“I hate my job!” This phrase was one that I constantly thought almost every day that I held a tedious 9-5 office job.
It wasn’t that I had stressful jobs. For me, it was the feeling of being trapped, and of having no freedom with my time for 40 hours a week.
Today, I can work remotely from anywhere in the world with just my laptop. It wasn’t until I took control of my career and followed these steps that I was able to find a career I enjoyed.
1. I Hate My Job: Then figure out what you want
I initially thought making more money would bring me more work satisfaction, but that was not the case at all. As I got more high-paying jobs, I just felt more trapped.
There is research that supports this concept. After you start earning a certain amount, there is little difference in life satisfaction after you make $77,500 per year.
You have to figure out what is important to you. For some, having a high-paying and high-status job is enough for happiness. For others like myself, I crave freedom and autonomy above anything else. Figure out what is most important to you and start pursuing that.
2. Leverage your existing skills
Even if you don’t think that you have any marketable skills, you might be surprised once you dig deep enough. Anything that you are interested in or passionate about, you can turn into a side business and earn money from it.
For myself, I didn’t think that having finance knowledge would open up any freelancing or remote opportunities, but I was wrong. I have discovered a passion and skill for personal finance and investment writing that I never thought I had before.
I had always loved reading, but becoming a writer was something that I never thought that I would be doing as a career one day. Writing has provided me with so much freedom and connections with people, and lets me travel all around the world. It’s something that I don’t think I can ever stop doing now.
3. Research heavily before making a significant change
Don’t get too bogged down in analysis paralysis, but come up with a few potential paths that you can take and research them as much as you can. Experiment and try as much as you can without committing fully.
I didn’t quit my high-paying job until I was making decent money with my side hustle selling investments and insurance. Then, I didn’t decide later on to go full-time into working location independently until I had several large clients and built up a solid reputation as a finance writer.
4. Develop new skills
If you’re stuck and not sure of the path you can take to get the freedom to work remotely, you might need to develop some new skills.
The most important skill, if you believe Warren Buffett, is to develop your written and verbal communication. Buffett believes this simple improvement can lead to increasing your wealth by 50%.
If you’re able to sell yourself and your worth to those around you, you will never be short of work.
I’ve worked briefly in tech, and I met many brilliant people who were genius coders. They weren’t able to market or sell themselves properly and were unsatisfied in their positions but were too scared to sell their abilities to start freelancing.
5. Try freelancing before going full-time remote
If you’re already in a current role, why not try to leverage those skills that you’ve built in your career and try freelancing on the side?
- You can develop your entrepreneur skill set of selling, communicating, and project management.
- You can also figure out if you like starting your own business or not. At the very least, you will learn a lot of new skills and figure out what you want before making a career change.
- You might discover that you prefer being an employee rather than running your own business, which can make being at your 9-5 job a lot more bearable in the future.
6. Talk to as many people as you can
Whatever you’re interested in, whether it is a new and higher-paying job, or if it’s to work full-time remote such as I am, reach out to as many people that are in the position that you think you want to be.
You can learn more information about their path and what they are currently doing on a day-to-day basis in their careers.
LinkedIn or other social media can be an excellent choice for someone in that situation, or even making phone calls or reaching out to existing contacts that you know of.
What changing my career path has done for me
In 2013, I took a chance and quit a high-paying $140,000 job to make half the amount but provided me more freedom. Although it didn’t give me exactly what I was looking for, it set me along the right path for it.
I changed careers multiple times in my 20’s but never found the happiness I was looking for. It was only after I started to take matters into my own hands and start my online freelancing career, which opened up a whole world of opportunities for me.
These days I’m working around the same amount of time or even more hours since I’m working on building several side hustles. But the time I spend working is my own, and I can set my schedule, and it makes a world of difference. It also feels like I’m building towards something that will last me a lifetime.
I have the most freedom of any job that I’ve ever had in the past. In the past few months, I spent time in Bali and Vietnam while spending way less money than in Canada. Instead of scraping snow off my windshield in a snowstorm in Calgary, I’m surfing on a beautiful beach off of the South China Sea.
I can work whenever I want. If I’m tired or don’t feel like working, I can take a nap or a break and start working after that. I surround myself with only people that I enjoy working with and being around.
I’ve been way more productive, as there’s no commute or distracting co-workers that I don’t enjoy working with. I can work from a café or coworking space or even a beach if I so choose.
I strongly believe that working remotely or freelancing leads to a much better quality of life than being forced to go into an office for five days a week.
If you hate your job, don’t worry. There’s plenty of others like me who have been in your same shoes and was able to find something they liked doing.