Why Guys Get Trapped in Soul Sucking Jobs

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About Jayson Gaddis

Jayson Gaddis — householder, former psychotherapist, teacher, speaker, writer, relationship specialist, & soul guide is using the vehicle of his marriage and his children to become who he truly is, while expanding his capacity to love. He’s on the planet to help people master the soul lesson burning in their heart, through the vehicle of intimacy and relationship. He’s a husband and part-time stay-at-home Dad getting schooled by his two cosmic kids.


  1. Been there and done that for a variety of reasons. My last job, or rather a particular manager at my last job, was making me sick and I reached the point where I absolutely had to get out. I searched the job adds looking for any job I thought I could do and eventually found an ad for a job at a library. Although I’ve used libraries all my life I never thought of working in one. I got the job and I absolutely love it. I’m now studying to become a librarian.

    If I could give any advice to anyone in a soul sucking job who wants to get out I’d say think broadly about your interests,skills and experience and look for jobs that are interesting and suited to you. Once you find your fit you’ll feel like a new man.

  2. Why is any of this gendered? It’s 2012, for Chrissake.

  3. How do you figure out what you want to do:S
    The stuff I wanna do requires yeaaars of study but my health isn’t good enough to do so yet (working on it). That’s a big barrier as I’d rather dive into it n learn on the job.

    • It is very easy to do. Buckminster Fuller has the best method of figuring out what you are really meant to do with your life. Could be phrased two different ways. 1- Think back to what you were doing in your life before someone told you that you needed to “earn a living”. THAT is what you were meant to do. Now, people do change as they age, so that might not apply if you are not in your early adult life. If you are a little older ask yourself this question. 2- If you won the lottery today, what would you do tomorrow. Not straight away, but after you took a month or a year off to travel the world. When you came to a rest, and woke up realizing you never had to go to a “job” again, what would you spend your days doing. THAT is your true calling.

  4. I’ve always wanted to be a mattress tester.

  5. What’s worse: having a job you don’t like, or not having a job at all and living with your parents?

  6. I was working in Blind Rehabilitation and had to leave because my wife didn’t want me on the road. I should have left the wife instead. But my upbringing wouldn’t let me. So I sent ten years of emotional abuse and going from really bad job to really bad job.

    One of the happiest days of my life was when my wife told me the marriage wasn’t working.

  7. I just recently did a radical professional change after an eleven year career in the military. While it was a very difficult decision that lead to many sleepless nights I don’t regret it at all. It’s so easy to get trapped in fear freeze especially when you have a wife and kids to support and provide for. We worked our transition and change over the course of about two years. When I finally pulled the trigger I knew it wasn’t going to be all rainbows but I’m so thankful I did.

    The single biggest things that helped me sort it out was getting totally clear on my priorities. What was really important to me? What really mattered to me? How could I leverage my skills (professional, education, etc…) to do something I was really no kidding passionate about? For me it was very easy. My job kept taking me away from my family. Last year at this time I was overseas and in turn missed the birth of my second daughter. I wasn’t going to let that happen again. It was time to change and if there was pain associated with that it wasn’t nearly as bad as being away from my family for those moments that matter so much.

    It’s overused but so true, we’ve got one chance on this side of heaven, we need to fight not to waste it. Fight kicking and screaming to do something you love. I’m a better husband, Dad, and professional now as a result of making the change because I’m working at and for something I actually believe in instead of just punching my card.

    Happy Thanksgiving week to all!

  8. I personally identified with “The Strategist”–but I’m unsure as to how this falls under the category of unhappy work men. Part of being in your 20′s *is* education and career advancement until you find what’s right for you with the compensation you’re comfortable with–what’s the problem?

  9. Richard Aubrey says:

    Some of the things I thought about when I was in my teens were and are impracticable, until somebody invents a faster than light drive, for example.
    I figured a job was a way to earn money to do stuff I liked–such as support a family–and the number of jobs which would support my passion and my family approached zero.
    Some jobs suck your soul, some are just profitable ways to pass the time while you’re arranging to support that which you like.
    Sometimes the choice job and the talent don’t match.
    My bow is to the millions of guys who did what they had to do and didn’t consider a family some kind of anchor around their life ambitions. It’s called a sacrifice. A noble thing.

    • Bill Alexy says:

      Amen to that Richard. Christ didn’t die on the cross so that we could have the perfect job. Of course we shouldn’t squander our opportunities, and there is a time to move on, but personal sacrifice at job that seems to be sucking the life out of us may be the cross that Christ wants us to carry for a time.

      • Bill Alexy says:

        It also occurs to me that many people have squandered opportunity for fulfillment by not looking at their current situation with gratefulness. Some people have locked the,selves into bad positions because they haven’t looked for opportunities to make the best of their current situation. Being an excellent follower, like Joseph, can teach you how to become a good leader.

  10. If you want a new job, check out my free booklet (no strings attached), you can find it at


    You spend a lot of time at work, it should be rewarding.

  11. Wandering around aimlessly is a therapeutic way to ditch your mental filters and restraints; unless you are independently wealthy, this is best done over small periods of time.

    Save money and take a month off to travel on your own to do something that scares you (I hiked in the Himalayas in Nepal); take a vacation-as-internship and volunteer at an organization or industry you feel may interest you (film crew was not for me); or devote a few hours every week randomly researching degrees, job descriptions and/or certifications.

    I switched careers in my late twenties and moved through a few companies and departments within the same company throughout my thirties. Now at 39 I am writing a thesis for my master’s degree (which took 4.5 years to complete on a part-time basis), working in a very specialized industry at a small company, and making a good salary. I also train at a circus school twice a week to keep in shape and meet interesting people.

  12. Sean Wilson says:

    I came out of highschool with a vague idea of where I wanted to go career-wise, failed out of university, then a college (depression) and completed a course which led to a soul-sucking job with some practical benefits. It was taking a toll on my general well being so I saw a career counsellor, researched possible careers, decided on one, worked towards it, found out 2/3rds of the way through that I was ill suited to even finishing the practical component of the course, let alone work in the field. So I moved back with the folks, found a job with far worse pay than the soul-destroying job with no possibility of advancement. Then I let people talk me into trying one more time to pursue a “career” through a training course. I did well and now can not find work in the field.

    My point is that if I had stayed in the soul-destroying job I would have at least have payed off my loans by now and be still living on my own with the freedom to spend the weekends drinking away the rage. I bought in to the rhetoric that you should “do what you love” and “you can be anything you want”. No one pays people to do things that someone else would do for free. Jobs are meant to exchange money one needs for unpleasant things one is willing to do.

    • D.R. Bartlette says:

      Here, here. I tried “following my bliss,” got lots of training to do what I love (be a writer), and I’m trapped in a bad job. I teach college. Sounds nice, except I’m adjunct, which means part-time, which means literally poverty-level wages and up to four months without income (and no access to unemployment benefits). Not every talent has a job out there waiting for it. It sucks, but it’s true.

  13. This is a fantastic article!!! Work-Family balance issue for dads is my area, and think this is really applicable to what I do. Just a great article, man.

  14. Dammit, get out of my head! (screams the guy with 22 years in the architecture biz and without a job in it for the last 15 months)

    Good article. I’ve been looking for some “firestarter” material, and this helps. Thank you.

  15. Excellent piece, Jason.


  16. Hi, Jayson,

    In part 1, you describe 4 types of men. I would like to add one more: The Disadvantaged: You started life disadvantaged, so did the best you could, which was to take the best job that was available to you, in your immediate environment. But because you had a rough start, and perhaps no higher education, the only jobs available were unfulfilling and low-end. Over time, you slowly have made slightly-better choices, but mostly through negation: you choose against what you CAN NO LONGER STAND. So, you leave bad jobs by finding a slightly better position, but it’s still not great. And yet bills still have to be paid. Over time, over years, you have “come a long way” from where you have started, but it is still not the job of your dreams. You might have gotten better at selling shoes, say, and you might even work in a high-end shoe store now (no more PayLess) but what you REALLY always wanted to be an artist.

    Now, it might be tempting to lump this in with the Wanderer. But being a ski bum and pulling yourself out of poverty are two very different things.

    Good article, though. Thanks in advance for considering my point of view …


  17. “Or would you rather find meaningful work wherein everyday you woke up stoked about the day?”

    Great insights… My ex glommed onto me because I was working toward my ultimate career goal while he was stuck in a seemingly dead end job…he attained a master’s and ultimately a PhD…but it still was not enough for him….he wanted the professional degree I was going for….and he never let on that he envied me…as I think back, I believe he clung to me so tightly because he wanted to help me up the career ladder first and that in turn I would pull him up….but I was just a young girl and had no ideas of the manipulative schemes in his head…

    Thank you for writing this article…I could never figure him out…I think there was so much he left unsaid…he could be impenetrable at times….only now do I understand how much he resented me and envied my career goals….


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