Words to the Wise

Being in a crap job ...

Being in a crap job isn’t your fault. Staying in a crap job is.

This is but one of the Radical Truths from Sally Hogshead’s amazing first book, Radical Careering. I read it during a time when I was suffering through a very lousy job indeed and it resonated with me time and again over the years.

The takeaway is this: You are in control of your life. No one is coming to the rescue. While we can’t all quit our jobs overnight and throw caution to the wind we can make systematic moves toward the door. Before you turn in your resignation, try these simple steps:

  • Collect portfolio samples you’ve worked on during your time at that job
  • Search for statistics or results for projects you’ve worked on. You may have to ask some other departments or co-workers.
  • Connect to co-workers you know and like on LinkedIn. Get their personal email addresses too. (Folks change jobs so frequently these days)
  • Analyse what went wrong. Was it the personality of your direct boss? The nature of the work itself? The type of work environment? The number of staff? Be objective, and try to look at the situation as an outsider would.
  • Make a list to red flags for your next job. What aspects of a job would have you saying “No F***ing way!”?
  • Don’t beat yourself up. No one wants to hire a beat-up person.

Have you ever been in a crap job? How long did you stay … or are you still there?

About Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 15+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.