You're miserable, uninspired and frustrated. You know you have to make a shift. But much as you'd love to quit, you're simply not ready. How do you stay sane? What do you do if you're not ready to make your shift, but the day-to-day grind is driving you up the wall?

Here are some strategies from real-life career changers on how they endured (and in some cases actually learned to enjoy) the jobs they weren't ready to leave.

1. Share the load
If I asked you what you hated about your work, I bet you'd be able to reel off a long list of things.

You feel undervalued.
You can't stand your boss.
Your skills aren't being used properly.
You're just a cog in a machine.
The office politics are killing you.
Underneath all of those explicit items on your list, there's something else going on, too. You're being a big fat faker. And you hate it. However, you started doing it in small ways a long time ago: papering over the cracks and as the cracks have slowly grown, so has the amount of time you're pasting a smile over the top of disinterest and frustration. It's been an insidious creep of inauthenticity, and it's eating you from the inside out. This inauthenticity is at the core of most people's frustration with their work. It is what turns "I don't love my job" into "I cannot stand this life any longer".

Who could you share how you're feeling with? What would allow you to be authentic, find some relief and start creating solutions, even in a small way? Maybe you can't be entirely open about how you're feeling, all the time, but you can probably share the load with someone at work: an understanding colleague or a supportive boss.

2. Reduce your hours
One of the most important principles is that new ideas and opportunities come from new experiences. And when you're working full time, getting time and headspace to have those new experiences is a real stretch. So, although it might feel like a pipe dream, asking to reduce your hours can be an incredibly effective way of accessing more time and energy without compromising your security. This isn't an option for everyone, but it's well worth considering. Many people are gloriously surprised by the freedom and support they can get if they just gather the courage to ask.

Maybe you'll get a no or maybe it's uncomfortable or maybe you're worried about the consequences but maybe you have more options than you think, especially if you start with a small reduction in hours.

3. Zoom out
You've been working on this spreadsheet forever, and you just can't bring yourself to care any more. The day-to-day reality of most jobs isn't deeply inspiring and exciting. There will always be tasks and things to do that feel like hard work. But there's something bigger at play, too. No matter how mundane your job might feel, your work is in service of something that matters. And connecting your immediate task with that bigger 'something' can bring a little extra motivation and enjoyment to what you do. Find a way to get connected with the 'why' of what you're working for.

Maybe sitting on the phone with a disgruntled client isn't your favourite thing to do. But once you remember that you have the power to turn someone's bad day into something to smile about, it's a lot easier to throw yourself into the conversation. Or perhaps crunching the numbers for the last big project you worked on feels like a nightmare task. But when you think of the impact that the information could make on the number of people you could help next time around, it won't feel so worthless. Develop your own way to remind yourself of your bigger 'why'.

4. Choose your superpower
If you're feeling as though your skills are underused and undervalued, or as though your life has become a Groundhog-Day-Esque circus of sameness, it's time to turn up the volume. Pick something specific that you're interested in, and take it on as a challenge. Maybe one part of the job you enjoy is designing and making pitches to potential clients. Focus on it. Read everything you can find about public speaking and presentation skills. Take a free online course in your spare time. Do whatever you need to do to get really, really good at the part of your job you enjoy the most, and bring it into your day as much as you can.

No clear need for a presentation at this team meeting? Ask your boss if you can do one anyway. Find clients and potential partners you wouldn't normally pitch to, and pitch to them. It feels amazing to grow and develop and be really, really excellent at something, and people will notice. The better you get, the more likely you are to be asked to do more of it. And the more you do, the better you get. Plus, when you're finally ready to make your shift into a new career, you'll have an extra string to your bow to impress potential new employers, business partners or clients.

5. Take on a secret side-project (at home)
Just because you're not able to leave your job now doesn't mean you can't start working on your shift right away. And having a secret side-hustle can work wonders for your mood and motivation. Whether it's something like our Franchise option, starting your business, or simply learning a new skill, nothing feels quite as good as making progress on your shift. Why? Because half the despair of feeling stuck in a job you don't enjoy comes from feeling like there's no way out. You wouldn't know where to go, even if you did quit today. Or you have an idea of what you'd like to do, but you don't have the experience you need to be taken seriously.

By building up experience, clarity, and an escape plan, you're de-risking your situation. You're not going to make the mistake of a reactive shift. You're not going to find yourself stuck in the same place a year from now. And the confidence and energy this can provide you with are priceless in your day-to-day. Even if it's just an hour a week, choose something to go to work on and turn it into your secret project.

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Author's Bio: 

Morpheus Human Consulting Pvt. Ltd. is the leading recruitment consultancy in India. With more than 18 branches and around 150+ consultants empanelled in our recruiting team in India and the Middle East, we cover close to all industry sectors. Morpheus is focused on hiring the right people for your organization. Our satisfied customers include leading MNCs and large Indian firms across industries.