When I come home from work and say, “I hate my job,” that elicits two responses from my spouse. He’ll say, “Stay or go.” But I think there’s no cut and dry answer to my conundrum; instead, there are various shades of gray and they need to be explored.

For the record, I’m talking about a J-O-B… not a career. If you hate your career, there’s a slightly different way to answer that dilemma. What I’m referring to is the work that we do for various reasons-either to pay the bills or fill the time.

So I guess there are six possible options:

  1. Stay and complain
  2. Stay and change things
  3. Stay and do nothing
  4. Quit and find another job
  5. Quit and do nothing
  6. Quit and find your passion/career

Stay and Complain

Some days this is my favorite option. I stay at my job because it affords us options. I work at a wellness center where I am the oldest person at the front desk. My co-workers are in their 20s, my assistant manager is younger than my oldest child, my general manager is in her late 20s, and the owner is in his 30s. There are too many days where I shake my head and take on the “mom” role.

I come home and complain to my spouse. I gripe, I grumble, I whine, I vent, and I do all the other synonyms that go along with “complain.” Months pass and my frustration level grows. But it’s okay. This is how I cope and then I feel better (until the next workday) but it helps.

Stay and Change Things

When I first started noticing that things weren’t getting done on the night shift, I got angry. Then I suggested that we get a notebook where we could write down what happened the night before, problems we encountered, or just good things to know. Most mornings I would arrive and there would be a huge load of laundry left in the dryer. “Why wasn’t it folded?” I would ask myself.  So then I went to the book. The girls from the night shift explained their reasoning and it made sense. My blood pressure went down and peace was achieved.

Stay and Do Nothing

Sometimes you need to embrace the suck. You have to just get through the day because you know that in the end you’ll meet your goal. I know a woman who worked because her kids were grown up, her spouse was still working and she wanted something to fill the time and bring in a little extra income. Whenever I’d ask her how her job was going, she would inevitably nod her head and say “fine.” That one word encapsulated it all. She didn’t complain; she would simply go to work and do what needed to be done.

Quit and Find Another Job

If things get too rough, this may be an option for you. But realize that finding a new job may not be easy. As often as I hear about job availability, I hear as many stories about people who can’t get an interview. For some people, that’s enough to make them stay at a job they don’t like. But for someone with rose-colored glasses, the grass is greener elsewhere so off they go! My girlfriend was working at a retail job that cut her hours so she started applying at other places. She was just looking to bring her income back to the level she was at. Instead she found a job that gave her the hours she wanted without fear of lost wages. She quit and started at her new place within the month!

Quit and Do Nothing

What I mean by this is that you decide not to work. That “do nothing” could be staying at home or volunteering. This option may be difficult because of the loss of income. We lived on one income when my kids were little. We don’t need the money now but we want it. I’m grateful for that option. Not everyone has this choice available to them. They may need the money. One friend quit her job and that left her time to travel to see her kids who had moved away. That freedom was worth the financial loss for her.

Quit and Find Your Passion/Career

I think this is the best reason to stop working and start living. The saying goes that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s a giant step to take but worth it. For some people, they need to find that passion. You may not know where your life should take you but once you answer that question, the next move is to act on it. It may involve you staying at your job a little longer to get money to go back to school or buy inventory, but the end game is the same; you’re not continuing on a path that you don’t want to be on.

It’s all about choices and what is right for you and your family. Don’t let anyone belittle you for taking your path. Remember that this is your story to tell; you are in charge of the beginning, the middle and the end.

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