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Never Settle for a Career You Hate

 "Choose a job you love, and you will never
have to work a day in your life."
~ Confucious

Have you ever accepted a job you hate? Or settled for a career that drains you instead of making you feel energized, fulfilled and inspired?

At some point, many of us have accepted such less-than-ideal jobs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Insecurity in our talents and skills
  • The fear we can’t find anything better
  • The inevitable need to make a living (or “survive”)
  • The lack of motivation to find something better

So we settle; time passes and all too often, mediocrity becomes a habit, the new “norm.”

But should you settle? Should you lower your expectations and just be “glad you have a job?” Should you just “tolerate” the status quo, even if it means you’ll be unhappy day-in and day-out?

Having a hard time deciding? Maybe this will help. Most of us will spend 30% of our life working (not including commute time). One third of your life, at a minimum, will be focused around your job, your career … your J.O.B.

Or consider this, what if the side effects of “settling” or just “making do” are not just limited to the short-term? What if there are greater, long-term ramifications – collateral damage – from settling for a career you hate?

Huge swaths of people spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul.

David Graeber, used in the book, 'The Work,' by Wes Moore

Settling means giving up – or at a minimum, pushing aside – our dreams, goals and hopes; and accepting, perhaps unconsciously, a limited life of fulfillment of our true potential (personal and professional), freedom, and happiness.

So what happens when we “settle” for less over an extended period of time? It creates harmful consequences to our overall well-being; including:

  • Stress  – In fact, OSHA (The Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has declared stress a workplace hazard costing more than $300 billion annually.
  • Depression and Anxiety – The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50% (often due to chronic stress).
  • An increasingly desperate lack of self-confidence and self-esteem; overwhelming complacency; regrets and even more fear about the future often resulting in further emotional paralysis from feelings of powerlessness, chaos and the inability to make necessary and positive changes.

The effect of chronic stress is well-documented. When that stress becomes long-term without relief (like when we settle for a career we hate), we begin to suffer from a variety of illnesses and diseases:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach and digestion problems and issues
  • Uncontrolled blood pressure
  • Chest pain and heart problems
  • Diabetes
  • Skin conditions
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Insomnia.

Even worse, when we force ourselves to accept a career we hate (regardless of the reason or justification), we may also find ourselves turning to addiction or dangerous/reckless behaviors to escape the pain of betraying our hopes, dreams and needs. While these negative behaviors may provide temporary relief, in the long-term, this destructive form of survival will usually become a self-fulfilling prophecy of increasingly more negative (even deadly) results without any easy resolutions.

Never lose sight of what you need to feel happy and fulfilled. Your needs are the true milestones of your soul’s path and life purpose. When you live in harmony with your inner being or calling, you will avoid “settling” for anything less than what you deserve in this life, including relationships, success, well-being (emotional, physical and spiritual) and even careers.

Additional Reading:

The Question to Ask When Your Job is Damaging Your Spirit

Why Do You Settle for Less?

Effects of Stress on Your Body

About the Author Corrie Ann

Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer at

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