There is no doubt that using pirated software is not allowed according to Islam, as it is basically stealing.
Another rule in Islam is that you are answerable within your own "circle of control".
Sahih Bukhari: 6719.
'Abdullah ibn Dinar related from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar that the
Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said,
"All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his
flock. An Imam is a shepherd and he is responsible for those in his
care. A man is a shepherd in his family and is responsible for those
in his care. The woman is a shepherd in her husband's house and
children and is responsible for them. A man's slave is a shepherd over
his master's property and is responsible for it. All of you are
shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock."
So, there are two roles in which you can view this problem: personal and professional.
For personal case, you are in total control of yourself, so you should stop using pirated softwares, songs, books etc as soon as possible.
I would suggest to take a gradual approach. Step out of your comfort zone, a little and when you are comfortable with it, take the next step.
Allah wanted to forbid people to stop drinking, but Quran first encouraged to abstain from it. Then, when He knew that people can go to the next step, order for complete forbidden were given
One advantage that I noticed that after I stopped using pirated software, I did not had a single case of virus infection. It saved me a lot of time which was previously spent on fixing my machine.
For professional case, I think that you should tell your bosses, politely, that it is unethical to use pirated softwares. You can propose some alternatives that are free. If they force you to use it and you risk losing your job, I would suggest, that start looking for other job where you don't have to use pirated software. Meanwhile you can keep your current job.
Being a software developer, I am faced with this dilemma, every day. I stopped using pirated softwares when I realized that it is not correct. Here is how I went about doing that:
- I stopped using all the software for which I can find open-source alternatives. This included almost all the utility software like for Winzip to 7-zip
- Being a freelance developer, I stopped using all the pirated softwares which I was using to earn money, so that my earnings are halal.
- Then, I stopped using any pirated software, book etc