I Hate My Job but Can’t Afford to Quit. What Can I Do?

Sometimes we can feel trapped in a situation. For example, many of us have times when we dislike our jobs, but we also feel we can’t leave. This can happen whether it is a service job, a corporate job, or any other type of employment – especially as the job market is not very easy to navigate at the moment.

However, there are ways to get out of a job you can hate. If you have the right mindset and take the right path, you can take steps to leave a job that you hate and find a new job or new career.

Look at issues in your current job

If you are feeling stuck in your job, the first thing to do is take a good look at your current job. It is always worth seeing if you can improve your current job and your current situation. You might find that some of the things that make you hate your job can be addressed to make your current job more enjoyable.

For example, you should look into what aspects of the job you hate. If you feel that your boss is micromanaging and this is making you miserable, you may find that having an honest conversation with your boss can help you both find a more comfortable balance for both of you.

Obviously, if you find you hate the whole field you are in, this may well be impossible to fix in your current job – though you should still make sure to identify the problems before you quit. If you know what makes you hate your job, you can try to make sure that you get a new job that you should find more enjoyable.

Can HR help?

If you feel that any of the problems in your current position are to do with unfair treatment from a co-worker, boss, or another employee of your current employer, you may want to contact your company’s Human Resources department. They may be able to help resolve these issues to make sure that you can continue in your job. HR can typically also help if you feel that you are having problems in your job role due to health problems.

Are there any promotion opportunities?

Many people feel stuck on the bottom rung of their career ladder and want to look into how they could advance. It is always worth seeing if there are promotion opportunities with your current employer – and ideally, you should try to get specifics about what kind of promotions you can aim for, as well as the new skills you could need to learn to progress beyond your current role.

However, you should be careful not to rely too heavily on promotion within a company you already work for. Many people find that seeking new employment elsewhere is a faster way to a promotion or a pay increase than staying in their existing job.

Can you retrain within your current company?

If you want a new career entirely, you can also find out if your employer has room for you to move sideways – that is, rather than aiming for a promotion in your field, you could look into what other types of careers they hire for. For example, if you dislike working in a factory, you could see if your employer is willing to consider you training up to work in their financial department. Some employers will even help you re-train for a different job role, but these employers are rare.

Things to consider while looking for a new job

If the above advice does not help, and if you have decided that you are going to quit and find a new job, there are plenty of things to consider to make sure that you are making progress in the right way – and it is vital to go about it the right way to make sure that you do not land in a bad financial situation.

Of course, the best advice is to not quit a job until you have a better job lined up. While it may be difficult to stay in a job you hate, being unemployed can be stressful and it can make your life worse.

Stay on good terms with your current employers

You might hate your job, but it is important to stay on good terms with your employer if you can. You never know how they might be able to help you in the future, and there is no sense in burning bridges when you don’t need to. If you know when you are quitting, you should give your boss the proper notice period if you can, and continue to work well during your notice period.

While you might hate your job, unfortunately, the job market is tough for a lot of people at the moment, and you may find that you have to return to a company that you quit for a job if you end up in a bad situation. Making sure you are on good terms with people in this business can help make sure that they are there as a potential safety net.

The other reason to stay on good terms with your boss is that your next job may well ask for a reference, and your employer is more likely to give you a good reference if you are respectful and polite.

Obviously, it is not always possible to end a job on good terms. If your employer is acting in an unethical, unsafe, or discriminatory way, you may not be able to.

Make connections with other people in your field

Getting a new job – especially one where you earn more money – can often depend on your connections. As soon as you start thinking that you might want to quit your job, you should start trying to make good connections, both with people in your current organization, as well as people in competing organizations. Having connections means that you may get advanced notice of a job opening, or you may have someone to help put a good word in for you while you are job hunting. Of course, you do not have to be a close friend to someone, you should maintain a professional relationship.

What if I can only find a lower-paying job?

A lot of people feel that they hate their job but can’t afford to quit. This is an unfortunate case, especially if you live in areas without a huge amount of job diversity. This is one of the things that makes it vital to not quit your job without having a plan in place.

If the only jobs you can find are lower-paying jobs, you need to consider your finances and income against your expenses. Having a proper financial plan can be the make-or-break factor in finding a new job.

Cutting expenses

If your income is going to drop when you quit your job, you may need to look at ways to cut your expenses to suit your new income. This can be difficult for a lot of people, but there are some common areas to look at.

First of all, you should start getting an overview of your current situation. You can do this by looking through your expenses for the last six months. This should include all your bills, as well as taxes, unexpected bills, and discretionary spending. This can help you find ways to save money.

For example, if you find that you are going out with friends most nights a week, you may be able to cut your outgoings by limiting how many times you see friends or by suggesting cheaper meet-ups at your home. You can also look at the kinds of food and personal products you buy and switch to cheaper options. You might find that these simple steps make all the difference in sorting out your financial situation.

Of course, if you are only just scraping by, you may not find any ways to save money. It is always worth trying, but the simple truth is that some people cannot cut down their daily expenses and will have to find other ways to bring their income and expenses into line.

Ensure you have an emergency fund

It is sometimes tempting when you are thinking about quitting your job, to just pack it in. On stressful says it can be very tempting to quit on the spot, but this is not a good idea. Ideally, you should have another job lined up before you quit. However, at the very least, you should make sure that you have enough savings.

Most financial advice suggests that you have at least three month’s worth of expenses saved up at all times as an emergency fund, but if you are planning to quit your job without another job lined up, some experts recommend that you have emergency funds to cover at least six months’ worth of expenses.

Having a good emergency fund is important because it means that you can continue to live at your current standard of life without having to worry. This is why it is important to make sure that your fund covers all your bills and expenses, as well as having extra money for any emergencies that crop up. This will help you focus on the matter at hand – finding a new job – without worrying too much about money in the meantime.

Other sources of income

If you cannot find a job that pays as well as the job you want to quit, you may need to find an additional source of income to help make sure that you can pay your bills. This can include a side business or a part-time job, and there are many options for how to approach these.

When looking for a part-time job to bolster your incoming pay, you should make sure that it is not too tiring – if you end up working too many hours each week, you may find that you are no happier than before you quit the job you hated. This means that you need to make sure you get enough hours to rest and sleep even after both jobs. Finding a part-time job with nice co-workers can also help make sure that the work is less stressful. You should also consider the kind of environment you want to work in – if you find an office setting stressful, you should avoid part-time jobs in offices.

When looking at a side hustle, you need to consider this time management and work-life balance issue, but you also need to make sure that your side hustle is profitable. There are some side businesses advertised that can be predatory and can end up pushing people further into the red, so it is important to make sure you know what you are signing up for.

What can I do to prepare for job hunting?

When you know you want to quit your job, you can start to focus on what needs to be done to make the future as bright as possible. While you might hate your job, wallowing in self-pity will not help but preparing to quit will.

Prepare your CV

While most people do not enjoy writing their CV, it is important to make sure that you have your CV ready to start job hunting – something that you should do before your quit your post. You should make sure that your CV includes all of your skills and employment or business experience – even if you do not think your experience will help with job hunting, you should get another person to help look over your CV, as you might be missing off useful information. A lot of people suffer from low self-esteem which can make us write our CVs to give a worse view of our skills than is actually true.

Talk to your supervisors

It is always polite to make sure that your supervisors know you are job hunting, as long as you know that they are not likely to fire you because of it.

Final thoughts

Being stuck in a career you hate but being unable to afford to quit is challenging. However, it is never too late to focus on how to improve your future, and getting your financial situation sorted can take away the worry about money while you are job hunting – and being more relaxed and confident helps when trying to further your career by leaving a job you hate.

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