One of my first articles was entitled “the YOU brand” and is still one of my favorite articles.
I strongly recommend you read it as it has helped many people change their approach to career management. I will assume you read it and accept the premise that you are selling your services to your company in exchange for salary, benefits and working conditions.
What happens if you are in a “crappy job”? Crappy can mean different things to different people. For some it means no work-life balance. For others it means sub-par pay. For others it may mean lack of career progression. Regardless of what it means to you, what do you do?
You are not responsible for being in a “crappy job”, you are responsible for staying in it.
As a consultant selling your services to your company, you are responsible for your career and all its qualities/deficiencies. Ultimately the decision to stay in the “crappy job” is yours and yours alone. Remember that there are always options and that you should manage your career like a business. If the conditions are no longer favorable, switch positions, departments or companies. If you don’t have the skills or experience to switch right away, make a plan and follow-it.
Remember that the best investment you can make is in yourself.