Episode 43

Surviving a Bad Job

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After graduating from college and law school, I passed the bar and was excited about getting my first job. It was a job unlike anything law school could have prepared me for. I hated it. I wasn’t discouraged however, and after taking time out to have a family, I went back to work. This time, I was lucky enough to find the right job. So many people are not in jobs that they really love. What can you do to make your life a joyous one and a complete one, even if you have a job that isn’t your passion? Tell me your story.

Your stories

  1. Struggling Single Mom

    by Brenda
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  1. Happy in my Job!

    by Marvin I am retired now but when I was working, I enjoyed my place of employment. Many todays do not say that. They are never satisfied in developing a working relation with the company they are employed by. I started out as a Factory Clerk, Machine Parts Inspector, Metrology Inspector, Quality Engineer and with the advances provided the company provided, I ended up as a Senior Quality Engineer. I was limited in my education but the company included work related experience to qualify my position. I did have some college but not a degree. So, you see I was very fortunate and blessed in my vocation. In 1999 I retired making $29 an hour and even in today market is pretty good pay. I was single and knew when I got old there would only be me taking care of me. I bought up stock in the company. I was saving over 50% of my pay. It paid off when I retired. With the assets I have now is well over a Million Dollars. I have been blessed in so many ways.
  2. Struggling Single Mom

    by Brenda Well, I am a single mom. I have worked at Walmart for the past 5 years, and I really want to get out of retail. It is very hard being that I am a single mother. And it is hard to find another job. BTW I love you Judge Judy. I watch you every day. I have learned a lot from you. I wish I could find my calling.
  3. Always expanding my knowledge and skills.

    by Tony This year I turn the age of 34 years old, and I have had many odd jobs since the age of 13. Some previous employment opportunities were interesting and some were rather quite dreadful, but being a hard worker, I have always put my all into my job position. The number one trait I learned was to always keep a smile on my face and be willing to learn new skills or new techniques when it came to specific areas of my position. This helped keep my mind focused on the job rather than the parts I disliked. I can also say that personalities also can ruin a job while working, and I also learned to accept that we are not all alike, because this can also hurt our perception of our career and it is better to just focus on your work rather than to be upset with an opinion of someone else or that they do not share your traits. It is better to look forward and to also keep an open mind at work to move forward in your career and never think the smallest job will not help you advance in different areas.
  4. Not a quitter

    by Connie Helping people has always been my passion. I was a school nursing assistance, later a medical assistant, and finally earned my Bachelors for Health Care Administration. It was rough growing up, but I had parents who loved me. My passion would be working with Hospice. After getting me and my children out of a verbal, alcoholic relationship, one of my children passed away. It tore me to pieces. He passed from a backway drive-over, with me being the driver. It took me years to get my life somewhat back. I have worked for a Physician Service for over a year now. I used to love my job, but then my manager found out that I was graduating from the schooling that is required for her job. She has nitpicked at everything and written me up with no verbal warnings. She hopes that I would quit. But no, I'm not a quitter. I'm standing up for myself and what I feel is wrongly done to me. I cry a lot when I leave work, but I won't quit.
  5. Fight Your Fear!

    by Justine Hi Everyone, I have been in a relationship for the past seven years, and I finally left him. I walked out. The reason why is pretty simple - we didn't have mutual plans for the future, and he was looking for other options outside of our relationship (now I know). We had continued living together, and it was a horrible experience. I'm an immigrant coming from Poland and living in the UK. It was very hard to leave this person and start up again (2nd start up in my life, first was building my life in UK) but I managed to change my job in the meantime and started to control my life again. I helped him put his life together and continue my career in the meantime...and what was the reason for me to stick around for so long? I was afraid and am still, but I managed to do more for myself than ever before, and I'm damn proud. It's not that scary once you do it. Fear somehow melts down along the way, and I'm learning to overcome it every day. I'm doing things for myself, and let it be this way!
  6. Logistics!

    by Bobbi I am a very bubbly, boisterous, hard-working lady and have been most of my life. After high school, I joined the USAF and did well until I got pregnant and married...yes in that order. Although I don't regret my children, I do regret doing it so early in my life (at 18). After four years, I got out of the Air Force and did go back to school to get my degree. Two jobs, raising children, and dealing with a husband who would not work steady was alot, but I did it. The jobs were anything from Deli work to Retail. One day, I took my resume and walked the Industrial parks and landed a job in shipping. Thirty years later and I am still in shipping only I am the Head Traffic Controller of an Electrical Component Distributor. Yes, I make ok money and benefits, but there are days when I say what am I doing here? This is not what I really wanted to be when I grew up. But here I am. I am grateful, but there are days I long for more...
  7. Bus Driver Slides By

    by Linda I like what I'm doing. I don't love it like I use to. I moved into a new area where everything is different.  I tried to accept the changes. I put on my work hat in the morning and run all day. I don't feel like I get any respect at all; I feel used. I'm the one who is always wrong, even if I'm right. I tried cutting back, but that's not me. I get used and abused because I'm a worker. I do what I'm told by my supervisors, and I get condemned for that. I don't know how to be happy anymore...
  8. Surviving a bad job

    by Winny I have a job that I don't like, but I have to deal with it, as I have to survive and pay my bills and put food in my mouth. Sometimes, we have no choice in our lives, but we could make our life more challanging than before. We have a chance to experience something we've never had before. I think about what I would like to do in my future, but in the end, I realised that there is no perfect job in the world. Every job has advantanges and disvantages. I realise that I am so lucky to have a job, and I am so grateful for what I have in my life. I look at people below me, and I see them struggle. The lesson I gained from this is that I must be happy with the job I have and the life I live.
  9. Serving the Public

    by Carolyn I am a 56-year-old female. Every job I ever had forced me to deal with the public on some level. Six years ago, I was offered a job where I could remain in the food service profession without actually having to deal one-on-one with people. I had always thought of them as either "local idiots", or "out of town idiots". They were all the same demanding and uneducated in the ways of serving the public effectively. After one year, I missed those people and the human interaction that filled my days and taught me about the most important part of my life, people. All of a sudden, I was lonely. I have requested a new position with the same company to a job that requires interacting with customers. From now on, I am going to watch what I ask for. Thanks.
  10. My Dream Job - Being A DJ/Video DJAY

    by Alvin I have always been a very animated and creative person. At one point in my life as a child, I said that I wanted to be a fire fighter. I think that was probably because I loved fire engines, even though I don't recall having owned a fire engine as a kid. I was just learning about what I wanted to do. One of the funny things that I remember as a child, around the age of 8 or 9, was telling my mother that I kept wishing and dreaming that I would wake up and be a grownup overnight. I had always been fascinated with computers since I was in high school and the Microsoft Office 97 suite was how they taught us at school on how to type. Fast forward, I was 26 I think and I had come home from the gym and I had this old IBM Thinkpad a friend had given me. It was a laptop. It was really slow, but I learned how to keep it working smoothly so that I could use it effectively. I had this DJ software I had been playing around with and I think I found my niche. Since then, I am always creating music.
  11. Do what you love!

    by Charlotte I started off working in law - first as office junior, then secretary and until I had finished my first year of legal exec training, my salary stayed the same as when I sorted mail and photocopied about 3095232 pages a day. I took on a second part-time job working nights in a care home and swore blind it would be the first and last shift I ever did. I started work behind a bar and was sacked three shifts later for throwing food at rowdy guests. Not my finest hour I know but if you saw those horrible guests with buffet food dropping off them you'd appreciate it too. I would rather take a huge cut in salary, downsize our property and chew on a wasp before being made to carry on with a job I hate . I love what I do now but feel so bad for people who aren't so lucky and either don't have the strength or the option to quit. Do what you love!
  12. 2nd Degree/Career Pursuit

    by SherriJ I recently decided to go back to school to pursue a masters degree in nursing and become a NP. I am 28 years old and have JUST found my passion. It has not been an easy road and still isn't easy. I work full-time, volunteer at a hospital, and go to school full-time. For the past 7 years, I have been on the journey of self discovery. I am and always have been an all-or-nothing person, so not knowing my purpose has really affected me. I became depressed, had low self esteem and no confidence because I just hated my jobs and essentially felt like a failure. Moreover, the pay was not great, and financially I was struggling. Hating your job is not easy to endure. It takes strength, focus, and creativity to get through. Strength to endure the anguish, focus to find your passion when your'e off the clock (and sometimes on the clock), & creativity to know how to make your life most pleasurable. My journey has not been easy but every day I feel better about life and myself. To be continued...
  13. follow your bliss

    by don I think I tend to want to follow the crowd. So when I was younger the mantra of the day was follow your bliss, do what you love and you will be successful. Some people do find the job they love. Unfortunately I was never one of those that found a job they love. As a young man, supporting my family, being successful in a career was extremely important to me. But as I could not find that bliss job I felt like a failure. But i read one sentence in a book that really helped me. It said, if you cant find a job you love do something after work that you love to do, this will give you fresh energy and carry you through. That is what I did, I love animals and have been donating and volunteering for many years now and it is my true bliss. Helps me cope and feel like that I have accomplished something.
  14. As my dad said...

    by Lori ..."I was looking for a job when I found this one." I've worked at over 20 different places, I've been laid off many times, and as long as I was flexible, I was able to find another job. I've never been on unemployment--there was always something available. Three things will help you: 1. Be flexible. The chronically underemployed people are what I call the not-willings: not willing to work weekends or evenings, or work in certain industries, or move where their prospects would be better. 2. Don't stay around too long. I recently quit a job after a day--I knew I was going to be unhappy there and it was going to be better for my employer. Staying makes the bad job the devil you know. Besides, if your performance is poor, you could end up being fired: your boss and your coworkers don't want to work with a complaining sad sack. 3. Do your best while you're there. It'll make the time go faster and you'll be more likely to leave on good terms.
  15. Practicality or Happiness?

    by Rich My parents are immigrants from South Korea and they raised me in a very "conservative" way. My parents insisted that I choose a practical career path and as a result, I went to medical school after graduating college. After two weeks, I was extremely unhappy because I always dreamed of being a musician. During my first semester, after all my classes, I quickly finished my assignments and headed over to a local jazz bar to watch performances and after a month, I mustered up the courage to approach one of the musicians to ask him how I can go about doing what he does. One thing led to another and now, much to my parents' disapproval, I'm working in media and music production. Pay isn't as great as it would have been if I stayed in medical school but no money could have ever brought me happiness. You're right. If you pick a "job" you love, you never work a day in your life.
  16. Responsibility!

    by Missy I have survived my job because you have to work. Bills are not going to pay themselves. I don't really look at a job whether I like it or not. The question is, does it feed, clothe and put a roof over myself and my child, and the answer is yes. So to me, yes I survive because that is life. Because my job provides that, I survive.
  17. Surviving tiring retail...

    by Jeremy At 28, I went back to retail. My feet now hate me. I'm a current college student working for my future to become my reality. My feet scream through a graveyard shift into swing; the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge of my future getting closer to my reach, I tell myself you've come too far to stop now. I hear my late grandmother saying to me be "quitters never win, you don't come from quitters, you can make it I believe in you." So even though the pay isn't great and I never sit during an 8+ hr shift, I know when I get to school I'm wired with caffeine and painful hurting feet. So surviving retail is just the current situation. I always tell myself this isn't permanent; this to shall pass. Focus on the why that will keep you going even when you want to throw in the towel and give up. I know where I want to be in 5 years and tell my friends retail surely isn't it by a long shot. I have a double major college career. "We can do this"
  18. Be Intentionally Caring

    by Kollina My first job was a love/hate relationship. At 17 years old I worked in a traveling booth at fairs/festivals for an airbrush artist. I learned a little about airbrushing, worked 12-14 hours per day, and made well below min. wage. I was thrilled to be working anyway, and saved every penny to afford to buy my first car. My boss was a miser, definitely a shady character, though he could be charming in a sleazy kind of way. He gave me such a horrible guilt trip when I told him I was done working for him, I walked away in tears. Thankfully I stuck to my guns and was able to hold it together until I was out of sight/earshot. I loved the work though, meeting new people and painting all day. I think the people you work for (or with) make a huge impact on the work experience. If you're surrounded with happy, caring people, you could be scrubbing toilets and still have a good time! The more happiness and thoughtfulness you can infuse in your workplace, the better it will be for everyone. =)
  19. I survived and made it into a all men industry

    by Lisa Graduated from an Ivy League school with a major that jobs despise. At my first job, I was harassed by my employer and cried a dozen times. One day I decided to disappear from that job not saying a word. I financially relied on my partner and joined a computer science class. A year later, the relationship went south, I was financially restrained, doubted myself, was emotionally distressed but something kept me going. And two years later I am a software engineer at a company with very good pay and happy environment. I will never ever put myself back there again where I am financially relying on someone. never ever again...
  20. Whistle While You Work

    by Don I'm a happy guy. Almost always positive at work; smiles & laughs at work while busy! One of my 1st jobs out of College, I was 21. Just met the love of my life. We both got hired for a $3/hr job at a Hospital Kitchen. Happy to be working with my girlfriend. You don't want to be apart one min when you are young and in love! 15 min into 1st day at work washing dishes, I was whistling a cheery little song with all the noise of a busy kitchen. My Mgr came up to me, stern look and said: "We do NOT whistle" at work!" Stunned, I stopped. And thought. 5 min later, both my girlfriend & I took off our aprons, Gave them to the Mgr, and SHE was shocked! I said, "if I can't be happy at work, we quit." And happiiy walked out on the job, hand in hand! Is this responsible? No. Point being, we spend 1/3rd of each 24 hr day at work. Why be miserable? 40 yrs later, I am still one of those people with a positive, cherry attitude at work, who helps the whole team keep smiling and productive. Be happy!
  21. getting old enough to know a few things..

    by sue I have been a singer/comedienne..a truck driver a coach driver ..I have run my own business..worked in a factory..worked in an office,,I now repair small engines etc for a big diy retail store..I am now 62 and glad I can retire early..because we need to make a living..my passion is for saving animals that have been abandoned etc..but passion can cost money..and you have to do mundane jobs to support the passion..you will be lucky to get a job you are passionate about.
  22. A disappointment - UK

    by Boothroy After years of studying, poorly-paid jobs and hard work, I thought I had found my calling. I work in education and my passion has always been to work with disadvantaged SEN children. I got a job at a school that seemed to share this passion. I was so excited to finally be in a position to make a difference and do things they way I knew they needed to be done. But disappointingly, the school's ethos was just buzz words to the staff and leaders. The difference is that these highly qualified professionals actively dislike the students and have absolutely know knowledge about how to meet their needs socially, emotionally or educationally. They are there for the prestige of the school as it will help them climb. I feel very desolate and lonely there. I love the kids, but with the institution as it is, I'm fighting the tide...
  23. Disappointing job

    by Jane My daughter has a job she really doesn't like. It drains her emotionally, frequently. She has trained to be a yoga instructor but because it doesn't offer her enough financial security to be able to survive on the pay, she has a job to pay her bills and take care of business. The yoga offers her a chance to recharge her batteries and reconnect and feel she can keep going. The job that pays the bills offers her money to pay and play. Her male friend is emotionally draining as well so she really has to draw long and hard on the yoga to fill the gaps her choices seem to take away. Another job is in the works but until it offers something in writing she continues to do the personal things she has learned yoga to stabilize her emotionally.
  24. I loved all my jobs

    by Bunny I worked my way up from a printing company to be an excellent computer typesetter. I was even working from home up in Woodstock and punching a paper tape. Then I wound them up and sent them to NYC by bus. It was great being able to work at home and raise my son in the country. But eventually computers became a common thing for everyone and I was out of a job. I am now 71 and have been on oxygen 24/7 for 15 years. I still miss my jobs and working in NY. I loved what I did and was always in demand. I even worked doing briefs and opinions for the supreme court for awhile. Sure wish I was still able to work. Whenever someone asked me what I did for a living I had to go into detail and explain everything. Now everyone has passed me by. But at least I'm able to see you 6 days a week on TV. For that I'm happy and to stay at home with my little dog and 2 cats is another joy. Thanks so much for entertaining me and letting those who deserve it have it! What's with all the tattoos anyhow?
  25. 50 year old college kid

    by Colleen I had a job these last eight years that I thought would serve me well when I moved to New Jersey. I was fooling myself, of course. When you have to do something you know you must do, but you don't know if you can, it is easy to find excuses to avoid it. Being of a certain age seems to make it easier to justify such avoidance issues. I have thought of going to school for the last 10 years. A job came up, I didn't go. The job was teaching me enough, I didn't go. I can use this awesome work ethic and experience. Not anymore. Reality has sunk in. I am here in New Jersey and I have had no less than 15 job interviews. At every interview, it seemed like a comedy was playing out. SOMETHING would happen. Something stupid or something unexpected would unfold. It would be comical in hindsight. I don't have to have a house fall on me! Guess who is going to college this quarter? There will never be a good time to go. There will never be a convenient time to go, so just GO!
  26. Customer Service Gone South!

    by Juanita I worked customer service for years. I loved it as I love people, till I worked a call center. For 5 years I was threatened and screamed at by customers like I personally robbed their homes! Customers wouldn't answer questions when I asked. I was part of a team of 17 who intook calls from all over the world and my job was to get them into the right phone que for their issue in 45 seconds; email, websites etc. I took about 500 calls a day, (not a typo). We had to work the floor before joining this team so we could pick out fast what the caller needed help with if they couldn't articulate it. With 5 years of stress from management, customers and other agents on the floor, my last day on the job I was taken by ambulance to the hospital with what we all thought was a heart attack. Luckily it was an anxiety attack. I never went back. I survived this horrible job by living. I turned to writing and I am trying to open a women's retreat on my land.
  27. Surviving the position of a Nurse

    by Jane Nursing has become one of the most difficult jobs one can deal with. We do not have time to eat, drink, use the bathroom facilities, sometimes even to just take a deep breath. You cannot voice your own opinion nor have the right to have your own life. Work is to be #1. Not your children, husband, family or even yourself. After 40 years, my only answer was to get out and get out fast. I was deteriorating. My mental and physical health was failing.... So I quit. Is that the answer for most people? NO...fortunately I could afford to leave my job since my husband makes a lucrative salary. I am at my best at home. As a homemaker, my children are grown and my grandchildren are growing. So, when asked by others, 'would you suggest I go into nursing'? My answer is this... 'if you are willing to be stressed out 24/7, give up weekends, holidays, birthdays for your family, be criticized, go hungry and suffer with urinary tract infections and constipation for the rest of your life then go for it!

Step 1 of 2 - Tell Your Story!

Step 2 of 2 - You!

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