I’ve been there. My first job out of college was in customer service, at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I worked 12 hour shifts, leaving my house before light and getting home after dark. My boss went on maternity leave and the lady who replaced her was ranked worst in the region and threw her employees under the bus every chance she got. Customers (posing as grown men) would throw temper tantrums when they didn’t get their way, and I had to appease them. I hated that job.
But also, it was good for me. A nightmare job is one of the best places to develop an awesome work ethic. Not to get too sappy, but I wouldn’t be the man I am today if it weren’t for Enterprise, and all of their terrible customers.
My understanding is that Millennials want jobs where they can change the world. That’s a really nice sentiment, and obviously that’s important to me too. But it doesn’t happen right away.
Even though it was difficult, I worked hard for Enterprise. I wanted to be the best. I ended up getting promoted faster than anyone in the company had ever been promoted before (6 months). And I was almost always invited to the top 5 monthly performers event.
Here’s my tough love for those working a terrible job: be good at it. A nicer boss, more pay, and more meaning are all great goals. But you’ll never get a shot at those things until you perform in whatever job you have right now.