This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How to Find Your Passion in a Job You Hate

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you hate waking up every morning because your job isn't fulfilling, you're not alone. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace survey, 87% of workers are either not engaged or are actively disengaged from their jobs. Unfortunately, once you've been in a position for a while, it's easy to get into a rut where your 9-to-5 is simply a means of paying the bills.

Thankfully, experts say there are ways to find your passion even in a job that?s less than perfect. Here are five ways to find the silver lining in a job that?s gone stale.

1. Try to control your trajectory as much as possible

Your job won't always allow you to control your own trajectory, but there are ways you can influence it, says Solonia Tedros, co-founder of The Change School.

"Some companies are more open to employees carving out their trajectory than others," she says. "There?s no guarantee that your managers will be completely supportive when you try to alter your path, but it?s important to be proactive and try. Hopefully you can get on a personal development plan that will allow you to try some new things."

Some companies encourage all employees to step forward with ideas that could improve business, even if those ideas fall outside the realm of what you were hired to do, Tedros says. Other companies will ask employees during their annual review, "Where do you want to be in six months, 12 months or two years from now?" When you're asked those questions, respond honestly and paint a picture of what you want.

"Let them know, 'Here are my responsibilities that I can continue, but here are my goals and some projects that I?d like to have a go at and see how I perform'," she suggests. "If they value you as an employee, they will work with you to ensure you?re contributing in a way that you find fulfilling."

2. Identify a mentor

If your company doesn?t offer a formal mentoring program, identify someone you think you can learn from and ask them if they would be willing to meet with you a few times a month, Tedros suggests.

"This is one of the small day-to-day things that allow you to meet new people or strengthen relationships while also taking control of your work life," she says.

How to Win Over Your New Boss in a Month

Even if you are unable to meet with your mentor as often as you?d like, you?ve still identified someone who will be in your corner and advocate for you when necessary.

"Shadowing someone more senior or having them as a mentor can help you segue into a different role ? it can help you shift your path within the company," Tedros says. "Once you start seeing how different roles function within the company, you?ll have more courage to tackle different projects. Find allies who see your vision and want to see you succeed."

3. Talk to your boss about other opportunities within the company

Don't be afraid to approach your boss with a request to take on a project or broaden your scope at work, says Kerry Schofield, co-founder of self-discovery and career platform Good.co. Just make sure you do your research before you start the conversation.

"Go in knowing as much as you can about where your company is headed and what your boss is like,? Schofield says. ?Whatever you want, you have to make it appealing to others ? it has to sound like it?s going to benefit the company and make your boss look good."

Basically, make sure that whatever you pitch is in line with the priorities at your company, but don't push too hard.

"Don't sell it so hard that you put them off," Schofield says. "They know that a more engaged employee will be more productive. Make it clear what you want and let it be known you're willing to give up evenings and weekends to make it work."

4. Get a new certification or degree

If you have the time and money, getting a professional certification or secondary degree can make all the difference in what may seem like a dead-end job, Schofield says.

How You're Ruining Your Reputation at Work

"I would encourage anything that gives you a leg up ? even look into free development training offered by the company, or online courses from somewhere like Kahn Academy," Schofield says.

The goal is that you'll gain something that helps you see your work in a new light, she explains. You?ll have the benefit of being able to discuss your training or education with your boss the next time you meet.

"You've got something to chat about with your manager, or in an interview for your next job," she says. "While the online courses won?t lead to anything formal, they can offer you a new skill set or a new approach to your work."

Training and development courses are not only advantageous on a professional level, but employees who take training courses may even find new areas of interest within the company, says Beth Ruffing, manager of HR services for Insperity.

"This shows employers that [employees] are still active and engaged, even they do not always feel passionate about their job," she says.

5. Seek out positives (including friends!)

Take the time to literally list what is enjoyable about your job, Ruffing suggests. This can be minor items such as break rooms and outdoor seating areas, more important perks such as paid volunteer time and training opportunities, or working with certain types of clients.

"This will help to focus on the positive aspects of the company," she says.

If there are co-workers with whom you connect, spend more time with them, Ruffing says.

"While the workplace isn?t the same as a social gathering, it is important to have people you feel comfortable around and who can serve as confidantes."

If your company offers paid volunteer time or coordinates fundraisers in the community, take advantage.

"Volunteering can make individuals feel good about giving back to the community, teach them new skills and help connect with others," she says.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,614.81 +215.14 1.31%
S&P 500 1,941.28 +37.27 1.96%
NASDAQ 4,419.4780 +103.4040 2.40%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs