Why I will never regret working in a job I hated.


Why I will never regret working in a job I hated.

I worked in a job I hated for a long time. I was at the company for three and a half years, and I was miserable for most of it. Looking back, I'm not sure how I put up with it for so long, but then again, I didn't know any different. I didn't realise that you could go to work every day and not hate everything about it.

If you've had a glance over my career journey so far, you may know that this job was for a pretty large corporate firm. I worked in audit full time whilst studying for my professional exams. In 2016 I made a pretty drastic career change to radio. A lot of people ask me if I regret working in that job for over three years, or if I had the chance to redo, knowing what I know now, whether i’d do something completely different.

My answer? Absolutely not.

That job taught me so much. It taught me all of the basic things you pick up when you first start full time work, like office etiquette and how to liaise with clients… and how to remember everyone’s tea order when there's 8 people to brew up for, and Susan has half a sweetener with a drop of milk but Mike wants the milk first and 3 sugars and Julie won't even touch hers if it's not the same colour as her desk. (Offices are fascinating places.)


But, it also taught me invaluable skills and lessons that I’ve been able to take with me to future jobs that I love.

It taught me that you have to manage your managers and each one needs managing differently if you want your working life to be that little bit more bearable.

It taught me (eventually) how to stand up for myself and that you are allowed to say 'no' when others are expecting too much of you.

It taught me how to deal with older, male clients (or colleagues) who take one look at a 'young girl' and think they can walk all over you and pull the wool over your eyes.

It taught me that in order to get the answers that you need, you firstly need to speak to people, ask them what they do and understand what they bring to a business before asking any further questions.

It taught me just how important a work-life balance is and how it can all go wrong when you don’t have one.

In that job I was working at least 14 hour days with 4 hours of commuting to clients across the country. My alarm would go off at 5am and I'd be out of the flat by 6am in case there was traffic. The phrase '9-5' was non-existent. If you rocked up to the office after 8am you were 'late', and lets not even talk about the looks you would get if you dared to get out of your seat at 5pm.

And so now nothing seems like too big of an ask. I need to be in the office for 7.30am for a week? Absolute doddle.

I need to stay an extra 30 mins to make a deadline? No problem.

I need to speak to someone I've never met before? Introducing yourself is easy when you've had to meet with a different client every week for 3 years.

Most importantly, it taught me exactly what I didn't want in a future job.

It made me realise that the corporate world wasn't for me and that I wanted to be around more like-minded co-workers who had the same values as I did. People who wouldn't sacrifice evenings and weekends with their family to work ridiculous hours, or expect you to do the same and drop everything to put work first.

Working a job you hate can feel like the worst thing in the world while you're in it, but if you find yourself in this position, remember - everything is temporary. As soon as you get yourself out the other side (because you will), you'll be able to look back and really dig out the positives from your experience.