Stop settling for crappy jobs

Do you have to talk yourself into dragging your body out of bed on Monday morning to take your parking spot on one of Greater Atlanta’s Interstates – 75, 285, 20 or 400 (or some other major city’s highways)?

You may even start dreading Monday on Sunday morning or afternoon, which ruins what could have been a perfectly good Sunday.

Or, perhaps you’re a student who hasn’t earned your parking spot on one of these lovely highways yet, but still have to drag yourself to a job you don’t like (hate) on other days, in the evenings or on weekends.

A job that doesn’t challenge you, that you’re not excited about, that you dread, where you dislike the people, you’re not crazy about the culture, you hate what you have to do, and/or there’s nothing that remotely interests you is a TOTAL energy drain and a waste of  your valuable life time.

It really is.

Consider these questions:

  • Why did you take the job in the first place?
  • Did you take the job for the money?
  • Did you take the job because the hours were good?
  • Did a friend or family member refer you and you felt obligated to take the job?
  • Did you take the job out of desperation because you needed a job, any job?
  • Is there some other reason why you took the job?

I pose these questions, because this situation is familiar to lots of people.

I get it. I’ve been there, which is why I urge you to answer the question that calls to you.

When I was in my twenties bouncing from job to job like Scrat chasing that darn nut in the Ice Age movies, I had no idea who I wanted to be, what I wanted in a job or the kind of life I wanted.

As a result, I kept casting a wide net to see who would consider me employable and I accepted a job wherever they accepted me.

Although I had loving parents and lots of terrific mentors along the way, I don’t ever remember anyone ever sitting down with me and really schooling me on the importance of self-discovery, the work selection process and that I always have a choice.

There was no shortage of job search advice, though, which led me to a perfected tap dance for the interviewer’s approval, interview after interview, then anxiously crossing my fingers, legs, toes and eyes hoping I would be hired, that they would pick me.

If I could have time traveled into the future, gathered a truckload of great wisdom and returned to my teen-something self right before I was about to launch into the wacky world of professional work, I would have said the following:

You’re young, enthusiastic, bright-eyed, ready to take on the world and a bit of  a know-it-all.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re pretty smart. At least that’s what your grades yell. But, you’re not as smart as you think you are; you’ve simply been a good girl, followed the rules of society and been rewarded for it.

You don’t really know how to successfully navigate the complexities of life, stand up for yourself and claim your power. You’re an inexperienced, headstrong idealist.

When it comes to entering the professional world of work, you haven’t a clue.

Even though your parents made sure you had a great education and they raised you to be polite and professional, taught you good manners, encouraged you to build relationships and work hard, there’s still so much you just don’t know, young lady.

And, this lack of knowledge is going to cut you off at the knees and kick you in the butt sooner rather than later.

You really need to devote some time to getting to know who you are, who you want to be. And, I’m not talking about your favorite color, your favorite food, or what you like to do on the weekends for fun.

I’m talking serious self-knowledge and self-acceptance.

Take the time necessary to understand how you think, why you think the way you do, what you believe, your emotions and how to manage them, your feelings, your body, what you deeply care about and what you value, be clear about how you want to be treated, know how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend it with, know what kind of contribution and difference you want to make, etc.

If you don’t have a clue about any of the above, you’re going to make choices that don’t align with the best of who you are, especially when it comes to your jobs and relationships, that lead you to dragging yourself to work and through an unfamiliar and unlived life.

I don’t want this for you and trust me, when you figure all of this out, you’re going to wonder why no one told you or helped you with this from the beginning.

The answer is: they didn’t know either and many of them still don’t. They shared what they knew, which barely got them by, if they’re really even getting by.

Knowing who you are, how you want to show up in the world, what you deeply care about and what you want to contribute is going to reduce your chances of experiencing the whole dragging thing in any situation. 

I don’t know, maybe you needed to go through all of this to truly appreciate life and what it really has to offer. But, I think you could have at least minimized some of these less than desirable experiences.

I do know that you’re going to eventually refuse to accept crappy work, work you dislike or hate, because you’re going to love yourself too much to settle.

I know you’re going to realize that you could have found “good enough” or “great enough” jobs just as easily as crappy ones.

I know you’re going to eventually understand that it takes a recipe of self-knowledge and self-acceptance – knowing what you value, sprinkled with some healthy self-esteem and confidence, realizing what lights you up, being clear about what you want to contribute, even knowing what really pisses you off, along with a few other ingredients to set you on a more joyful work and life path.

I know you’re going to realize that being young doesn’t mean you have to “pay your dues” and accept whatever work is offered to you. You always have a choice and you’ll learn to exercise that power in a smart way.

And, you will learn that as a human being you always deserve to be respected and treated with dignity. You will also come to realize that respecting and treating yourself with dignity begins with you.

THIS is how you teach others how to treat you in your work, relationships and in life.

And, THIS is how you stop settling for crappy jobs!

Stop dragging yourself to work that drains the life out of you. You deserve better.

The only way to truly change your situation is to begin experiencing yourself as worthy, deserving, confident and valuable, then start aligning what you think, emote, feel and how you behave with your new way of experiencing YOU.

Maybe early on you won’t land work that truly lights you up, but at least you’ll raise the bar and set your sights on “great enough” or “good enough” work that can support you while you explore your options and blaze a trail to work that allows you make a difference and contribute in a way that excites you. Then you can rise on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ready to take on the adventures of the day with anticipation.

It is possible. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to a conversation. I promise you’ll leave with a different perspective and a plan, if that’s what you seek.


Robbi Crawford, Professional Mentor, Author and Speaker is the founder of Subscribe below so you don’t miss a post. Visit our website BrijBrand and get on the list. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. We’re here to help you get where and what you want in a way that honors you and your natural rhythm. 

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