I once took a job that I didn’t want. I needed a job, of any kind, even if it wasn’t in my field. I was looking for a stepping stone, something I could do for now and change later. What I took was an overnight, very physically demanding job that was part time and didn’t pay very much.
Not necessarily my wisest move. I took it because it was a foot-in-the-door kind of job. After a year I could transfer within the company to something that fit my skillset. The idea of working overnight sounded like hell. I wasn’t very physically strong, but as far as I knew I had a good back. I thought, I can do anything for a year.
Here’s the truth: You can do anything for a few months – not a year.
Four months in, I hurt my back. I had mild pain, but stronger pins and needles sensations. When I laid down in bed I felt as though I were laying on a lump that wasn’t actually there. I was alternatively at work under restriction and off work because I kept aggravating it. Finally, I got in to see a chiropractor, and he told me that I had knocked a vertebra out of alignment.
I went on medical leave, desperate to find something else that was more in keeping with my business experience at the time: software testing, copy writing, website copy and assets. I set up my LinkedIn profile to indicate I was looking for work. Do you know what Linked In kept offering me?
Overnight, physically demanding jobs.
I took a job that was supposed to be a foot in the door. When I realized I might not be able to keep my foot in that door long enough, and started looking elsewhere, I was basically told that what I had was what I wanted.
This is wrong on multiple levels.
Don’t let anyone tell you that just because you’ve accepted their behavior once, it’s OK for them to do whatever it is as many times as they want, over and over, until the end of time. You can change you mind at any moment. Yes, they will continue to push you, and it will take time for them and your other relationships to adjust, but you have every right to say, “No, I will not accept that behavior anymore.”
You may have to leave people behind. I intend to leave this job behind for another role with the same company. Please know that you can change what you will accept at any time – because you will really get what you accept.