Confession time: I’ve spent my life quitting jobs and avoiding full-time employment.
In fact, since my first job 35 years ago, I’ve never been employed full-time for more than a few weeks.
I’ve enjoyed many jobs for short periods of time, but I actually hate traditional employment.
You might secretly feel the same. You might say “I hate my job” whenever you have to go to work. You may suspect you’ll hate any future replacements.
But you still have to pay bills, so what can you do?
What Should You Do If You Hate Your Job?
Assuming you want to avoid living in poverty as a strategy (although it worked for me for a while), here are some other options for what to do when you hate your job.
Reduce Your Fixed Expenses
If you live on less, you can cut your hours or replace your full-time job with a part-time one.
Alternately, you could save enough money to allow you to simply quit jobs more often — either for a break or to look for better ones.
Stop spending money on gadgets, meals out and other discretionary expenses. But cutting back in these areas might not make a big enough dent in your budget, since you have to pay rent, car payments and other big expenses regularly.
So first, look for ways to reduce large fixed expenses.
Develop New Income Sources
If your ultimate goal is to never need a job again, you have to develop other sources of income.
Here are some basic categories of non-employment income:
Start your own business
Try to diversify how you make money. For example, my dozen income sources one year included freelance writing, income from websites, hard money loan interest and more than $3,000 from credit card and bank sign-up bonuses.
Room rentals paid off my first mortgage, so I cut back to one or two weekly work days, living largely off rental income.
Your ultimate goal is to develop enough income to completely replace your paycheck. But if you cut expenses and generate even some non-employment income, you can work less or change how you use your jobs to make them more tolerable.
Work Only Part-Time Jobs
Once you develop enough extra income, you’ll have the freedom to work only two or three days per week.
If it’s not possible with your current employer, find a different part-time job.
Or just quit and take a break, which leads to your next option.
Make All Jobs Temporary
I’ve never considered a job as more than a temporary assignment — a way to make enough money to quit and take some time off before the next assignment.
This approach makes jobs much more tolerable.
To be safe, wait until you have enough money coming in from other income sources, so the paycheck from any job will cover the rest of your living expenses.
You can also sign up at a temporary job agency. Some offer “day labor” positions that are low-pay, but you can take them as needed.
Others offer placement in potentially permanent positions, but you can always quit when you’ve had enough.
Live Well on Less
If you learn and use strategies to live like you’re rich on a small budget, you have many of the above options available — even if you only develop a little non-job income.
Get Rich Quick and Quit Forever
If you commit yourself to getting rich early in life — and succeed — you can quit work. Just invest your money and live on the returns.
If that appeals to you, look over some real-life examples of the fastest ways to make $1 million, or check out this story of a couple who retired in their 30s to live off their investments.
Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).