Here are the steps you need to take to find a more fulfilling and higher paying job.
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Dying for the day you can quit your job? You’re not alone: according to one Gallup poll, as many as 85% of the world’s employees are not engaged in the workplace.
This is a pretty sobering statistic, especially considering that for many of us, work takes up a massive chunk of our time and lives. Settling for a less than stellar job can feel terrible, yet figuring out how to change things can seem like an insurmountable task.
So what should you do if you hate your job? If you’re ready to take a more proactive and productive approach toward seeking out a job that really makes you happy, ask yourself these questions:
1. Why do you hate your job?
Before anything else, take a time-out and really consider why you hate your job. Get as specific as possible. Is it your arrogant boss, a soul-crushing commute or the fact that the work itself doesn’t ignite any passion within you?
The first step to action is awareness. By getting specific about why you hate about your job, you can actually give yourself some ideas for ways to take action to fix or change the things that are making you unhappy.
Considering why you hate your job can also give you feedback about what is unacceptable in future positions so that you can avoid certain situations with future employment.
2. What do you like about your job?
Even if you don’t like your job overall, there are probably at least a few things about it that you enjoy. For instance, maybe you really enjoy your coworkers, you regularly get a raise every year, or you love the sector or field overall.
Taking stock of what you do like about your job can help inform you about what type of direction you need to take to find a job that makes you feel great. It can also help you decide what course of action is needed to find such a job.
For example, if you love your work but not your coworkers, it might be a matter of finding a different company; if you simply don’t care about the work you’re doing, it may be time to consider a career change.
Related: 9 Signs You Should (Maybe) Quit Your Job Now
3. What could make you love your job?
In an ideal world, are there things that could be changed at your job that could make you love it, or at least like it a whole lot better?
Take the time to consider things that could really improve your relationship with your job, like being able to work at home 2 days a week or moving to a different department so that you could work with a different supervisor. Get specific, because the next thing you’ll want to consider is actually trying to make these things happen. Which leads to the next question…
4. Could you change things about your job?
While asking for things can be scary, you never know if you don’t try. If you’ve figured out some potential solutions that could make your job a better fit, consider proposing them to your employer.
Make a case for why these changes make sense not just for you but for the employer, including how these changes will make you a better and more effective employee. With the prospect of increased productivity and performance, you may find that employers are open to working with you to find mutually beneficial solutions.
Related: 5 Ways to Make Enough Side Money to Eventually Quit Your Job
5. Could you change your own mindset?
You may not be able to control much in life, but you are in control of your own mindset and attitude. What would happen if you decided to enjoy your job, even if there are aspects of it that you don’t like?
While this sounds simple, it’s much easier said than done. It involves a conscious choice to avoid a defeatist attitude, and it will take a lot of willpower to avoid negative talk, workplace gossip, and complaining.
But sometimes, an attitude adjustment can make a really big difference at the workplace, potentially changing how you feel about your job–or at the very least making it a more pleasant place to be until you can find something different.
6. Do you have an exit plan?
If you’ve decided that there’s simply no way, no how that you can possibly stick with your job or make changes that could make it better, then maybe it’s time to start making an exit plan.
Because you likely have responsibilities and don’t want to burn bridges, it’s usually not a good idea to have a dramatic “I quit” moment (as satisfying as the fantasy might be). Instead, take the time to be tactical about an exit strategy.
Set specific goals for what you want to do and begin to do the work that will get you there. That might be a matter of beginning to apply for a few jobs per week in your free time or signing up for a course to begin pursuing a different line of work.
7. Could you diversify to make more money?
Something that successful people often have in common is that they have more than one source of income. Could you begin to increase your financial independence and potentially rid yourself of your job by adding some additional income streams?
Some common ways to diversify include investing in real estate, investing in the stock market, or starting a business. Who knows: by diversifying, you might be able to escape from a job you hate much sooner!
Related: Struggling With a Career Change? Try Looking at It Like Dating.