Hate Your Job? Here's Why You May Want to Stick It Out

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In some cases, it pays to stay at a bad job just a bit longer.

Back in the day, I worked for a hedge fund that had me putting in long hours and spending my days with colleagues who didn't show me a lot of respect. It wasn't a great environment, to say the least, and after several years of that grind, I woke up one day feeling that if I stayed even another minute at that place, I might burst.

That morning, I spent some time working on my resignation letter. But then common sense kicked in, and I realized that quitting at that point in time would leave me at a big disadvantage, financially speaking.

If you're unhappy with your job, you may be making plans to up and quit any day now. But here's why you may want to wait.

Don't deny yourself a bonus

Many companies give out bonuses at the end of the year. If you're in line for a windfall, you may want to hold off on tendering your resignation.

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Back when I reached the point that I was ready to quit my job, I realized staying just two more months would mean collecting a giant bonus that would come in handy in a lot of ways. So I stayed, and sure enough, I made the decision to resign once that money was tucked away in my savings account.

Trust me when I say that it wasn't easy dragging myself to work every day during that eight-week period when I was really itching to quit. But I got through it by staying focused on the big picture.

While I won't reveal how much my bonus was, let's just say that it was enough to cover a few months of bills or fund a really sweet vacation. And that alone served as motivation to stay put longer.

Now, not every employer gives out a generous bonus. But even if you're in line for a modest windfall this December, it could pay to stay at your job so you can snag it.

Say you currently owe $1,000 on your credit cards, and you've gotten a $2,000 bonus at work every year for the past three years. Chances are, you can look forward to a similar payday this year, and sticking out your job could spell the difference between knocking out your nagging debt or having it hang over your head.

How to cope when you're sticking out a job

I know from firsthand experience how tough it is to show up at work and perform your best when you're more than ready to leave. But here are a few tips to help you get through that period:

  • Make specific plans for your bonus. This can help motivate you to do what you need to do to collect it.
  • Think about the consequences of not getting your bonus. That could mean staying in debt or not getting to take the big trip you've been hoping for.
  • Reward yourself every week with a modest treat for making it through. You might get a takeout order from your favorite restaurant or treat yourself to a nice, warm bath.

Sticking out a bad job isn't easy. But if it's likely you'll get a bonus at the end of the year, then at this point, it really doesn't pay to quit. Do your best to keep at it so you can collect the extra cash you're entitled to, and then move on to a better opportunity.

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