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'I’m unhappy at work but I'm the family breadwinner so I can’t just quit my job. What do I do?’

By BṺM TENORIO JR., The Philippine STAR Published Jul 03, 2022 12:21 pm

Each week, PhilSTAR L!fe addresses a reader's concern about relationships, career, and anything they want to talk about through its advice column: Asking for a Friend.

Dear L!fe friend,

I've been in the BPO industry for almost one year. There are lots of benefits such as medical assistance and a good salary as well for newbies. But sometimes, I feel that I am in the wrong place. I feel empty and I am no longer excited when I go to work. Two days off are not enough for me and I feel like I need to rest a lot due to the stressful environment that I have, especially with the customers that I am talking to. 

Lately, I’ve been feeling that I need to rest and send my resignation letter but then I remember that I am the breadwinner of the family and I should take care of their needs at home. I don’t know what to do. I am really grateful that I have work right now but sometimes, it’s really exhausting and it’s not good for me to stay.

—Unhappy Employee

Dear Unhappy Employee,

You may want to reconsider your intent of resigning from your job for the following reasons:

  1. Methinks it’s too early to give up on your job because you’ve only been at the BPO for about a year. My friends who are HR heads of companies told me that employees who leave their jobs early (meaning less than a year) send the signal that they are not dependable. Employers want to hire people who can be depended upon in good times and bad. If you resign early, that record might be a point against you in your next employment.
  2. If you are already decided in leaving the BPO, you need to scout now for a new job that suits your talent and ability. Then again, Point No. 1 could be used against your application. Life is hard now. Though the National Economic and Development Authority tallied in May a record-low unemployment rate since the start of the pandemic, from 6.4% in February to 5.8% in March 2022, the fact still remains that many are still scampering to have a job, a decent one. Hold on to your job now. If you start a new one, you may not have the benefits you enjoy now because regularization takes months, depending on your performance.
  3. Truth is, you are still a lucky person to have a two-day off from work. Some people are not as lucky as you because they only have one-day rest from work.
  4. Tiis ka muna kasi breadwinner ka. Trust me, you won’t be happy if you see your loved ones hungry. Being a breadwinner is hard but it is also its own reward.
  5. If you still have leave credits, file for a short sabbatical and recharge. You don’t need to go to far places. You can just be at home and enjoy the art of doing nothing. After that, go back to work again and see if you will still feel empty or if you will still feel that there’s a boulder on your chest when you prepare yourself to work each day.
  6. This may sound cliché, but in times like this, develop an attitude of gratitude. Please appreciate what you have now.

I hope you become happy soon.

Your L!fe friend,


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