Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Unfortunately, sometimes a job is just a job. It is a means to an end, and you might not have any intention of staying in the field you are currently working in. Whether it is a transitional stage in your career or you are trying to make some money to get through college, you have likely had a job that didn't care much about. For some of us, the thought of going to these jobs is something we dread every day. 

My worst-nightmare would be working in the food-industry for the rest of my life. Yet, most of my jobs thus far have involved food in some way or another. I have worked as: 
  • A cashier in a grocery store
  • A hostess
  • An ice cream scooper and "frymaster"*
  • A student worker in our Union's cafe
  • A student worker in a college dining hall
  • A server (or waitress, whatever you would like to call it)
And the biggest thing I have taken away from these jobs is that I will never work in the food industry past college. Since the mission of this blog involves encouraging people to pursue their passions, I decided to write about when it might be time to call it quits at that job you cannot stand. Don't get me wrong, we all have to go through these jobs sometimes, because unfortunately no matter how hard we dream of it money will not magically appear in our bank accounts. But there comes a point when enough is enough, and you need to know when it's time to move on.

It might be time to quit if: 

There is excessive work drama. 

Good coworkers can turn around a bad job. You have someone to vent to and switch shifts with if you really need a day off. Likewise, bad coworkers can make a bad job even worse. It's one thing if coworkers are complaining about how long the day is or that one really sour customer. But if people are talking behind each others' backs or starting rumors at work, it's trouble. You should not have to worry about whether or not you are on so-and-so's good side so they don't trash talk you on their smoke break.


The managers are constantly talking down to you.

There is a difference between constructive criticism and treating you like you don't know what you are doing. Keep in mind you were hired for this position, meaning you had to go through an interview process to prove your qualifications for this job. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, there will always be managers that act like nothing is ever good enough for them.


The work environment is no longer welcoming.

This one can go hand in hand with the first two. It might be a combination of both, or it might be that everyone seems to be in a perpetually bad mood. Think about it this way: if the manager is always cranky, the employees are likely to let that rub off on them, too. And being surrounded by negativity is draining. It can take a toll on your mental health, and you are likely to bring some of your frustrations home with you.


The commute is too much. 

Sometimes the commute to a job is not really worth it. You have to factor in the value of your time, and how much it is costing you to get there. If you make a few less dollars an hour somewhere closer, it might actually not be that big of a difference if you think about how much it is costing you just get to and from a job.


Your managers have unrealistic expectations. 

As someone who has worked two jobs while being a full time student, I know that coordinating everything can be difficult. You have to prioritize, and you have to be clear and honest about what you can handle and when you are available. When I got the second job, I explained my situation and they said that they would be flexible, and we could make it work. A couple months into it when one of the managers asked if my other job could schedule me out two months in advance I failed to see the flexibility. Especially seeing as they let me know my schedule the Thursday before a new week started, I would say it was pretty unreasonable to expect any job would schedule that far an advance. 

You have bigger goals.

Eventually, the time comes to let go of the jobs you are sick of working. There comes a point when the money is not worth it anymore. If you have to take a pay cut to work in the field you want to go into, it might worth it. For me, the experience that I am getting at my current job is invaluable. Clearly I still need money to survive, but I am willing to make adjustments and be more careful with my money to get experience in the field I eventually want to have a career in.

It's a pretty funny world we live in. We spend so much of our lives working to live, but if we spend all of our lives working jobs that we hate, is it really all worth it? At the end of my research seminar last year we had a banquet, and one of my fellows who was graduating read this story during his speech about a fisherman who was approached by a businessman. The businessman was confused as to why the fisherman was not out working hard and making a living. By the end, the businessman justifies all the hard work he would have to do by saying that at the end of the day (by retirement) he could sit on the beach and do whatever he wanted, but the fisherman points out that he is already doing this.

Ask yourself this: is what you are doing right now helping you get to where you want to be?

*Once upon a time, I got really good at making french fries. And yes, "Frymaster" was my official title. 


  1. My current job feels like just a means to an end. But it is an 8-5 that allows me the time and money to do what I really love doing (blogging!). So for me, it is what it is for me right now. I love your tips!

    How 2 Wear It ... []

  2. I've worked with children my entire life-as a nanny, camp counselor, assistant preschool teacher, etc. while I do love children I am So so so sick of working with them. My current job actually has me reconsidering if I ever want to be a parent (not because I don't love them) but just because it's so unfulfilling intellectually for me. I can't wait to push myself in another filed-like I said kids are amazing but I'm ready for the next step!

  3. I am still searching for my "dream job" but now that I've had a few different jobs, I know what I don't want in a job, so that's a plus.
    Great post!

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  4. Great post! I feel like a lot of people sometimes forget a job can be just a job. Sometimes you have to consider if where you're at is where you want to be, and take those steps to make it there.

    Pick Your Beau

  5. I definitely think work drama plays a huge roll in whether or not a job is good. There should not be work drama ever. I left one job I loved, just because there was way too much drama
    Dresses & Denim

  6. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing!
    xo, claudia

  7. Such a great post. Some people don't realize that you are never permanently stuck in a job if it's not the right fit! Xx

    Kay | Fashionably Kay

  8. I have a work history similar to yours, and after working as a server, I knew that I wouldn't want to do that after college. You see the worst side of people when you work in the service industry. These are all great points and things to consider when quitting a job. I think when you're young, it's important to try out different jobs and see what you actually like.

  9. I don't like other people's food. Like, leftover food is so disgusting to me, so I definitely try to avoid the food industry. Great post about leaving your job!

    Laura | Ginger & Co.

  10. What an amazing post and advice. I have really only had to leave a job because of bigger influences, like leaving for college. But I just made the decision to leave my on campus job because of other, bigger opportunities.


  11. I think this is perfect advice and something a lot of millennials often go through. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. This is some really great advice, especially the last point. It can be so hard to weigh the pros and cons between money and doing something you love (especially when you need to do things like "pay rent" and "eat")

    Takes serious bravery to take the leap! This post is a great way to get started.

  13. Yes, yes, and YES!! All of these are great ways to know when it's time to leave. Last summer I worked in the fast food industry and now I work in retail. The transition is definitely something different, but as long as you're a hard worker and a people person I truly believe anyone can do well.

    Great post!

  14. This is an AMAZING post. I have to bookmark this for future reference!! I actually agree with ALL of these and need this as a reminder! Thank you SO much for sharing!
    Lauren Ashley

  15. This is a great post. I am currently in a college type job as a hostess and I do like the job for what it is, I know that it isn't something long term. I am excited to graduate and get a "real" job! I'm tired of the food industry. I totally agree that even if you know it is temporary, you shouldn't work somewhere that you dread going to every day! Life is WAY to short for that.


    Marie H.

    Progression By Design

  16. Taylor,
    This post is fantastic! I've had many jobs where I continued working there longer than I should have simply because I couldn't afford to be unemployed, and I didn't have another job lined up yet. The rumors, treating you like you're incompetent, backstabbing -- it can all be so bad!
    Even now, I question my current job. I don't feel like I can leave this job right now, but I do hope to be able to transition to working for myself an from home within the next couple of years.

    Best of luck to you in finding a job you a passionate about in a field you love!

  17. Macarena FerreiraMay 29, 2015 at 3:59 PM

    Wow. This post came at the perfect! I was in between leaving my job or staying and you made my decision so much easier! Thank you.

    xo //

  18. I totally get that! It is important to make sure you have time to do the things you love on the side too. Thanks!

  19. That totally makes sense! Working with kids is so exhausting. It can be rewarding and also really frustrating. It sounds like it is definitely time to step away from working with kids for a while!

  20. I think as long as you are satisfied with what you are doing everyday the job is enough. I don't know if everyone finds their "dream job", but I would be happy with being happy to be there, since you have to be there so often.

  21. Thank you! I agree! It is all about taking the time to figure out what you really want.

  22. It really can! It's not worth it to deal with sour people all the time.

  23. it is definitely important to try out different jobs. My past jobs have showed me what I don't want. And my current job is helping me gain experience, and it is helping me decide what I really want out of jobs in the future.

  24. Haha yeah dealing with other people's food is not fun. Thank you!

  25. Thank you! I have had experiences like that, too. I'm glad to hear that you have found bigger opportunities!

  26. Thank you! I am glad you liked it.

  27. Thank you! It really can be hard to figure out whether or not you should keep a job.

  28. Thanks for reading! Making that kind of transition can be a great thing!

  29. Thank you!! I am so glad to hear that. :)

  30. Thank you! I am definitely excited to find a "real" job, as well! I can't stand working in the food industry. Luckily, I was able to find a job on campus that is helping me get experience with what I want to do in the future. I wish everyone could find that!

  31. Thank you, Hope! Sometimes it takes some time to find something new! And I definitely think that it is important to find something else before you move on, but it is so gratifying when you can! Thank you! Best of luck to you as well. :)

  32. I am so glad to hear that! Thanks for reading. :)

  33. This is such great advice! I was in this tricky position earlier this year -- I was at a law firm that expected me to work 4 days a week with no lenience around exams period. As assessments piled I just couldn't manage work and study. It was so stressful, but such a relief once I gave them my notice!

    - Obiter Darling


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