The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime — that’s an awful lot of time to stay somewhere if you’re not fulfilled. Whilst we know that our jobs shouldn’t overtake our personal lives, spending all that time in a job that we don’t enjoy can be soul destroying.

There are many reasons why people continue to collect their steady pay cheque each month in jobs they aren’t really happy with, but it’s important to take a closer look as to what’s stopping us from jumping ship. Quite often, it’s less about the job itself, and more about our own self-esteem and how much we value ourselves that can make us stay in a job that isn’t right.

Here are five reasons why we stay in jobs we don’t like:

1. Don’t value ourselves

Doubting your own abilities, comparing ourselves to others or not believing that another employer would really value your work are some of the most common reasons that people stay in jobs that don’t fulfil them. A lack of recognition from your manager can often contribute to your lack of self-belief. When you don’t feel valued at work, there’s a high chance you won’t be happy at work either, so it becomes a vicious cycle of being undervalued and not having the confidence to look for new opportunities.

2. Fear change

There is no greater way to stagnate in your career than to resist change. Safer isn’t always better and it can do more long-term damage if you are not getting the recognition you deserve. Fear is often a sign that something important is at stake, but if you have a real vision of where you want to go, you can take the right steps to find a career that’s really fulfilling.

3. Prefer being in comfort zone

Growing your career requires moving out of your comfort zone and breaking through self-limiting beliefs to get to the next level. Changing careers and applying for new jobs can often involve an element of discomfort, so it’s important to know your strengths and value your own abilities to allow you to step into a new role or career that you really want.

4. Unclear about strengths

Knowing your own strengths is so important when you are looking to apply for new roles. Not only will this help you match your strengths to the right roles, it will also stand you in good stead for the interview. My Strengths-based profiling Tool is an excellent way of finding out what really makes you tick and the type of roles your strengths would be most suited to.

5. Procrastination

Maybe you’ve known that you want to find a new role for some time, but you’ve not taken action to do something about it. It may be that you’re unsure about what sort of job you want, what role would most suit you and the type of working environment that makes you thrive.


My career coaching is a great place to start for those looking to take the next step in their career. Whether you want to grow in confidence in your skills, or get clearer on what you’re looking for, regular coaching sessions gives you the space to reflect, take action, receive ongoing confidence boosters and encouragement, and keep you accountable and on track.

Book a FREE telephone consultation with me to start your journey.

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