can create websites where you don’t own a single thing on the website and make BILLIONS of dollars. These are called platforms. I’m sure you’ve heard of a few:

  • Facebook
  • Alibaba
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Uber
  • AirBnB
  • Craigslist

These companies do not own anything. Take Uber for example. You own the car and you are the one doing all of the work, Uber just gives you a chance to find a customer.

You own the room or the house and you are responsible for making sure it’s clean and looks nice, but AirBnB gives you a chance to find a customer. YouTube gives you a place to upload a video or watch others who have uploaded videos.

Facebook is just a place where everyone congregates and shares stories about their own lives. You can hire and outsource work on websites like Fiverr, Elance, Freelancer or Get Friday.

You can find someone who can do pretty much build or create anything you can think of. The technology is there to 3D print a prosthetic limb for Pete’s sake!

Give yourself room to fail. Take a chance. Hire a coach. Keep your day job and start a business on the side.

Take acting classes. Teach a class. Learn a foreign language. Learn how to code. Write that damn book!

There’s never been a better time to take control of your own life. You don’t need others to take care of you any longer.

The original fear you were born with does not need to hold you back any longer. Be responsible for yourself and your own future. Be fearless!

(Photo by Christian Guthier / CC BY)

Brandon Grooms is a “fear coach” and blogger at conqueringmyfears.com. He helps people overcome their fears so they can live more meaningful lives. If you are interested in overcoming any of your fears, feel free to email him at info@conqueringmyfears.com.


  1. Steven on the 11th September

    This is an amazing article. Very powerful. If I ought to add one thing it would be: don’t rush it. Give yourself time to identify the things that are holding you back and go easy on yourself as you are working out those issues. Then, when your are ready, make the change.

  2. Dave on the 19th September

    Very good article!

  3. eraycetin on the 20th September

    “I’ll bet you weren’t offered a raise when they said you have to take on more responsibility, were you?”

    lol that was so true!

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