These Jobs Never Last. But Here’s How to Make It Work Until You Get a Better One

Nothing lasts forever. This is especially true when it comes to jobs that are a poor fit. Once you realize you’re not in the right job, it’s time to be proactive and start looking for ways to improve your situation. Here are five types of jobs that never last and how to make them work until you get a better one.

1. The job you took to pay the bills

Michelle Abbruzzese performing at a pole dance competition
You might not make a career like dancer and fitness instructor Michelle Abbruzzese, but you’re making ends meet. | Alloy Images

We’ve all been desperate enough at one point in our career that we just took a job to pay the bills. When your back is against the wall and your mortgage or rent payment is due, you really don’t have much choice. Any job would look good at this point. Career experts sometimes refer to this as a survival job. These jobs are typically low paying and usually below your skill level. There usually comes a point where you realize you’re not where you need to be, and it’s time to make a career move.

How to make it work

wallet full of money
Save as much as you can, and move on. |

Use this time to figure out what type of job you’re really looking for. What are your passions? What really makes you excited to get up and go to work each morning? Once you’ve identified what it is you’d like to be doing, take steps toward making your dream job a reality. If your job offers special training or tuition reimbursement, take advantage. Make an effort to learn something new.
Also, use this time as an opportunity to save money. Every bit counts. Even if you can’t sock away the recommended 10% to 15% of your paycheck, save something for a rainy day while you prepare to move on to a new job.

2. The ‘fake it till you make it’ job

Michael Scott in "The Office" trying to spell respect
Fake it, but try to learn some skills in the process. | NBC

These are the types of jobs you get after being hired for a position where your skills are below the level of the job you applied for. You see an advertisement for a job that makes your heart skip a beat. However, as you continue to read the description, you see you don’t have all the required skills.
But you want the job so badly that you jazz up your resume and work hard to give a killer interview. Much to your surprise, you get the job. The only problem is you’re in way over your head. If you don’t learn your job quickly, you’ll be out the door in no time.

How to make it work

man writing
Just do your best, and take advantage of opportunities to learn. |

If you keep faking it, you won’t have a job for much longer. Don’t continue winging it and feeling your way through the job. Eventually, you’ll end up making a critical mistake that could have been avoided if you just learned your job. You can make this situation work by acquiring the skills necessary to do your job. You’ll not only get better at your current job but also learn enough to get another job with a higher salary.

3. The dead-end job

frustrated man in a cubicle
You’re not going anywhere. |

When most people think about dead-end jobs, they have visions of a fast-food worker. However, not all dead-end jobs are of this sort. A job is considered a dead end if there’s no room for advancement. No matter how good you are at your job, the only hope you have of moving forward in your career is if you quit and find other employment. When you’re working in a dead-end job, you’re going nowhere fast.

How to make it work

man working in office
Time to dust off that resume. |

The only way to make your dead-end job work is to continue with your job search and leave as soon as you’re able to find a better job. Keep sending out resumes and going on job interviews. Also, stay in contact with your network to let people know you are still looking for a job.
Persistence is key when you’re in a situation like this. Too many job seekers get comfortable or discouraged and stop looking for something better. Keep discouragement at bay by continuing to reach out to others and stay connected.

4. The job that sounded good at first but now you hate

woman who doesn't want to get out of bed
Is it time to go to work again? |

When you first started, things were good. However, after a few months or weeks, you begin to realize this isn’t what you signed up for. The job description changed drastically from what was described during the interview, and you have no idea what happened.
Making matters worse, there are other little annoyances you were willing to ignore in the beginning that are now grating on your nerves. Everything about this job is starting to get to you. The commute is long, your co-workers are horrible, and the salary just isn’t cutting it anymore. You can’t take it anymore. Your stress levels are at an all-time high, and you’re starting to burn out.

How to make it work

women in yoga class
Engage in self-care until you can find a better place to work. |

Do what you can to make your time there pleasant until you can leave. Focus on self-care as much as possible. And that means not working through lunch or eating at your desk while you work. It’s important for you to take your breaks. You can use your lunch time to take a yoga class, read a good book, or meditate. Protect your physical and mental health until you find the job that’s right for you.

5. The job with an evil boss

Businessman shouting
You just found out you work for the devil. |

You don’t like your boss, and your boss doesn’t like you either. Every day is a battle, and you can’t wait for the day to end, so you can go home and recover. No matter how much effort you put into your work, it’s never good enough. Despite your best efforts, you feel like you’re sinking in quicksand. You’ve been so distressed that you’re getting sick, and the weekends can’t come fast enough.

How to make it work

meeting at work
Have a talk with your boss. |

Talk to your boss. Set up a meeting where you go over his or her expectations. Ask whether there’s anything you can do to improve. If your manager isn’t helpful or doesn’t seem interested in making things work, it’s time to look for alternatives. Your options are to move to another department or leave the company. You’ll want to speed up the timeline for your exit if you’re getting sick. No job is worth sacrificing your health.
Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo.