The majority of us spend at least a third of our waking hours in the workplace. For some, work is something to look forward to, a place where they’re able to express their talents in a way that is invigorating and exciting. For many others, however, work is something that can be dreadful, monotonous, and excruciatingly boring. If the latter statement describes you, here are some potential ways to deal with your workplace struggles and also create a plan to transition into something that is more suited to who you are as a person.
1. Do more than what you get paid for
This may seem counterintuitive to some people. If you’re working at a job you dislike, why should you go the extra mile while you’re there? The answer is simple: the habits you display in the present will affect how you behave in the future. Many people probably feel that if they were in the type of job they loved, they would really pour on the extra effort they’re capable of exhibiting. This is an immature and foolhardy way to think. Regardless of where you’re employed, you should provide a maximum effort. It is not like you’re going to miraculously become more productive and become a great leader once you’ve gained a new position. You must be trusted with a little before you can be trusted with a lot. If you haven’t even mastered a menial job, what gives you the right to hold a more prestigious one?
2. Treat every position as a learning experience
There are pieces of valuable knowledge to be gained in every industry. Regardless of where you’re employed, you’re developing some sort of skill. While you’re working, think of what you can learn from your time spent there. If you deal with customers you are gaining valuable communication skills and learning how to serve others, which is a quality of leadership. If you’re in a corporate environment you are assuredly gaining business skills that can translate to aiding in the monetization of what you’re truly passionate about. There is useful information to be drawn from a myriad of places as long as you are aware and observant.
3. Ruthlessly cut expenses/save money
Perhaps the reason you’re currently stuck in a job that you dislike is because you have to pay the bills and can’t afford to get behind. Financial worry strikes a cord with many of us, but if we’re being totally honest with ourselves we may have to admit that our own spending habits are part of the problem. You have to know where you’re money is going. It is of absolute importance that you keep track of your financial situation. If you’re the type of person who says things like “I just don’t know where it all goes”, you are destined to live a life of financial misery. If you’re thinking about starting a side project, it may take some capital to launch it. Saving money can also leave you some breathing room if you’re trying something new that won’t provide you with a steady and consistent income. It may take you quite a while to build a healthy reserve of cash, but it’s worth it.
4. Discover your passion
What would you do all day if money weren’t a part of the equation? What type of work would you do for free? What do you love? I speak on finding your calling quite a bit, and it’s because I think it is one of, if not the most important areas of your life that you have to get right in order to be happy. Take some time to think about what you’d really like to do for a living instead of what you’re doing now. This is the beginning of forging your escape plan.
5. Be grateful that you have a job in the first place
Perhaps you don’t particularly enjoy what you do for a living, but if it puts a roof over your head and feeds you and your family that’s something you should be truly grateful for. I think as Americans we tend to forget that we live comparatively easy lives to many people across the globe, and even some people in our own country. Maybe you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but there are people in other countries that may only make in an entire year what you make in one month. We live in a country that people risks their lives to enter into, just to take jobs that many of us consider beneath us, as a way to improve the situation they had previously. Think about that the next time you’re complaining about how much you get paid.
6. Do some research
You want start a new venture, but you’re now sure how to translate what you’re trying to do into something that can provide you a living. Take the time to investigate potential ways you can make a living doing what you’re passionate about. Chances are that your idea isn’t one hundred percent original, and someone has walked a similar path to yours before. Read books related to your industry of interest. As a general rule, you should probably read at least one book per month. It is my anecdotal argument that the majority of successful people are readers. There’s also this amazing website that contains an infinite amount of information, and it probably has some relevant information that you can benefit from and use in your life – it’s called Google. I don’t know if you’ve heard of it, but it’s extremely useful.
7. Transition slowly
I was watching an interview with best selling author Robert Greene and he illustrated an example of someone he knew transitioning out of a job she disliked into doing what she loved. She was a lawyer by trade, but what she really wanted to do is write. Instead of quitting her job instantly and writing a novel when she had little to no experience in writing, she started by writing about what she knew. She wrote articles on legal issues and then after gaining some experience in writing she moved on to writing about other subjects. This is an example of the idea of using what you’ve learned from your years of employment to transition into a new field.
8. Keep your job and start a side project
For many of us it’s simply not feasible to drop everything we’re doing and travel down a diverging career path without a safety net. We may have obligations that require us to have a steady source of income. If you want to write, start blogging in your free time. If you want to build an online business, build it on the side until you make enough money to actually quit your job.
9. Find the time for your dreams
I know that it’s hard to find time to work on your side project when you have so many other things going on. Working 40 hours a week is already tiring enough for many of us, and it can be difficult to find the time and energy to pursue something else in addition to that, but if you want to live the life of your dreams, you have to find the time. Wake up earlier, use any increment of free time and devote it to your project, even if it’s 30 minutes. Perhaps instead of watching three hours of television every day you could use that time towards creating a better life for yourself. Do whatever it takes to make it happen.
10. Use the job you hate as motivation
Every time you feel like giving up on your dreams, picture yourself working at this job you hate for the rest of your live. You’re going to need a reason to keep you motivated. Use your minimally engaging employment as fuel to keep you going. Decide that enough is enough. Become so disgusted with your situation that you become committed and have the resolve to follow through with your mission. Negative emotions can be useful as long as you don’t let them overtake you. A little fear is good for you, as long as it’s not paralyzing, and you should definitely be afraid of living a crappy life. Do you have what it takes to find a way out?