3 ways to stay motivated and get the most out of your job — even if you secretly hate it

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Once upon a time, you were actually excited to go to work. After all, you committed time to preparing for the job interview, studying the company, and learning all about the corporate life you hoped to one day be a part of.

But now that you're an employee? The job is less dreamy, and the stress — or boredom — is somewhere on the night-sweats to nightmare spectrum.

Although by some accounts U.S. job satisfaction is the highest it's been in a decade, that doesn't mean you aren't in the unhappier group — and there aren't days when you want to fake being sick, so you can get away from it all and just binge-watch your favorite show on Netflix.

But before you just mic drop on your boss and quit, it's important to make sure you've exhausted all of your options ... because maybe, just maybe, the grass isn't greener on the other side.

Here are a few tips to keep your sanity at a job you want to quit, while you figure out the long-term plan.

1. Focus on what drew you to your gig

Is your inner voice starting to sound like your mom by telling you, "It could always be worse"? It could always be worse.

Source: Giphy

Indeed, many millennials still struggle to find jobs, and that should make you thankful to have a career.

Even if you don't happen to like it at the moment, you're lucky if you have a gig that enables you to pay your bills and budget. If you have workplace health insurance, even more so.

Yes, your job is stressful and kinda horrible and annoying at at times, but for now, it's helping you keep your lights on. Try to look for the brighter side of the situation, no matter how cloudy life might feel. And there must be something about your position that got you giddy to clock in in the first place.

Maybe your job has some wicked company perks — like helping you pay down your student loan debt — that makes them such a lifeline and too awesome to kick to the curb right now.

Maybe your gig provides the work-life balance you desperately need to juggle your career and personal endeavors.

Source: Giphy

Or, maybe your job is one you always hoped to attain, but never thought you could? A little bit of "good" stress can be healthy in the long run.

Whatever your reason for accepting your position, hold onto those feelings. You just might fall in love again with your job.

2. Switch up your daily hustle

One of the reasons you might be feeling unhappy at your job is because you're doing the same ol' thing day in and day out. Who the heck can blame you for feeling stuck in neutral when your life at work constantly feels likely it's some bad song on repeat?

You need to switch things up — and fast.

A good way to feel more inspired at work is to look for new opportunities within your company to perform and, hopefully, shine.

Ask your boss about the possibility of hopping on a new project — or bringing an idea of yours into fruition. 

And who knows, maybe your next bright idea will be the one to land you a promotion or successfully negotiate a raise

Woo-hoo!

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3. Bide your time, and fill in the gaps

So maybe you can't shake the "I wanna quit, I wanna quit!" feelings you have building up on the inside. 

Maybe you have considered your options and spent time thinking about all the reasons why you might contemplate quitting your job that make you want to exit stage right ASAP.

But these feelings don't necessarily mean you should peace out right this second, at least not before taking advantage of your current opportunities: If you have to stay in your current gig, you might as well make the most of it.

Consider your time at your job right now as a chance to fill in any career gaps you have — that is, areas where you can learn a new skill set that will make you super marketable once you officially start your job search.

Research the best certifications to have in your field — and also graduate degrees, should your company reimburse you for tuition — that will help set you apart from other job seekers when the right time to leave your job comes.

Source: Giphy

Then, when the perfect new opportunity comes along — that you have vetted carefully and are way more confident about (fool me twice...) — go ahead.

Jump ship.

Sign up for The Payoff, your weekly crash course on how to live your best financial life. Additionally, for all your burning money questions, check out Mic’s creditsavings, career, investing and health care hubs for more information — that pays off.

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