Dear Ask A Punk -
I am writing this at 4am. It is about 18 degrees outside. There is snow everywhere. In about three hours my alarm is going to go off. In about four and a half hours I'll be at work. In about five hours I'll be wanting to slap nearly all of my fellow employees. I don't really hate my life but I hate hate hate my job and I can't see a way out of it. I like living where I am, but it is a small kind of place and there are not a lot of employment options for a person with my particular skill set, not if I hope to get paid the same kind of money I'm currently getting. There are always shitty jobs to be had anywhere. I want a change but I don't want that change to HAVE to be two or even three steps backward. I can't afford it mentally or financially. Maybe I shouldn't even complain. A lot of my friends are working worse jobs, for less money and they have to deal with real world things like husbands and kids and sick parents. I have a boyfriend, no kids and my parents are still pretty young-ish and healthy. I am just sick of the status quo and I'm not getting enough sleep. What are my options here? - Likely To Snap.
Dear LTS -
Just so we're clear here - You don't want to move and you would rather not quit/switch jobs, but you want things to change. Sound about right? ... that doesn't give me a lot to work with, but I'll give it a shot.
It doesn't sound like you really hate your job, more like you're bored with it and the annoying co-workers that go along with that particular gig, whatever it might be. You don't want to move, but clearly you're not enjoying winter weather. hmmm. Here are some options.
1) Take ALL of your vacation & personal days now, or at least as soon as you can. Book a trip, a REAL trip to some destination you've always wanted to see - a warmer one I'm guessing, and GO - for as long as possible.
2) Beyond even vacation time - Can you take a leave of absence or a sabbatical of some kind? Look into it.
3) If you haven't accrued some serious time off and are more-or-less stuck with the grind, you could profoundly change how you spend your non-work hours. You're awake at 4am anyway, why not go to the gym instead of killing the pre-dawn hours online? If you have evenings or weekends free why not pursue other interests? - Take some classes in something you've never done before. Engage in a new, serious and time-consuming hobby. Get a second, part-time gig doing something completely unrelated to your main job.
...or better yet:
4) Volunteer somewhere. Seriously. Nothing would make you feel better about yourself, your life and your day job than donating your time and perhaps even your expertise to people who need your help. -- I have no idea what it is you do, but I know for a fact that someone, or some group, out there needs you.
Being just bored and/or vaguely annoyed with your current life/job means you've still got it better than most people these days. The best way to remind yourself of that, get over yourself a little bit and sleep a whole lot better is to go out there and figure out a way to help other people.