If you’re an aspiring girl boss working in a job you hate while building a business on the side, read this post for tips to help you survive your day job, stay motivated and preserve your time and energy for focusing on your side hustle.
For years, I worked in jobs I hated while working to build a profitable business on the side. And it was hard.
So in support of my side-hustling sisters, I thought I’d share tips on what I did to help me survive my job, stay sane, and keep going when I was in a job I hated.
5 tips for surviving a job you hate while building your business on the side
1. Find one positive thing about your job and cling to it for dear life.
For me, it was my two awesome colleagues who ended up becoming dear friends.
They were what kept me going. My job would have been unbearable without them.
For you, it might be the mission of the company you work for, or one specific aspect of the job you do, or maybe you really like your clients or customers, even if you don’t like the work you do for them.
TRY to focus on the positives about your job more than the negatives, because as Jack Canfield says: “The law of attraction states that whatever you focus on, think about, read about, and talk about intensely, you’re going to attract more of into your life.”
2. Think of your job as the ‘start-up funding’ for your business.
As my biz coach Amanda told me when I was at a particularly low point in my job, think of your job as a way of funding your business or dream.
When you’re at work, think about the fact that you’re using this income to fund your business and make your dream a reality.
And then TRY to be grateful for it. I know, easier said than done when you’re miserable in your job. Believe me, I KNOW.
It’s a simple (but not easy) mindset shift, and it really does help.
3. Set STRONG boundaries at work.
Don’t be a slave to your job and available to it 24/7.
Unless there’s absolutely no getting around it due to the culture of your employer or nature of your work, unplug from it when you leave the office.
Don’t give more energy to your job than you absolutely have to. Don’t go above and beyond if this isn’t your path and not where you want to be.
If your goal and dream is to be in business for yourself and you have no interest in pursuing a career or advancing in your current job, then DON’T give it the best of you. Save that for YOUR business and YOUR dream.
I’m not saying be a slacker at your job or compromise your work ethic, I’m just saying do the work, do it well (enough), and let it go. Adopt a “this is good enough” attitude about your work.
As an aspiring girl boss, I bet you’re someone who takes a lot of pride in your work, always wants to do your best, and gives 110% to whatever you’re doing. It’s kind of the nature of entrepreneurs.
So this one might be tough for you, but you can’t let your day job take so much of your energy and time that you don’t have enough left to give to your own biz and dreams.
4. Leverage resources from your job that can help you in your business.
By this I mean take full advantage of anything offered by your job or employer than can help you in your business.
One example is training offered by your company. About the time I was preparing to make my grand departure from my last job, they started a training program for all employees. It included online education and in-person seminars and workshops. There were a wide variety of topics (some that would have been relevant to my business) and you could participate in them for free! I wasn’t able to take advantage of this, but I sure would have if I hadn’t been on my way out.
Similarly, on-the-job training in a skill that you can use in your business is another thing to leverage.
Ditto for benefiting from colleagues who can serve as potential mentors in a skill that will help you in your business.
If you work with people who would be in your ideal target market, ask them for feedback on your blog, biz, or services. They’re like a built-in base of people you can use for free market research!
(A note of caution — be extra careful with this one. Make sure it’s safe to do this in your work environment and it’s only with people you 100% trust. For me, the only people I ever told about my biz were my two work friends, and they were a great source of feedback and inspiration.)
Leveraging resources at your job could even be as simple as using your lunch break to work on your business.
Or, you know all those stupid phone conferences you’re required to be on but don’t really need to be on because they’re a total waste of time and have no bearing on your work? Leverage the time spent on those do a little planning or work on your biz!
If you’re on video or in the room with other people, pretend like you’re listening and daydream about ways you can be successful in your biz. Or pretend like you find whatever’s being discussed on the call to be so important and fascinating that you need to take notes on it. And then write down ideas or make a to-do list for your biz.
Not gonna lie, I used that last strategy ALL the time. And I don’t feel bad about it. If someone’s gonna waste my time on a truly pointless call or meeting that legitimately doesn’t impact my ability to do my job, then I have no problem doing what I can to reclaim as much of my time as possible and put it to a better use.
5. Have a detailed escape plan.
I think the technical term for this is an “exit strategy,” but when you’re miserable in your job, it’s gonna feel more like an escape than just a mere exit.
For too long, I had a dream of leaving my job for my business, but no solid goals with a timeline in place.
Then I created goals, but didn’t have a solid plan and strategy for actually achieving them.
Now you can see why I was in those miserable jobs for years!
Don’t make the same mistake I did — have a workable plan of action!
Your escape plan can be driven by a deadline (you plan to leave your job by a certain date) or an income goal (you’ll leave your job when you’re making a certain amount of money). The latter is easier to work with if you’re just starting your side hustle and not generating any revenue yet, because it’s hard to know how long it will take you to make the amount of money needed to support yourself.
Once you’ve decided on that, set specific and time-bound goals and milestones to reach your goal. These will keep you on track. They’re like a road map to help you navigate your way to your final goal. I’m a big fan of quarterly goals myself.
Here’s a quick recap . . .
- Find one positive thing about your job and cling to it
- Think of your job as your ‘start-up funding’ for your business
- Set strong boundaries at work
- Leverage resources from your job that can help you in your business
- Have a detailed escape plan
And there you have it! These 5 things helped me to finally escape my job (along with a very supportive husband who helped me accelerate my escape plan), and they kept me going during the hard times. I hope these tips help you, too!
The last thing I want to say is just to hang in there.
There’ll be times when you feel discouraged and think your entrepreneur dreams are never gonna happen for you (I sure felt that way), but stick with it and it will happen!
It has to, because the Universe gave you this dream for a reason and you were meant for greater things than wasting away in a job you hate. If you can dream it, you can achieve it!
If you have other tips for surviving your job while starting a business on the side, please share them in the comments below so your side-hustling sisters can benefit from them. And please pin this article so others can find it. Thanks!
You might also like . . .