With so much of our lives being centered around our careers, it is important that we love what we do. However, what if you hate your current job? Apparently, most Americans do.  According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 63% of employees are disengaged with their jobs, and 24% are actively disengaged.  This means over 80% of employees are in some way dissatisfied with their current place of employment. A job doesn’t have to be a prison, however. It truly can be a place that you have a passion to work at. By leveraging the assets of

your current job, you can turn a job you hate into a career you love.

To do this, first start by asking yourself these two questions: “Why am I working here?” and “How is this adding value to where I am going?” If money is the only motivation for you to stay, you will always hate what you do. When you love what you do, no one ever has to tell you to do it well. When you work in something you are passionate about, it always increases productivity. That passion may not be in the job itself, but there may be other benefits for sticking it out. Consider these things before you decide to call it quits.

FLEXIBILITY

You may hate your job, but it gives you the perfect schedule to work on your passion. Whether it is school, a side business, or simply building your family, focusing on that will motivate you to press through the daily grind. If your work schedule allows you the extra time needed to build your dream, it may be a perfect opportunity to help you transition until your side opportunity replaces your job income.

RESOURCES

You may hate your job, but the company you work for gives you access to exclusive resources. Whether it is equipment you borrow for your own projects (i.e. printers or copiers), facilities that are available for employee use (i.e. a gym or meeting rooms), software you can be use for free, or something else, many companies provide unique perks for the employees that work for them. Take some time to review your employee handbook to see what is available. Can you find a way to leverage the resources towards something you are passionate about? I remember one of the perks I had at a former company was tuition reimbursement for college. This helped me to fund my dream of completing school and motivated me to continue working for the organization even when I didn’t feel like coming to work. Make sure, however, that if you choose to use a resource for personal reasons, it is not against company policy.

SKILLS

You may hate your job, but you get to develop your skills like never before. Many larger companies offer extensive training and development opportunities to help you become better at your job. This training may be used in other areas as well. Ask your employer about the training that is available, and decide if you can translate those skills to help you with your goals. Whether it is training for a specific skill in your company or more general development, those opportunities can be added to your resume and leveraged to make you stand out for future career opportunities. They may provide just the experience you need to make it to your next career goal or even start a business.

PEOPLE

You may hate your job, but the people are great. Whether it is your co-workers, your customers, or your management, those you work with may be your ticket to the next major step in your life. The amazing thing about work is that your skills, character, and personality are put on display for everyone to see. Those who notice it the most are those who work the closest with you. The people you serve with every day could possibly recommend you for another opportunity or provide you a connection for something else you have always wanted to do. Get to know your co-workers, management and customers well. They could be a connection you need to move forward. Never be afraid to share your desire to explore a different position within your current company with management as well. If they are aware that you would like to consider another position, you may be simply one conversation away from a promotion.

If you can’t leverage at least two out of four of these from your current occupation, it may be time to consider a new one. No one should be miserable at work. Use your job now to bridge where you are going later.