Do you dread waking up every morning? Or is there a sinking feeling every time Sunday rolls around?
I’ve been there before not too long ago.
I was stuck in a job that made me miserable.
I just graduated from college and was excited to kickstart my career in the corporate world.
However, I wasn’t ready for:
- The daily rush-hour traffic (I was doing daily 2-hour commutes! And I hate driving)
- Not being able to apply my skills and find career fulfillment (I was doing the same task every day)
- Constantly being tired and stressed
- Not having any time for my hobbies, relationships, exercise, leisure, and more
- Dreading Sundays and generally every morning
My life consisted of waking up early, commuting for an hour to an hour and a half, sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours, sitting through rush hour traffic, and coming home when it was pitch black, eating, and going to bed.
I wasn’t living at all.
I thought my job would be everything I ever wanted and more, but it was clear to me that it wasn’t.
I remember how much I hated my life at that point and felt like I hit rock bottom — I felt utterly lost and confused.
However, without a backup plan, it didn’t feel right to quit my job, especially when I needed the money.
If you hate your job but can’t quit, then here are 5 steps you can take right now.
1. Pinpoint WHY you hate your job
Exactly why do you hate your job?
Is it because of your boss? Is the work boring and not fulfilling? Or maybe it’s your commute, co-workers, the working environment, work hours, etc.
Regardless, it’s important to know why you hate your job and if there’s anything you could do to change your situation.
In my case, it was a combination of many things. I didn’t like my commute, the work I was doing, the working environment, the lack of time for myself, and much more.
Even if you feel like you can’t change any of these reasons, it’s important to know what they are so you can avoid them in your next career move.
It also helps to know what’s in your control and what isn’t for the sake of finding inner peace and clarity.
2. Assess your finances and start saving
Before making any big change, you want to assess your finances and get a clear grasp of what’s your situation looks like now.
If you do decide to quit your job, you want to make sure you have a few months of income to support yourself. I personally recommend six to twelve months. The more the better.
The last thing you want is to quit your job without a financial safety net.
Right after realizing that I hated my job, I started to put most of my money into savings.
I also started to be a lot more frugal. I:
- Stopped eating out
- Unsubscribed to subscriptions I didn’t need
- Stopped going to the mall
- Downsized and sold clothes I didn’t need
- Became a minimalist and curbed my shopping addiction
- Moved back in with my parents
Doing this allowed me to save so much more money.
Although I haven’t made the decision to quit yet, I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
If you find that you truly hate your job, I strongly urge you to start saving and downsizing.
It’ll get you in the habit of spending wisely and give you the confidence you need to eventually leave your job.
3. Create an Escape Plan
Creating a solid escape plan is what saved me from the dread and doom of my job.
It was painful working a dead-end job without having any idea of what you want to do next.
For the first few months of my job, I had no plans whatsoever. I felt dejected and unmotivated. Thinking of going through the job hunt again exhausted me.
But I realized that if I continued working at this job with no escape plan, then I’d be missing out on so much.
That’s when I made the decision to dive deeper and explore what I truly wanted to do.
After a lot of experimentation, I realized I loved creating content, designing, and having a platform where I can help others.
I also loved having that aspect of control of my career and life.
Finding my plan changed my perspective on a lot of things in my present-day situation.
Although I was still stuck at the job I hated, I now had a purpose and a drive.
I would listen to podcasts about mindset, personal development, and leadership during my two-hour commutes.
It turned something I once hated and dreaded into something I was actually excited about.
In addition, I didn’t have any close friends at the office, something I once was upset about.
However, that worked in my favor as I could work on my blog during lunch in the building’s cafe.
Finding a plan I was passionate about saved me and turned around arguably one of the worst chapters of my life, into an exciting one.
I finally felt like I was in control of my life again.
Ultimately, you want to come up with a goal with a plan included.
I planned out my goal, which was to initially make some amount of income from my side hustle (which I am now!)
To help me achieve that, I designed and religiously used my goal planner sheets that broke my big goals into manageable chunks.
Rome was not built overnight and I wasn’t going to make my escape plan work right away.
However, by following through with my plan and putting in the needed work, I made so much progress and achieved things I never thought were possible.
If you work at your job without a plan of leaving or making your situation better, you’ll only feel more hopeless as time goes on.
Develop an escape plan, work on it, and watch it play out. You might be able to quit your job sooner than you think.
Are you ready to find clarity and live the life you want?
There are many circumstances that might prevent you from leaving your job. I completely empathize as I was in your shoes not too long ago.
To help you, I put together the journaling prompts that helped me escape my job and design a life I *actually* enjoy.
Suggested resources: 5 Powerful Reasons Why You Need to Journal