I’m now a month post-graduation and still job-hunting. As expected, it’s been a slow process. There’s a lot of tweaking and tailoring cover letters and resumes, sending them off, and just…waiting.

Patience is something I struggle with, so my husband is often on the receiving end of lengthy monologues about how I want to start working soon. When this happens, he makes sure to remind me of how many jobs I’ve been offered in the past and turned down.

Yes, this is true. In the past couple years, I’ve received several job offers without even trying. There was the children’s home that offered me a totally different position than the one I expressed interest in. A work-from-home telemarketing job that preferred for me not to be in school because they wanted the job to be my “main focus.” And of course, the banking job with an office that looked like it was stuck in a 1970s time capsule.

Not the greatest employment opportunities by far. Still, there was a time when I would have taken any one of them for the sake of a paycheck. It seems pretentious to turn down jobs when I have bills, but here are some reasons why I do.

Crappy Jobs Zap My Energy

I used to blog as a hobby several years ago. It was something I enjoyed so much that I posted nearly every day at one point. When I joined the military, I only managed to write blog posts a few times a year.

There were a few contributing factors to this. I was stationed on an aircraft carrier, which meant being stuck at sea for weeks with limited internet access. Also, my laptop finally met its maker and I couldn’t afford a new one.

The main reason is that I was simply drained. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. This is a recurring theme I’ve noticed from many jobs I’ve had. I spent so much energy trying to make it through each workday, that I was too tired to focus on what I actually liked doing once I got home.

I’ll End Up Leaving Anyway

To piggyback off my last point, operating on bare minimum energy didn’t last for long. Aside from the military, I only stayed on an undesirable job for a year or less before moving on.

Now I figure, why take a job I know I won’t be happy at, just to leave a few months later? Sure I’ll have a few paychecks in between, but I’ll still be in the same position I was to begin with: unemployed.

I’d rather be unemployed with the energy to look for a job I truly enjoy, than unemployed and bitter from a job where I wasted months being miserable.

I Don’t Want a Job…I Want a Purpose

Call me naïve, but I believe everyone has a purpose in life. I also believe purpose involves more than spending 50% of your day at a place you hate. Time and energy invested in a job you don’t like is time and energy taken away from your passion.

Since leaving the military, I’ve accomplished so much in the past two years. I’ve started blogging consistently, completed my undergraduate education, acquired clients for my freelance writing, and more.

I honestly don’t think I would have accomplished half of this if I were at a job I hated. I may not be bringing in steady income at the moment, but I’m confident that if I focus on fulfilling my purpose, the salary will come.


Have you ever turned down a job even though you need money? Do you tend to value purpose over a paycheck?


  • Thank you SO MUCH for writing this!

    I’ve done both! I’ve taken jobs which I realized later were holding me back from really getting to the next level and also turned down work that I knew would probably be detrimental in the long run. I was definitely fortunate enough to be able to have that option and still have a roof over my head, but it’s a struggle to find a balance when there are so many unknowns.

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment. It is a struggle to decide between taking a job you may not love, and doing something just to pay the bills. At the end of the day, it’s about going with your gut and not being afraid to start over if you have to. Thanks again for stopping by!

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