This isn’t a self help post.
I have this theory about the three factors that affect whether or not a job can be tolerated. They are as follows:
the Job itself
If at least two of these areas are satisfactory, you are golden. For example, if your pay isn’t great, but you have an easy commute and the job is something you enjoy/is providing you with invaluable experience to further your career, you can suck it up. You’ll tighten the purse strings for a bit and will benefit in the end. Another example would be working a job you don’t like that isn’t related to what you want in life but that provides you with an awesome paycheck and a fast commute. Why not stick it out for awhile? You’ve got this.
You get the picture.
If you have a job that ranks high in all three categories… share your secret of success or go away. Additionally, if you have a job that ranks low in all the above areas, God have mercy.
That was the story of my life when I landed what I thought was a great opportunity in DC. I took a pay cut and braved a combo car-and-train commute from Northern Virginia into the belly of the beast everyday. Turns out it was a glorified secretarial position, as in a boss-dictates-emails-to-you-as-you-type-them-for-him job. That’s neither here nor there, but I am now a bit wiser when wading through job postings and going on interviews. The reason being that a human cannot suffer through a draining, miserable commute to do a job they hate and be paid far too little for it. At least I can’t. This sounds pretentious and bratty seeing as we’re in a terrible economy (still), and people are forced to take what they can get. For that, I apologize.
However, I can’t help but think we all deserve two out of three. It seems like the idea of working in order to enjoy living is unattainable and that the companies and employers in this country thrive on the “live to work” mentality. For me, this is the saddest and most disheartening realization of them all. It’s also why I will continue to apply to a wide variety of jobs hoping that, even if I have to take on more duds, I will eventually make my way to landing that elusive job in the book world.