Most of us spend at least a third of our lives working. That’s not including time commuting, or the time we spend thinking about work even when we aren’t in the office. If work is making you miserable, you are tired of working your day job, that’s almost sure to spill over into your personal life. Your relationships, mental health, even physical well-being can be negatively impacted by a toxic, overly stressful job.
Fortunately, while working is a necessity for most of us, suffering is not. You can make changes, starting today, that will improve your situation. keep reading to learn more about the steps you can take to lead a happier work life.
Reasons You Could be Tired of Working Full Time
before you can make any real improvements to your situation, you need to figure out why you are unhappy in the first place. Once you confront the problem you’ll be in a much better position to fix it. Take an honest look at your current situation oh, and your feelings about that. Here are some of the reasons why you could be tired of your current daily grind.
Work hours are incompatible with your life
When do you work, and how often do you work? These are simple questions, but the answers can really impact your quality of life.
If you work too many hours, you lose time with family and friends, and you lack the time you need to pursue interests or engage in self-care. If you don’t work enough hours oh, you miss out on pay and benefits.
Further, if your work schedule isn’t compatible with your natural sleep patterns, that can also cause issues. People who work a night shift, or who work swing shifts, often complain of sleep deprivation, stress, mental health issues, etc. You can literally be tired of working to the extent that it impacts your mental health.
You have a killer commute
There’s a reason why people take the length of their commute into consideration when they search for a place to live. Sitting in traffic is extraordinary really stressful. So is navigating public transit during the busiest times of the day.if you have a miserable commute, it is probably contributing to your overall dissatisfaction more than you realize
Your job is having a negative impact on your home life
When you come home from work with your energy sapped, and you are in a sour mood, that impacts the people you live with. The same is true if work doesn’t leave you time to spend with the people you love or do your fair share of work around the house. Work is important, but should you have to sacrifice the happiness of your family for it? Of course not.
You find your work to be unfulfilling
For some people, work is just a means to earn a paycheck so that they can enjoy the rest of their life. For others, that’s simply not enough. They need to spend their work hours doing something that they find to be meaningful and fulfilling. If the former describes your approach to work that’s wonderful. On the other hand, if you fall into the latter category, and your work is unfulfilling you know how soul-sucking that can be.
The work you do is damaging to your mental health
A poor work situation can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, even anger issues. If you have existing mental health struggles, and your work is a source of stress, those struggles can be aggravated significantly. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and it’s worth making changes to protect that.
Here’s What to do if You’re Tired of Working
All jobs are stressful at some point. Very few people are fortunate enough to work in places where they never experienced any sort of stress for negativity. Still, if you find yourself dreading work every single day, your mental health is on the decline, or your relationships are being impacted negatively oh, you know that it is time for a change.
Are you in a position to make a big change? Now maybe the perfect time. Your health, well being, and happiness are important. The following are some big steps, and they take quite a bit of commitment. However, if you can pull them off you just might find that you will be happy with your work situation again.
Freelancing is a low barrier way for someone to begin working for themselves. You can even begin working independently while you are still employed full-time. If you have a solid skill set, and a good reputation in your industry, you may have what it takes to start working on your own as a freelancer. Here are some steps to help you get started.
- Identify your niche. This is the area in which you will specialize so that you stand out from your competitors.
- Determine who your target clients are. Be aware that non compete agreements may prevent you from approaching your current employers’ clients.
- Begin doing pricing research. Learn what your competitors are charging, then set yours accordingly. Keep in mind that you are more likely to land better clients by charging prices within the market range than you are undercutting your competition with bargain-basement pricing.
- Create a website. Your web page should be professionally designed if possible. It should include your contact information, order forms, and your portfolio. Consider starting a blog to showcase your industry insights and expertise.
- Build a list of contacts. Reach out to former coworkers, alumni, business associates, friends, and relatives. Let them know you are striking it out on your own. Create an active presence on LinkedIn, and other social media pages that are relevant to your industry.
- Send out letters of interest or pitch letters to a small list of carefully curated, target clients to get started.
You may struggle to find clients at first. If you do, you can check out freelance job platforms to help you source your initial clients.
The Pros & Cons of Freelancing
Before you begin freelancing, you should the benefits and drawbacks into consideration. Here are a few of the positives:
- You control your schedule.
- You may get to work on projects that are more interesting to you.
- You can be selective with the clients you choose.
- You have the opportunity to make more money.
- Saving on commute time and costs.
- Less office politics.
Now the downside:
- You are now responsible for finding your own clients.
- You must cover your insurance, vacations, and other benefits.
- No paid time off.
- Inconsistent cash flow.
- Starting in freelancing can be financially rough until you gain some traction.
- You may struggle to stay motivated.
Start a Side Hustle
A side hustle is something that you do in addition to your job. It may be related to your current skill set or something different altogether. The first thing to consider is whether or not you can work while also generating income from a side hustle. If you think you can, you have some options. Here are a few side hustle opportunities that might work for you:
- Starting a blog and generating income from affiliate marketing and advertising.
- Performing microtasks online.
- Driving for a ride service like Lyft or a grocery delivery company.
- Freelance writing.
- Conducting in-home product tests.
- Completing studies and surveys for market and academic research.
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Sign up for services like TaskRabbit to perform tasks in your area for pay.
- Take photographs and upload them to stock image sites.
- Create art and sell through platforms like Etsy and Redbubble.
- Become a translator or transcriptionist.
- Writing and self-publishing ebooks.
- Participating in focus groups and studies.
- Becoming a tax preparation specialist.
These are just a few side hustle ideas. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Start a Small Business
This is undoubtedly a big step, but if you’ve dreamed of launching your own business, now may be as good a time as any. The key to success is persistence, identifying a niche that works for you, creating a solid plan for your business, and executing that plan carefully.
Planning Your Business
The SBA has important steps outlined to start your business. These include registering your business name, choosing your location, and deciding whether or not you should incorporate it. These are important. However, the most important things are developing a product and building a customer base. These ten steps for starting a business dig a bit deeper into the processes involved in finding the right product or service, identifying your target market, and reaching out to your potential customers.
Unless you are able to bootstrap your own funding, you will most likely have to bring investors to help finance your business. You should create an investment pitch to facilitate that. You can also look into receiving funding through small business loans, crowdfunding campaigns, or by working with small business accelerators and hives.
All of this may seem a bit intimidating. There is certainly a lot to learn. Fortunately, many smart people have taken the time to educate new entrepreneurs. Check out these business books that were written with the solopreneur in mind.
Sometimes, you don’t need to do something different as much as you just need to do less. If it’s a feasible option for you, consider scaling back to part-time work. You can then use the spare time for self-care and wellness, to work around the house, returning to school, and focusing on your well being.
It may not be feasible to do this permanently. Still, if your day job is a significant source of stress and upset, it is something to consider.
Finding Your Passion With Your New Journey
No matter which direction you take, your satisfaction and happiness will depend largely on whether or not you end each workday satisfied. for many people, that satisfaction comes when they do something for a living that allows them to combine their passions with their talents. In other words, the key is finding something to do that you love and that you are good at as well.
If you aren’t sure what that is, you are not alone. Many people struggle to identify work that falls within that sweet spot. Here are some steps that you can take to help identify your passion, and connect that with your talents.
- Make a list of your hobbies and interests.
- Identify where you shine at work. What have you been complimented or commended for doing exceptionally well? Is there a particular area where you are seen as a bit of a subject matter expert?
- Remember that you may have talents that aren’t being used in the workplace at all. What are the skills you’ve developed outside of work?
- List the things you enjoy about your job. For example, you may dislike most of your duties as a customer support representative, but have a passion for investigating and solving computer-related problems.
- Think back to your schooling. What were the subjects you were most talented at? Which ones did you love?
Hopefully, thinking of all of these things will help you to identify areas where you have abilities and skills as well as a true passion.
Can’t Quit Your Job Yet? Here are 3 Ways to Make Your Current Situation Better
There are some pretty significant steps listed above. If you aren’t able to make such an extreme move, you still have options. There are things that you can do to help make your current situation better. You can take these steps as you plan your next move, or simply as a way to make your current job more satisfying and easier to tolerate.
Reduce Your Hours
This one is certainly easier said than done. Many people are simply not in a position to do this without financial or career risk. That said, if you are able to reduce your work hours, the results can be significant. Even decreasing your hours by 5 per week could open up some time for you to spend additional time with your family, take a course to develop new skills, or begin planning your next career move. You may even be able to reclaim some time by working from home a few days a week to avoid the commute time.
Take a Sabbatical
If you are fortunate enough to have established some seniority and are valuable enough to your organization, you may be able to take a sabbatical. The same is true if you are confident in your ability to gain employment should you take a break.
In some cases, your employer may even be willing to provide you with some support, or at least a guarantee to hold your job during your sabbatical. However, this is generally limited to cases where you plan to spend your time in research or study that will benefit the organization for which you work.
Focus on Your Wellbeing
This bit of advice really applies to anyone reading this regardless of your situation, or how you plan to handle your employment situation moving forward. It is imperative that you focus on your wellbeing. Self-care is not just a trendy buzzword. It describes a necessary set of steps you should take to ensure that you are physically and mentally well.
Of course, this can be challenging. Because, when you feel frazzled and spun out by your work, it’s hard to find the motivation to even take care of yourself. Still, you must. It is really that appointment. Keep up with doctors’ appointments. Eat healthy foods. Try to get in some exercise each day. Yoga and meditation can also help you stay centered and focused. If you aren’t convinced of the benefits of traditional meditation, consider mindfulness meditation. It has scientifically proven benefits and isn’t simply based on ‘woo’.
If you are unhappy with your day job, there are options for you. Some of these steps are quite radical, and absolutely require dedication and resources. Others are much easier to execute. No matter where you are in the job search process, you should be able to pinpoint some steps to take to make your work life a much happier one.