Yesterday, I highlighted the fact that 85% of people worldwide hate their jobs, and offered up 5 reasons why people are so dissatisfied in their work. That leads to a fairly obvious question: if someone hates their work so much, why don’t they get another job? Obvious question, but the reasons for not doing so are as numerous and complicated as anything else in life. For anyone who has ever sought out a change of profession because they were not satisfied in their work, perhaps one or more of these six reasons for not leaving rings true.


Maybe you get a raise if you change jobs, but leaving a job before you get the next one is risky at best, stupid at worst. However, sometimes it comes to that. But money is a a major reason people stay at a job they don’t like. Because nearly 70% of Americans have zero savings, that means going a week or a month without a paycheck could be a small emergency away from financial ruin. That fact alone is the driving factor behind most people staying at a job they don’t like.

The adage that could go here is “do what you love…the money will follow.” Most people are not doing what they love. Why is that? I’ll offer an answer to that in a subsequent post, because, well, it’s complicated. 😉


Can you get another job? How do you know? Could you generate your same income doing work as a full time freelancer? Tough questions. Until you’ve left one job for another, better job or quit a job and succeeded financially as a freelancer, you simply don’t know. Confidence, or a lack of it, is another big reason people stay and work where they are not happy. And, perversely, the lack of confidence often comes from being in a place we don’t enjoy or are not encouraged or given the confidence required to make a change.

Appropriate adage here: What if we train our employees, and they leave? What if we don’t train them, and they stay? As an employer, are you investing in your employees? As an employee, is your employer investing in you?


Getting a job is hard. Changing jobs is even harder. Looking for a job is, in and of itself, a full time job, in addition to working at a full time job that you don’t like. It’s no wonder people stay in a job they hate! It’s too hard, after a long day being drained working at a job you don’t like to leave and go face the possibility of total rejection over and over. Quite often, the decision to stay in one unsatisfying place overrides the desire to seek out something better, knowing that you will likely hear “No” from potentially better places.

Rejection is extremely difficult. People who work in sales get used to it and understand that it’s a numbers game. However, people who are not in sales don’t do nearly as well at that numbers game. Sales people will say that every no it’s just one step closer to the yes. Finding a new job is very hard, but if you are leaving a job you hate then it will be worth it. That doesn’t make it any easier.

Appropriate meme: If it were easy, anyone could do it. It’s not, so many people don’t look for a new job, and stay where they are unhappy or unsatisfied or unfulfilled.

Fear or Uncertainty

What if? That’s the biggest question that comes over and over again when anybody is looking for any job. What if I don’t get a new job? Or, what if I don’t like my new job? What if I miss my old job? All these “what if’s” underscore the uncertainty of change in looking for a new job or new career. Fear drives more of our decisions then we would like to admit. And fear of the unknown, like what will our new job be, can often times drive us to stay put.

Fear kills more dreams than failure ever will. We don’t make a move because we fear potential negative consequences.


Change is hard. Entrepreneurs find this out the hard way (as if there’s an easy way) when they go to introduce a new product that could change an industry to potential customers. The biggest competitor is status quo, meaning it’s too hard to change the way we do things. Change is very, very hard. Changing the thing that you do 8 to 10 hours a day every day of your life is extremely hard. Most people do not like change. Others thrive on it.

The only constant in life is change. Learning to embrace that is almost as hard as finding new job.


This one may seem counterintuitive, but a drop of hope that things may change is a heavy emotional driver of our decision not to seek out a job change. Unfortunately, a lot of times, all we do is hope, instead of actually doing something about it. Just hoping that our job situation will change doesn’t do anything except frustrate us. But still, when we are given some tiny glimpse of hope that there could possibly be some change, that’s enough to keep us coming back to a job that we hate.

While I totally agree with Andy Dufresne that “hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things“, we must realize that Andy took that hope and turned it into action.

Get Busy Livin’

Staying with the Shawshank theme, Red and Andy both said, “Get busy livin’, or get busy dyin’.” I suggest that, if you hate your job (85% of people do), but you are hanging on to that job for one of the above six reasons, that you get busy living. At your job.

Can you become happy in your job? I think you can. Stay tuned.

What do you think about that?