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Why Running Away from a Bad Job Won’t Make You Happy

When you’re unhappy at work, it’s tempting to want to make an escape. Particularly when you work in a highly toxic or dysfunctional environment, you reason that anything must be better than this. If only you could start anew, everything would improve.

It’s only natural that a bad job would motivate you to want to make a change. The sense of urgency is much greater when you hate your job. But when you choose to run away FROM a job, rather than run TO a job, you leave a lot of room for error.

Here are 3 reasons that running away from a bad job won’t make you happy.

1. You’re letting your emotions dictate your future.

If you decide to leave your job just to get out of a bad situation, your judgment is generally clouded. Your anger, fear, or resentment are driving your decisions, which doesn’t allow for reason and deliberation.  When your emotions are in control, you may be more impulsive, irrational, or careless in your decision-making process.

Find time and space to think, not just feel. If you need to remove yourself from the situation to get the distance you need to neutralize some of your strongest feelings, take a vacation. Don’t make such an important decision without a clear head.

2. You’re not getting to the root of the problem.

Why are you so unhappy? What is so dysfunctional about your current environment? If you don’t use this opportunity to think critically about what went wrong, how can you prevent it from happening again?

When your primary motivation is getting out of a bad situation, it’s difficult to think analytically about what you need and want from your work. To ensure that your new role doesn’t lead to the same frustrations as your current role, be clear and specific about what’s not working and what you need to thrive in your next job.

3. You’re not taking responsibility for your own actions.

If you are in an extreme work situation where your physical or emotional safety is at risk, you should get out as quickly as possible. But most people are not. And as much as we would like to blame the boss, leadership team, or culture for our dissatisfaction, it’s often not that simple.

If you run from a bad situation, you miss a chance to learn from your mistakes. Think critically about what role you played in your own unhappiness. Are there things that, in hindsight, you could have done differently? Are there strategies that would be helpful for you to practice now so that you’re more confident and prepared in your next role? If you don’t make personal changes, you doom yourself to repeat negative patterns.

When you engage in critical thinking and self-reflection to determine what you truly want from your career, you create a powerful vision of the role you want to run toward. This vision guides your decision-making process and keeps you focused on finding the right role, not just the fastest exit.

Would you like help getting clear about your next step? Join the free 7 Days to a New Career Direction Challenge!

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