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Tips on getting out of what seems a dead-end job

Tips on getting out of what seems a dead-end jobImage Credit: Supplied

Many people find themselves in a situation where the job they have isn't the one they want to keep. They may be stuck in a position that doesn't fulfil their professional ambition or they may accepted it rather than be unemployed.

Regardless of the reason you may resent your job, how you handle it should reflect first personal values, and second, an understanding of the job's importance to the overall picture of your career.

Does a temporary, or unfulfilling, job really matter? In many cases, it does. Especially if it runs for months or years, the job begins to define you and you will be in a better place if you can get out of it on good terms, with a positive reference.

This thought of identifying with the job you dislike may be in itself a reason to get out, and certainly should do so if unhappy. But what you shouldn't do is show disrespect, negligence or carelessness at work for the mere fact that you are — or think you are — too good for the job.

Here are a few points to keep in mind while planning an exit strategy.

The bright side

The current job may be disappointing overall and even an optimist may not see the bright side of having it. Are you a university graduate with an English language degree serving burgers? Are you a computer tech who is stuck in clerical job?

Whatever be the case, you may find it hard to pinpoint anything that is positive about the job. But in reality there could be a thing or two. Think of the people you work with, the connections you have developed or even the knowledge gained in that particular field. As much as this may not seem relevant to your next step, it is still valuable knowledge.

When you are so close to the situation, this knowledge doesn't seem to matter, but it does. When you move on, the experience, connections and even memories will help you in your next, more exciting job. So get started now on changing your attitude towards the current job and try to enjoy some of its aspects.

You are employed

Being employed is a big plus for any future employer, even if your job is not totally relevant to the position you are looking for. It gives future employers a psychological hint that you are employable and that you like to keep busy. Many employers fear that someone who has been out of work for a while is either having a serious problem, unwilling to work or unable to return to the daily grind.

With that in mind, remember even a job that is irrelevant to your overall career is a plus. The more you perceive it positively, you will be able to present it and speak about it enthusiastically at job interviews. No one wants to hire a candidate who is just desperate for a change, bitter or hopeless.

Keep your relief that your current job may soon become a history to yourself, and try to show how you made the best out of this particular experience.


You may never anticipate a situation where you will need a reference from your current employer — especially if the job is menial or far from what you expect to do in the future. Despite this, you never really know.

Some employers may randomly pick some past employers to contact. Others may simply know someone who worked at that same organisation and seek an informal reference.

Regardless of the scenario, don't choose to leave on bad terms. Patience and hard work could guarantee it a positive reference in the future.

Keep this in mind when you're doing your daily work, and particularly after you have given a notice. The last impression is as powerful as the first impression, so leave with grace.

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Source: Rania Oteify, Special to

The writer, a former Gulf News Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor