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Home > Blog: In the Workplace > Has Fear Driven You to Stay in a Job You Hate?

Has Fear Driven You to Stay in a Job You Hate?

The Wall Street Journal online posted an eye-catching article last week: More Workers Start to Quit.

Without reading the article, this headline made me wonder several things:

  1. If more workers are starting to quit their jobs now (as opposed to a year ago), how many have actually been happy in their jobs? Are most employees putting up a front just to ensure they receive a paycheck?
  2. It looks as if people are no longer letting the uncertainties of the recession control their workplace happiness (or unhappiness, as the headline implies).
  3. Was it the fear of the recession that drove workers to switch or not switch jobs? I think so.

That last one is a pretty big deal. Fear can impose poor judgment and eat away at a person's overall happiness. It can make you settle into a state of unhappiness simply because the fear of the changes you need to make to become happier can overrule your better judgment.

Does that make sense?

I'll paint a picture: You feel undervalued by your current employer and know you would be happier working for someone who'd appreciate your contributions more. In turn, you'd respect yourself more. But then come the fears: Maybe the new employer won't value you as much you need them to. Maybe this is the best you can do and there's nothing better for you out there. Maybe they won't like you and you'll be unemployed in a matter of months.

I simply assume that fear is what causes people to stay in jobs they don't like: fear of losing a paycheck; fear of change; fear of not finding anything better and being stuck in an unhappy place.

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