ARE you waking up on every work day wishing that you did not have to go to that hell hole that is your jobs? Are your productive efforts being overlooked by your superior? Do you always bite your tongue to restrain yourself?
You are lucky if you are not among the more than half the Rwandan population that has to work for someone else. Numerous researches shows that on average more than 80% of employees go to work every day on jobs that they despise, jobs that debilitate their gifts, talents and abilities, and jobs that drain them physically and mentally. So why is it that these people continue on in a routine that is detrimental to their overall well-being?
The common excuses are: Things might get better. That head of department might be promoted out of here. That annoying co-worker could quit.
That mound of overwork could suddenly disappear. I’m not a quitter because winners never quit and quitters never win. I’ll never get another job. If I quit I’ll lose my salary, status, company car, the recognition of my peers, etc.
Everywhere else is just as bad. I’ve invested so much in this job already. My job pays very well. Quitting will look bad on my CV.
Call it lack of an alternative or a poor and overly dependent culture. Whatever the reason, I think we often become comfortable with our deplorable, stagnant and stressful working conditions.
Since the oppressive environment, unappreciative boss and regular significantly reduced paycheck outweigh the efforts required to invest in their dream, most employees will settle for immediate gratification with long-term discomfort and no sight of comfort on the horizons, rather than long-term gratification with short-term discomfort and guaranteed comfort on the horizons.
Each of these excuses may sound to you like the voice of sanity, offering perfectly good reasons why it is in fact better to stay and endure that bad job just a little longer, but look a little closer, and they don’t really hold up. What they do instead is keep you trapped in a job that is slowly but surely wearing you down.
You may have perfectly good reasons to stay in your crappy job because sometimes you’ve just got to knuckle down and take that job because you need the money.
All I’m saying is that it pays to examine those reasons very closely to make sure that they hold up because it may just be the fear talking. The longer you stay in that situation, the harder it gets to see any positive alternatives and to take action and move on.
Being unhappy at work steadily saps your energy, will power, self esteem and motivation. And it doesn’t just affect you at work-it also affects you outside of work.
When work is something that gives you no pleasure, has no meaning for you, gives you no victories or appreciation and is simply no fun, your life outside of work is likely to suffer too.
The thing is, the cost of leaving a bad job is very clear to us because the effect is immediate. The cost of keeping a bad job can be much higher, but it sneaks up on us slowly, and therefore we often forget to take that into account.
Your energy dissipates slowly. You’ll hardly notice it from one day to the next but before you know it, the life has gone out of you. You become cynical, tired, uncreative, negative – maybe even depressed, stressed and sick.
Emmanuel Nyagapfizi is a Management Information Systems manager