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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

What's the longest you've stayed at a job you were unhappy with?

Just curious about the answers, nothing about my job. 😄

Top comments (62)

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renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski

Depends on how you look at it, but I'll say about two years.

When I was in college, I interned at a company and hated it. Due to the pressure of finding a job, I ultimately decided to apply full-time anyway, and I somehow got the job.

After chatting with my family, they agreed that I should stick with it because I was young and didn't know any better. To deal with the anxiety, I tried to rationalize the decision by saying things like "maybe other teams will be different", etc.

After I started, I was unhappy everywhere I went. Ironically, they liked the quality of my work, so they made it as hard as possible for me to quit. When I did, they ultimately forced me to return my relocation money which was about six weeks of income. In other words, I had to stay on an extra six weeks just to ensure I could pay that off, and it was really draining on my mental health.

Feel free to take whatever lessons you can from this story. haha

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rixcy profile image
Rick Booth

Definitely not a nice situation to be in, knowing you have to pay back money to leave a job you're not enjoying. Completely drains motivation too, knowing you want to be elsewhere but can't afford to be :(

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renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski

Yeah it was tough. Luckily, my wife and I were able to survive on her income for a bit while I tried to figure things out.

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rixcy profile image
Rick Booth

It's hard to leave when you a) know you're going to have to either take a pay cut/pay something back and b) when they're trying to hard to keep you, you can't help feeling a bit guilty even though you shouldn't (at least this happened in my case). You worry for so long then a few months after starting a new job you think to yourself hang on, why was I so stressed? Glad you got it sorted though! Must have felt good when it was done with.

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Michael Crenshaw

I'm surprised it was legal for them to ask for the relocation money back. Sounds like a good thing to keep an eye on when looking at contracts.

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renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski

Yeah, it was a sticky situation because the contract was ambiguous. It basically stated that the relocation money had to be paid back if you left within a year of the expiration date of the benefit. Apparently, the expiration date of the money (not sure how a lump sum expires) was a year after I got it, so I had to stay two years to avoid the penalty (left 4 months early).

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crenshaw_dev profile image
Michael Crenshaw

That's rough. I'm trying to think of an alternative contract that would protect the employer's initial investment but also not hold your money hostage. One year seems like a more reasonable compromise.

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renegadecoder94 profile image
Jeremy Grifski

Agreed! Two years is a long time, and I’d argue that I more than paid them back at the time. Rules are rules though—or so I’m told! Haha

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itachiuchiha profile image
Itachi Uchiha

My first job. I'm still working for this company. To get find a new job in Turkey, really hard.

The economy isn't good. So, I have to stay here even if I'm unhappy.

I was looking for remote jobs but, my English isn't well.

I think that's all :)

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murtezayesil profile image
Ali Mürteza Yeşil

I can't understand how bad it is to work in a job you hate because I still am a student. But my family is affected in this economy too. I understand how hard it is to live in such economy.

Allah sabır versin.

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itachiuchiha profile image
Itachi Uchiha

Thanks :) your managers' weird requests. Feeling worthless, etc.

Just you don't feel open to success anymore.

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murtezayesil profile image
Ali Mürteza Yeşil • Edited on

You may feel worthless in there because you don't get your worth and assume that you are.

Don't let them drain you. Look for jobs on the side and save for 6 months in case you can't get a job asap. Don't kill yourself to get paid. Of course it will be difficult but remember what Kanuni Sultan Süleyman said:

Halk içinde muteber bir nesne yok devlet gibi,

Olmaya devlet cihanda bir nefes sıhhat gibi

There is nothing in society as valuable as nation
There is no nation as valuable as health
(I tried to translate a very meaningful saying by Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, a monarch of Ottoman Empire who suffered from illness, and it probably lost a big chunk of its meaning)

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yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar • Edited on

Been there... I live in Turkey, and I know how it sucks!

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itachiuchiha profile image
Itachi Uchiha

:/ I understand :) I hope you can escape :)

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

Oh that sucks. Keep trying, it is not that much English as you can think. Did you apply to US companies? Europe maybe a bit easier

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itachiuchiha profile image
Itachi Uchiha

No, I didn't. But I also need self-trust. Everything is the same, I know. I'll do what I do here anywhere in the world.

Every jr developer wants work for big companies. I just want to join a good team.

I hope, I find a good company for remote work. Actually, the relocation would be good.

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alyscole profile image
AlysCole

That's my aim, too. I'd love to just be a part of a good team with a variety in skill sets so we can grow with one another.

Good luck! You've got this.

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itachiuchiha profile image
Itachi Uchiha

Maybe someday we work together :)

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niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic • Edited on

One day at McDonald's in Munich-Stachus, one of the three largest McDs worldwide. In the summer. In the kitchen. Three people yelling at you while you burn your fingers on the grill. Worst day ever. I was looking for work for the weeks between schools. I went with Pizza Hut instead. Still got 50€ for that day at least.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

This brings me back to every shitty job I ever had before getting into software 😭

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ashleemboyer profile image
Ashlee (she/her)

I hated all the service jobs I worked through high school and college. Those jobs are definitely not for the weak of heart. Both customers and your “team” can be really awful. 😟

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theringleman profile image
Sam Ringleman

4 years.

Me saying that I was unhappy the entire time is a falsity though.

I used to drive trains for a living. It was a fun job. But complacency kicked in really hard and I felt like I was just skating through life. Hopping from hotel to hotel, playing video games, and sleeping my life away.

The pay was good. The work was fun, then boring, then monotonous. I got laid off from that job, and that was the best thing that could have happened to me. I probably would have been a 40 year man to chase that guaranteed retirement.

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itsrainingmani profile image
Manikandan Sundararajan • Edited on

About to hit 2 years. I'm still here because I don't seem to be doing well in the job search. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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candidodmv profile image
Vinicius Dutra

When i started to work with software development the first place that i work was require me to do advanced tasks, with no one kind of supporting, the result was that I left after 1,5 year because of my health

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aromig profile image
Adam Romig 🇵🇭

I've been with my current employer for going on 21 years and at first it was okay but I've been unhappy with my role for about 4-5 years. I only do web development as a small part of my job (I'm in desktop support) but have had a few projects that kept me here & engaged enough to stay. I'm dissatisfied working here because of the lack of opportunities and advancement. Things are usually busy on the support side but it gets repetitive.

I've been trying to catch up on development for the past few years and get an actual full-time job as a developer but no takers so far. I get callbacks for half the applications I put in but I guess once they hear my back-story, they're just not interested any longer. Getting really discouraged that I'm nearing midlife and I'm not in the career that I wanted to be in. I've been programming in some form for over 25 years but afraid it's going to stay a hobby at some point. I'll keep on learning and applying and maybe some day an employer will take a chance on me.

Sorry for the short sad rant. I don't open up much.

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rixcy profile image
Rick Booth

3 years in both my first and second job. The first job was in a completely different industry to what I'm in now (Chemistry, now in Dev) and at the time, going straight from school to this job and getting pretty good at it, I was afraid of taking the leap to change industries, considering I didn't have nearly enough dev experience to get a full time role.

I then got an apprenticeship in general IT, completed it in no time and self taught myself ruby-on-rails to a level where I could move over to dev. Unfortunately they underpaid, didn't sanction staff who took the micky with deadlines/work/time and didn't promote any sort of progression, you just got on with your job, building small features, fixing bugs and solving helpdesks. I had no real indication of where I was in terms of skill level, only that I was quite a bit further than the rest of the team. I decided 3 years was long enough for a company that didn't treat their employees very well so moved on!

In hindsight I wish I'd have moved on earlier, as I could definitely be on a better salary now. I've learned not to get too attached to companies and look out for myself a bit better.

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Dvv.Avinash

My first job, I stayed there for 1.4 years. I left that job 1.4 years back. I love my job there but the CEO is a fool, arrogant, self-centered idiot. But now i work at one of the best startups in India.

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hemantachhami19 profile image
Hemant Achhami

I am still working at the company for last one and half years.
This is my first tech job and i love working the team .
One of the things that we really like about our company is the emphasis on the quality of the products we built.

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brandonskerritt profile image
Brandon

One month. Although, it was a part-time job. I was selling ice cream at a theme park. My boss complained that I didn't sell enough ice cream but:

  1. It was December
  2. It was the week before Christmas
  3. It was thunderstorms & heavy rain. I was outside, selling ice cream, in the rain.

My boss said to me that if I didn't sell 10 ice creams by the end of the day, I'd be getting fired. It was christmas eve. At an amusement park, outside, in the cold. It was raining so incredibly hard.

So glad I never went back 😂😂😂

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Sarah Katz

About 6 months (well, I was at the job for a year, but the first 6 months I chalked it up to it being my first job out of school and needed an adjustment period).

When I left, it was not voluntarily, but I had already started looking for my next position.

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Michael Scott Shappe

One year. Which was longer than I probably should have, but I never quite reached the point with that job of, "I will take any possible contract or job to get the hell out of here." So I could take my time with it.

Most of the time, if I reach the point of actual unhappiness, I start searching immediately and have something new within three months.

I have never yet actually left a job voluntarily without something new lined up, although I have come close once or twice.

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twigman08 profile image
Chad Smith

About a year now. Been at the company for 4 years really.
I actually had a job offer at another company not too long ago and it was even more money. But something about it seemed off and couldn't commit myself to accept if I was afraid I might be unhappy again within a year. Though now it's getting worse and worse that I do regret not taking it.

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Erik Nelson

I stayed at my first job for almost six years and I still regret not leaving after about half that time. It was my first job after graduating from university and moving to a new city, so I had made a number of friends there too.

Once I finally did leave I was much happier and I had less fear leaving future jobs. I think part of it was confidence too, my next job had me working with a lot of awesome people and I was able to hold my own which boosted my confidence immensely.

My current job might have taken the record for how quickly I sour on a job though ☹️

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