Ask Scary Mommy: I Feel Stuck In A Soul-Sucking Job, What Should I Do?

Ask Scary Mommy: I Feel Stuck In A Soul-Sucking Job, What Should I Do?

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Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s new advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! This week we’re talking about making jobs changes, especially when you feel stuck or like you’re drowning in a job that is sucking your soul. Do you try to stick it out? Or do you take a leap and try something new? Have your own questions? Email [email protected]

Dear Scary Mommy,

I hate my job and feel like I’m drowning. I am stressed and angry, but I feel stuck. I am worried about making a job change during the pandemic, and I feel paralyzed with indecision about what to do next. Should I stick it out in my current situation, hoping things eventually get better? Or should I quit, knowing that I might regret it?

The pandemic has upended life as we knew it, so it’s only natural that you’re questioning certain aspects of your life. Most of us are, to some degree or another. I think the first big question you need to ask yourself is: can I afford to leave my job right now?

If the answer is no, well, then now probably isn’t the right time to consider quitting your job without another option. If the answer is yes, take a minute to consider how fortunate you are to be in that position. Your options are a lot more open, but that can also be more overwhelming too.

It’s also important to understand why you are so stressed and unhappy right now. Is it because you are drowning in the weight of balancing home, kids, work, and pandemic-life all at once now? If so, trust me, you are not alone. Parents are barely hanging on right now, with mothers bearing the brunt of it. We are barely able to breathe. If that’s the case, it might be helpful to have a good ol’ fashioned heart-to-heart with your partner right now about the allocation of responsibilities. Be blunt and honest. One person cannot – and should not – be expected to do it all. It is not fair or reasonable. You may also need to have a conversation with your boss about what you can and cannot do as well. Expectation management is more important than ever.

Simply put: get real fucking honest with yourself about why you’re so stressed and why you hate your job so much right now.

But if you were unhappy in your job before the pandemic, then you should seriously consider making a change. The pandemic has made it abundantly clear that normal as we knew it is gone – and maybe that’s for the best. Many people are questioning their friendships and relationships and yes, even their jobs. And while it might seem like a super risky time to make a career change – with unemployment so high and job security tenuous at best – maybe that makes right now the perfect time to make a big change.

The world as we knew it has been flipped upside down, and things will not go back to the way they were. But maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing, because it gives us a chance to really take a look at how we’re living, what we value, and where we want to go from here.

At the risk of sounding like a second-rate motivational speaker, the only things you ever really regret are the opportunities you didn’t take.

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" : DunderMifflin

Look, life is short. Too fucking short. If you are stuck in a job that is killing your soul, and you have the financial means to make a change, do it. Of course, it’s scary. Most important things are. But just because something is scary doesn’t mean it should be avoided or that you’ll regret it.

Changes don’t have to be big and momentous to be impactful either. If you really hate your job, maybe that scary conversation with your boss will help. Maybe asking for a promotion or a raise will help you feel more appreciated or fulfilled. There might be ways to delegate tasks to others, or ways to shift your responsibilities.

There are ways to manage the risks involved with changes too. Go into the decision armed with as much information as possible. Talk to others how have made career changes. If you know what you don’t want to do, hone in on what it is you do want to do. Find out what options are out there. Educate yourself. Get the training you need. Save more money while you plot your course to your next big adventure.

You are smart. You are capable. You are worthy. You got this.