The idea of starting your career off with a terrible job might not sound very appealing, but actually I think it has some benefits. Let me be clear, though, that I am not talking about a job that’s low on the career ladder – I don’t mean ‘terrible’ like, working in a shop or a call centre. Those are respectable and honest jobs that somebody needs to do. When I say a terrible job, I mean any job which is badly managed and which has a negative working environment.
But why would you want a terrible job? Something which causes you stress and frustration? Well, I think that some negativity in the workplace is completely unavoidable and it’s good to be prepared. If you have such a bad experience early on, then nothing that comes afterwards will seem that bad.
This is certainly the case for me. While not my first ‘real’ job, fairly early in my career I had a job with a particularly nasty manager with many unpleasant personality traits. I put up with so many terrible things there, that nothing in any other job since has really seemed that bad – even when other employees have complained that things are really bad. I feel like it’s helped me to become quite resilient to corporate irritations and that’s something I am very pleased with. Handling problematic authority figures is something you can only learn to do through experience and that’s why it’s good to start your career with a terrible job.