Make your current job easier by planning for the future
Be more grounded in the present by dreaming of the future.
What do you think of my movie idea? ...It's a comedy.
You can skip this part if you don't like comedies.
Chris, a smart, good-natured college-graduate, starts a $20 an hour job at CONFORMACORP. Although he earns $20 an hour, he witnesses counterproductive practices and bull-headed management. On the bright side, there is a cute female co-worker with a chip on her shoulder...but she'd find our hero more attractive if only he'd stand up for himself. Other characters include the evil CEO and, it wouldn't be a comedy without him, we a middle-aged pothead with a kooky idea for a solar-powered bong. Also, boobs. Anyway, things go from bad to worse when the CEO of initiates a plan that will generally make things more of a bummer...Mandatory square dancing? Sure, why not...
Moving on, the CEO zeroes in on the hero....maybe a love-triangle with the cute girl?... And the hero finds himself pushed to the edge. He finally decides to take a stand. In a hilarious and ingenious way, he publicly defies the boss...somehow saves a cat...then walks out of his $20 an hour gig with his head held high.
The hot punk girl leaves with the hero, and a helicopter descends from the sky. Turns out that our pot-smoker has made millions from his kooky ideas... and now he wants our hero to be his right-hand man.
Unfortunately, comedies are not a good template for real life decisions, and quitting a crappy but high-paying job, when there's nothing else on the horizon, is a very bad idea. So in my humble opinion, you might want to stick it out until you bow out. Here's a few ideas on how:
You can start reading now:
1. FIND SOMETHING ON THE DAMN HORIZON ALREADY!
Sorry, but not having a vision, that is, seeing something beautiful in the future that is the very reason you shamble to work each day, can be the difference between you simply soldiering on...or digging an emotional grave. Also, when I date a girl who works at a cubicle, and she sees nothing in ten years but maybe the corner office, I slowly back away...
2. FIGURE OUT WHY YOU WANT TO LEAVE...OR IF YOU REALLY DO.
In movies like Office Space, or Waiting, it's already implied that the entire nature of the job is not ideal, and the protagonist is wasting his or her life. In the series, The Office, it looks like the characters are all in it for the long haul; even though they grumble, they'd probably wouldn't want to depart.
Basically, is your job crappy in it's entirety...or is this simply the initiation process of the job you love, where you get handed the worst tasks? If it's the latter, you're probably exactly where you need to be. So sit your butt down and get to work. My second article covers how to make this period more pleasant.
2. MAKE AN EXIT STRATEGY. FIND THE OTHER JOB FIRST.
Unless you can actually eat grass, your first step of exiting one wage-paying job is finding an entrance to another. Make sure you're pretty damn sure you can get hired somewhere else that offers a decent wage. If you leave without a plan, there's a good chance the winds of fate will take you by the hand and magically transport you to the doorway of an even crappier job.
But before you think of working for another business...What exactly is your job? Full-time cardboard box disassemble technician? And you dream of being a mechanic, right? Considering some corporations have a tendency to hire within their workforce, maybe you should try putting in a transfer application...
3. IF THE OTHER JOB IS SELF-EMPLOYMENT, GET MONEY.
O.K. so lets assume you want to work for yourself. You don't want to be a mechanic, but an interpretive-mechanical-artist-entrepreneur....Cool. Well, that sounds like it's never been done before. Therefore, it will take you all of your time to set up shop and convince people to buy your product or service. In this start-up time period, you'll need money for housing and food. Bank loans are fun, but personally, I'd like a few thousand dollars of my own cash in my back pocket. The most obvious source is your current crappy job. Figure out how much you need for your specific goal. Therefore, figure out just how long you'll be working. I reckon I could be comfortable for a year with thirty thousand....and squeeze by at some isolated artist commune with two thousand...as I eat nothing but Kraft Dinner and dance in the rain as an alternative to showering.
4. DO YOUR CURRENT JOB TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITIES.
Your potential employer at the new job just might find a way to contact your previous employer and ask about your work habits, sometimes it's not technically legal. But you don't have money for a lawyer, do you? Obviously, there are things outside your control, your current boss may be a vindictive maniac, but there's no point stacking the cards against you unnecessarily.
5. DON'T LET YOUR EMPLOYER KNOW THAT YOU ARE KINDA SORTA PLANNING TO JET.
Who knows? The boss could figure that you need training for an awesome position at CONFORMACORP you never thought possible. Telling them you'll be gone in a year...ish, and they won't want to waste another cent training you. In fact, you might find that they're finding reasons to get rid of you earlier. Obviously, once you are absolutely sure that you are going, do them the kind courtesy of informing them so they have some time to reshuffle and train someone for your position. I'm from Canada, and up here we have this thing called a "two week's notice". I think the law may be involved. You know what? For fun, don't inform them. Just don't show up one day, wait a while so they get worried, call them from your new job and yell "surprise!"...and tell me how it goes.
Hopefully this helps. Once you have the future somewhat figured out, your present condition is probably going to be a little more pleasant. Speaking of your present condition, I doubt any of you are quitting tomorrow. So whether it's another week or even a year or two, you're welcome to read my second article on how to make your current workspace more of a pleasant place to be.