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Why 80% People Stay In Crappy Jobs They Hate

Trying to figure out how to quite your crappy job and pursue your dream? This article is all about why we choose to stay in jobs we hate. If you hate your job, this is why you haven’t quit yet. Whether you’re a 9-5er looking to jump into entrepreneurship, or just someone stuck on the wrong path, this article will serve as a guide to help you discover how to find your purpose so that you can chase your dream, start a business, and live a better life!


I remember what it was like to spend 40-60 hours a week working a job that made me miserable.

The year was 2015 (and also 2016, and 2017, and also part of 2018…) and I was working my way up the corporate ladder of the consulting world, helping businesses increase profits.

I was good at what I did, but the positive performance reviews and annual raises did nothing to relieve the weight in my chest whenever I pulled up to head office… This place was sucking the life out of me.

With my online community, I talk a lot about my journey… from this place of working 12 hour days making 5 figures a year at a job that sucked the life out of me, to where I am today: working 12 hour WEEKS making 5 figures a MONTH doing what I absolutely love (read more about me).

Whenever I bring this up, people always ask me HOW on Earth they are supposed to figure out what they want to do with their lives.

It feels impossible.

I’ve been getting more and more of these life-altering questions lately since the global pandemic began wreaking havoc on people’s lives.

  • Some of us have been able to pause during this time and come to the realization that what we currently spend 40 hours a week doing is not fulfilling.
  • Some of us have gotten the earth shattering news that we actually don’t have a job anymore, and have been thrust into trying to figure out what’s next.
  • And some of us have had such significant changes in what our jobs entail, that it has become unbearable, not at all what we signed up for, and has us looking for something else.

Regardless of the circumstances, a huge number of people are struggling with figuring out their purpose in life and I am thrilled!

I am thrilled that people are coming to the realization that they can’t waste their lives away at mediocre jobs that have them banging their heads against the wall and wondering who the hell runs this place!?!?

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I wish I could tell you I have a magical pill that will help you identify your purpose for you, but I don’t.

What I do have, however, is the certainty that you have everything you need to discover your purpose with the right support.

Once I committed to doing the deep internal work required to figure out my purpose, I came out of the process with a clear idea of my direction.

Having this clarity felt so good to me that I instantly felt massive relief, and I was able to put together a plan to pursue a business idea that had me fired up.

Related post: How to grow your business with a strategic plan

Most people start spinning out in indecision and overwhelm whenever they ask themselves the age old question “what should I do with my life?” I know I did many times.

So if this is what you’re after: clarity around your job/career and what the heck would make you happy in the long term… let’s get really clear on why you’re still in this place.

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5 reasons we stay in Crappy jobs we hate

There are 5 reasons I’ve uncovered in my work with my results coaching clients for why we stay in jobs we don’t like way longer than we should (whether it’s months, years, or for eternity…)

We’re waiting for our purpose to Strike like lightning

For whatever reason, most of society is under the impression that our purpose is a hidden treasure waiting to be found, existing somewhere just outside our reach… all we need to do is find it… And then everything will make sense and we’ll be living in our glory.

This is FALSE.

Our purpose is CREATED not FOUND

ANA MCRAE

It requires getting honest about what you enjoy doing and finding ways to do more of it.

Once you create time and space for your interests and you practice them, you start to develop passion which continues to evolve until you get to a place where you cannot believe you get to spend your days doing what you love.

You don’t just one day happen to be in your exact dream career without realizing it…

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You are not a kid tasting ice cream for the first time…

Your purpose already exists inside of you, but you’ve buried it for so long that it will take some time to uncover it.

If this is you, these questions from the book Quitter by Jon Acuff are really powerful thought provokers that can help you begin the journey of recovering your purpose. Journal about them, meditate on them, talk to yourself about it, and see what you come up with.

  • What have I done in my life that I really enjoyed doing?
  • What do I do that makes time feel different?
  • What do I love enough to do for free?

If you struggle with answering these questions, reach out for support. A powerful coaching session can be all you need to open the floodgates of ideas for your purpose.

We listen to people around us that are living out of alignment with their purpose

Because 80% of people are unhappy with their jobs, we start to feel like maybe we’re the crazy ones who think we can make money doing something we love…

We start to buy into the misconception that work is meant to be soul-sucking and that’s just the way adulting goes.

Believe me, it’s not.

You do not need advice from people in the cubicle next to you who also hate their jobs but are not out there living their dreams… they do not know what is possible.

Related post: Impostor syndrome: 4 tips to overcome it

You do not need advice from your parents, or any of your family members, who love you too much… they don’t want to see you get hurt.

The only person you should solicit advice from is someone who has done what you want to do.

  • If you want to make money sitting at home in your pajamas, talk to someone who has done it.
  • If you want to open your own microbrewery, talk to someone who has done it.
  • If you want to become a writer, talk to someone who has done it.

Stop asking for permission to chase your dream from people who have no concept of what is possible for you.

Related post: Are you working on the right goals?

If this is you, reach out to 3 people who are doing what you want to be doing and engage them in a meaningful conversation that explores what their journey was like.

If you want to fast track your ability to build a life your love, let’s work together because that is exactly my superpower! Sign up for a powerful coaching experience here. 1:1 coaching will help you clarify exactly what you want and give you the tools you need to make it happen.

We wait for everything to be perfect before we go out and do it

If you’re a perfectionist, taking baby steps toward your dream goal might not even cross your mind.

You might be looking for all your ducks to be lined up in a row before you even debate taking the leap. I know I did.

I struggled to start a blog at the start of my entrepreneurial journey because I hated being a beginner. I was already good at my job, so spending hours toiling away at something I wasn’t perfect at was incredibly frustrating.

However, only by practicing our purpose can we discover our passion.

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It didn’t take long for my blog to take off and my business to grow into so much more than I even realized was possible when I first started.

But had I never started with that first step, I never would have learned what was possible for me.

If this is you, take one step toward your dream today. I’m serious.

  • Buy the watercolor paints.
  • Launch the WordPress site.
  • Get business cards.
  • Decide the title of your book.

Do whatever it takes to create an inch of momentum in your business, and you’ll find it easier to keep moving.

We convince ourselves we don’t know what our purpose is or can’t decide between options

This is the most hilarious thing I encounter whenever I work with clients who need help clarifying their purpose…

Every single one of them comes to me saying “I have no idea what I want to do.”

I laugh inside because I know that within 4-6 hours of coaching, every single one of them will know what they want to do.

It works every time.

That’s because your purpose (as mentioned in point #1) is already inside of you and all you have to do is give yourself permission to uncover it.

The longer you spend convincing yourself that you don’t know what you want, the easier it is to believe that excuse. But in reality, this is just a story you are telling yourself!

We tell ourselves these stories for a whole whack of reasons, not excluding the fact that our parents might have told us our dream isn’t likely to happen, or our teachers might have laughed when we first tried, or our friends didn’t get it and so we stopped talking about it…

Usually, for silly reasons like these, we bury our purpose deep in our hearts.

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And then on top of that, to numb the pain of not pursuing the thing that fulfills us, we tell ourselves we don’t know what we want to do and so we should just stay in this job and wait for retirement.

It’s a big fat lie.

You know what you like, what gets you fired up, and what you would spend your days doing if you could.

You might not know how to pay the bills with it, yet… but it’s there.

If this is you, get really honest with yourself and answer the following questions:

  • If you could spend all day doing what you love, what would you do?
  • What’s been the most satisfying thing you’ve done? What made it so fulfilling?
  • What are three things you’ve done that you couldn’t wait to get at each day? 

Then, look for career opportunities or business ideas that check those boxes for you! The key is that you have to actually look for them though, you can’t pretend they don’t exist!

Struggle with limiting beliefs around what’s possible for you? I’d love to help you come to the realization that you can achieve your wildest goals… get in touch!

We choose what’s comfortable

This is where most people get stuck.

They do the internal work to uncover their true purpose, and then they realize how much courage it will take to forge their path in the world…

And so they freak out and bury their dream, and stay in their crappy jobs.

At the societal level, and on the individual level, we have gotten used to being miserable at work… It’s almost a part of our identity.

  • Crappy jobs are comfortable.
  • Crappy jobs are predictable.
  • Crappy jobs are easy.

Launching out to pursue your dream? That is uncomfortable, unpredictable, and challenging! But infinitely more rewarding.

Related post: The 4 Biggest Things Holding You Back In Life

If this is you, I would highly recommend investing in the help of an experienced coach who can hold you accountable to chasing your dream. There will be ups and downs throughout the entire journey and if you want to come out on the other side living your best life, you need an incredible support team to guide you!

So, now that you know why you’re still stuck in your miserable job, how do you go about figuring out your life purpose?

How to figure out your life purpose

Determine your values

I got really clear on what my values were in my personal life, so that I could create a job that met every one of the boxes I cared about. 

Understand your strengths

I got super specific and honest about what my unique superpowers were and what I hated spending my time on, so that I could create a job that leveraged my strengths.

Brainstorm every possible option

I did the mindset work to allow myself to dream really freaking big, and pour out dozens of options of what I wanted to do without restricting myself to what was “realistic” (based on my very limited perception of “reality”).

Pick one thing to start with

I used a tool that helped me narrow it all back down to the ONE thing that was going to be the most fulfilling for me, so that I wasn’t caught in a state of indecision and overwhelm.

Related post: The key to making hard decisions

Take action

And then I got moving. I mapped out my plan and I started taking fearless, messy action… (well, actually the action was full of fear, but I took it anyway!)

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Because so many of you are struggling with this right now, I’m opening up 3 more one on one coaching spots in my Purpose Driven Life program that will help you figure out how to leave your crappy job for something that has you jumping out of bed every morning in giddy disbelief about the way you get to spend your day!

You can apply here if you’re actually interested in taking your life to the next level, and aren’t just mindlessly scrolling across the internet!

Using my signature process, you will finally learn how to reconnect with your true purpose so that you can step into your full potential and stop settling for mediocrity. 

Look, I get it, you followed the path society expected of you and now you feel stuck in a place where happiness no longer visits.

Apparently going to school, getting a “good” job, and waiting until retirement to live your life isn’t the best path for everyone…

And you’re not the only one whose story goes like this!

But what’s really standing in your way is that you haven’t firmly decided that you are WORTHY of an amazing life.

You’re CHOOSING to settle for a job that doesn’t light you up because you’re scared of letting go of everything you know to chase a dream that seems wildly unrealistic.

I’ve been through that EXACT process and I can tell you it’s WORTH getting your hopes up and wondering if there could be more to life than the crappy job you find yourself in right now… because there 100000% is. 

So I dare you to commit to taking your life to the next level, where happiness, success, and fulfillment is unlimited…

Let’s talk about what we could accomplish together.


What is tugging at your heart today? How can you start taking baby steps to incorporate it into your life? Let us know in the comments below!


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