In 2011, I wrote a blog post called 8 Ways To Get Through Your Soul-Sucking Day Job Without Totally Losing It, and to this day it is my number one read and most viewed post. (Gee, do you think something resonated?)
For me, choosing to leave my day job was a profoundly active decision, and something I had to focus on sometimes minute-by-minute just to get to the other side of the work day… or week… or month… you guys see where this is going.
Miserable bosses, unhealthy work environments or unimpassioned projects are all examples of things that could be eating at you right now in your current job, and it is so important – nay, NECESSARY FOR SURVIVAL – to find a focus point… a beacon of inspiration to hold onto… to help you out of your sucky situation and into the job of your dreams.
Luckily, I know a few (hundred) women who have been there, and have some seriously amazing advice.
I reached out to previous clients and asked them for their favorite “keep your sanity” tactics and mantras that helped give them the drive they needed to make a change, and to survive their day jobs without pulling their hair out.
“I would ask myself, ‘Will the world end if…’ and the answer was always no. Also, do at least one thing every day to move my business forward.
And this quote… ‘It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.’ – Confucius”
Erin Sanders (EB Sanders)
“My mantra: NOT MY CIRCUS, NOT MY MONKEYS.
I scheduled some time EVERY DAY (before everyone else got in, lunch time or later in the day – whenever) to work on something from my own biz.
Also, a fellow entrepreneur told me to think like a goat – ‘because all they do all day is figure out how to f**k shit up and have fun.'”
Rene Brookbank (Love & Recovery)
Unfortunately, I started drinking very heavily at the end. It truly was the breaking point for me. So my funny advice is drink heavily. My real life advice is do everything you can during nights and weekends to get you out of the day job.
I sincerely believe that doing what I thought society would approve (said day job) but wasn’t in alignment with my heart’s desires and my inner knowing and yearning, is truly what rapidly took me down with alcoholism.
Figure out your true hustle and begin doing it before you become a full-fledged alcoholic!
Take action every day. And not lighthearted action. If you really want out, hustle your ass off to make a new career for yourself.
There’s such a difference between complaining about your day gig and doing something about it. Don’t be the complainer. Be the risk taker!”
Julia Ng (The Lucid Path)
“Turn mantras into passwords. In my J.O.B., we had to change passwords every few months, but I started changing them more often to encourage myself. I was chasing my dream to move to Japan, so I switched between goal passwords like ‘JapanHereICome!’, ‘JapanInJuly’, and keeping-sane passwords like ‘OmOmOmBigPicture’. We had to log into our systems about 482 times every day, so this was an important focusing tactic for me.
If you‘re not good at leaving the office on time, get a supportive friend to check in with you. One of my friends would text “time check!” close to the end of the day, to make me aware that it was time to leave. The work is never going to be all done anyway, as long as you‘re fulfilling your responsibilities, leave when it’s time to go, because you need time to recharge and build whatever you‘re building!”
May Flam (Heal Your Work Life Coach)
“For me, I actually had to quit my job before my ideal savings amount was in the bank. My goal was to save $12k before quitting, and I had saved up ‘only’ $8k. It was an abusive work environment, and I knew that if I stayed there, I would be too demoralized to work on my side business.
If you absolutely can’t stay sane at your job, it’s okay to quit and and get a bridge job.
After I quit my abusive job, I actually started babysitting while I built up my client base for my coaching business.”
Rebecca Morgan (Choose Awesome Coaching)
“It was so easy to feel sorry for myself and play the victim. I need to remind myself every day is a choice.
I choose my response, attitude, and behavior to all situations. I am choosing to stay in this job as I work on my plan to move to work that lights me. I am choosing to make it happen.
I [also] put together a Choose Happy Playlist… Everyday on my commute to work I would listen to it. When I was in my cubicle ice tray working on stuff and needed a bump to get me through I would put headphones on and listen to it again. If it was on a cassette tape I would have worn that baby out!”
Lacy Snarr, Illustrator
“Live with intentionality. Be intentional about creating habits that will promote your goals.
Consider your ideal day. It may not be possible to live out that entire ideal day yet but there may be portions of that ideal day you can incorporate into your current schedule.
Be intentional about facing fears. Kick your fears in the face instead of passively being forced to deal with them; either way, eventually, a situation will arise where you will have to deal with your fears, there is no avoiding it. Start with something small and work up to the really big fears.
Be intentional about avoiding apathy. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Being outside of your comfort zone means you are learning, growing. Great things come from outside of comfort zones. Be concerned if you are too comfortable.”