Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

A Great, Awful Job

Posted By on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Dear Lola,

I have a really, truly great job that I’ve really, truly grown to dislike. It took a lot of education and hard work to get my current position. For a long time, I was very proud and satisfied with that. It also helps that I get paid a fair amount of money.

Fifteen years in though, I’m tired of it and feel like I should have already moved on.

The problem is that my skill set is very specialized and specific, so it would be hard for me to find other good, well-remunerated work doing anything else.

I know the pandemic isn’t necessarily the time to make drastic career or life changes, but the thought of sticking it out for another six months or another year or however long it takes for a vaccine to be developed and life to get back to normal fills me with a huge amount of dread.

So many people are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. I’m very lucky not to be in that situation, but I still feel miserable and trapped.

Am I being unrealistic? Is this just what it feels like to have a long-term career?

Do I need to adjust my expectations and accept that work is work? If I did leave, what then? Would I find another job and then hate that one too?

–Should I Stay or Should I Go?


Dear Stay or Go,

Your unhappiness and dissatisfaction are very apparent in your letter, and I think you should leave this job.

The proposed alternative of realigning your expectations doesn’t amount to much more than telling yourself to stop being unhappy even though you know that you are miserable. It’s hard to see how that would be a worthwhile solution.

Maybe you would grow to hate a new job, and, if that’s the case, then you’ll have to make more decisions about your career at that point.

Without knowing the specifics of your financial situation, I’d say that your task now is to determine the earliest possible date you can responsibly quit. Hopefully, after 15  years of well-paying work, you have some savings to help ease you through this transition.

It will likely take a lot of effort to calculate and offset the risks involved in making this change. Given your education and willingness to work hard, I feel quite confident that you will be able to figure it out.

Good luck!


Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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