From the archives: Here's one of our favorite stories with helpful tips for Smarter Living.
We all have heard — or at least seen in the movies — great stories about people who are working in soul-destroying jobs, then quit in some spectacular fashion and move on to fabulous second careers.
This isn't a column about that. Rather, more realistically, it's about what to do if you're in a job you dislike — or actively hate — but can't move on. Maybe you need to pay the rent or the mortgage and you've sent out endless résumés and haven't gotten a bite.
Whatever the reason, you're stuck. Are there ways to make going into work every day more palatable?
Dawn Rosenberg McKay, who writes the career planning guide on About.com (which is owned by The New York Times), suggests first making a list of all the things you dislike about your job.
Try to do it when you have a little distance, like during a vacation or on a weekend. Don't cheat and write, "everything." It may feel that way, but that's not helpful.
"If you hate your boss, write down the things you hate about her," Ms. Rosenberg said. Do you like what you do, but dislike your colleagues or boss, or do you despise the actual tasks? Try to separate it out.
Then write down all the things you like about your job, and again, "nothing" is not a satisfactory answer. "Try to find something positive, even if it's just the neighborhood you work in or the view from your window," she said.
If you want to switch careers, not just get out of that particular job, Cathy Goodwin, a career consultant who specializes in career transitions, suggested focusing on "developing skills rather than serving time." What can you learn that you can put on your résumé? Computer skills? Public speaking?