They Say That Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
By Dana Tuszke
Just after I lost my job, one of my closest friends took it upon herself to call me anytime a position became available at the company she works for. Since I have a background with insurance sales, and my friend works for an insurance company as a claims adjuster, she thought I'd be perfect for the job.
The thing is, I've interviewed with this company before and it wasn't a great experience. It was just me in a small room with three head honchos of the Claims Department, frantically trying to answer the questions they fired at me in rapid succession. Needless to say I didn't get the job. I caved under pressure.
This company is constantly undergoing changes in their many departments and I've listened as my friend has explained the growth of the company and the salary potential. She urges me to resubmit a resume and try to get into her department.
I'm grateful for the recommendations but I can't help but wonder what her motive is, especially since for the past few months I've listened to her complain about how hectic her job is and how miserable she feels when her managers come down on the department for lack of proficiency.
Obviously this sets off my internal alarm and makes me question whether or not I'd be happy working for a company that makes my friend hate her job. And yet she works long hours and rarely has time to spend with her kids.
I've asked my friend why she stays if she's so unhappy and she replied, "Well, I make really good money. I can't afford to leave." Not only that, she's addicted to working under pressure. It sounds crazy but she admitted feeling a rush when she succeeds after being completely stressed out.
So I wonder, is a job that pays extremely well worth all the pain and suffering? Can my friend break up with her bad job? Will she break the addiction she has to the working under fire?
Like any other relationship, it's difficult to know when it's time to leave a job. Even if things have gone from bad to worse, some employees believe they won't find a new job with adequate pay, they fear "starting from scratch" or becoming the newbie once again.
Like my friend, some employees make excuses for why they stay and even after acknowledging the negative work atmosphere, they take no steps to move forward. Some employees suffer from anxiety and fear when contemplating ending their job and therefore cling to it even more. Which may explain why my friend is constantly encouraging me to apply for an open position. Or maybe she just needs a friend in the work place?
In a way, an addiction to a bad job reminds me of suffering an abusive relationship. The worker may think that if he or she just keeps trying, the problems will fix themselves.
The first step to breaking up with a bad job is figuring out what is holding you back. So many of us don't fully recognize all the options we have until it's too late.
Several years ago, I was addicted to a job. Like my friend, I worked for a travel insurance company that made my work life pure hell.
I truly thought I couldn't leave because of the great money I was making, and because I didn't believe I could succeed anywhere else.
Four years later I hit my breaking point and walked off the job. I didn't have other employment lined up and the split took a toll on my financial wellbeing. Not to mention, my husband was extremely upset.
Had I taken control of the situation instead of letting the situation control me, I could have avoided all the worrying I did after I quit. When people feel in charge of their lives, and their own destinies, they are more likely to be proactive and make better choices for themselves.
Sometimes the best choice is to walk away, but ending the bad relationship wisely and cautiously is even better.
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