You probably put a lot of time and energy into getting that job you hate. Think about it… you had to research, you had to interview, and you’ve probably invested a considerable amount of time and effort there for who knows how long. If you’re ready to take the first steps towards a job you actually LOVE to go to each day, then here are four simple yet powerful steps you can take right now:

Step #1. Define and Write Down Your Goals

Focus on the long term goals first and resist the temptation to worry about how you are going to get there. The “how” is what usually stops us in our tracks. It’s that fear of the unknown: that place you venture out to that creates that uncomfortable feeling. Yes venturing to these places can be uncomfortable, but you will quickly find it also does something else – it gets you moving forward, and that too is a powerful motivator AND confidence builder!

Step #2. Assess Your Surroundings

Notice the people you are working amongst and the product or service you offer. Are you like them or do you feel like a square peg in a round hole? Do you feel like you fit in? What about the product or service you offer – do you believe in it? Does it resonate with you? This is how you can quickly come to terms with what might not be right about your current situation.

Maybe it’s your immediate surroundings or maybe it’s the industry itself that’s not a match for you. I know for me, in the positions I had that didn’t “fit” me, not only did I feel like an outsider, I acted like one – because something inside me didn’t “buy in” or “fit in” with everybody else. Not a good way to get a promotion is it?

Step #3: Build Your Job Around Your Life

You can begin to take an honest look at your work/life balance by writing down the lifestyle choices that are most important to you and your family. How many points is your current career supporting?

Step #4: Envision Your Future

Another powerful step you can take is simply to write down what your job might LOOK like if it was truly built around you life. This is the first step to initiating change in a positive direction.

Even if that change may be in the distant future, you will be amazed how much you can and will accomplish by taking this initial action. Examples of career choices I have seen professionals successfully make to build their job around their life include planning relocations and strategic salary increases, consulting, telecommuting, portfolio careers and flexible schedules. These are all plans that you can put into motion today!