You've heard the cliche that life is too short. You don't know what tomorrow brings or where you'll end up. So why waste your time in a career that doesn't make you happy?
Studies have shown that happy people tend to earn higher salaries, and it stands to reason that these high-earners are happy – at least in part – because they have jobs they love.
Enjoying your career should be a priority over earning a high salary or flashy title. Here are four reasons to quit the job you hate and start do what you love for a living. [Ready to quit your job? Here's how to do it right.]
You'll feel more fulfilled
Your job shouldn't just be a source of income. If you don't enjoy what you do, you'll end up missing out on your life.
"As the lines between working life and personal life blur, a job is as much about personal fulfillment and growth as it is about a paycheck," said Philip Ryan, vice president and head of front-end innovation at Ipsos Strategy3. "People don't want to make widgets; they want to change lives, including their own."
Your career should make you feel good emotionally, both in and out of the office.
"A job that you love ... gives you extra motivation to meet your goals, and when you do, the sense of accomplishment is outstanding," said Masanari Arai, co-founder and CEO of Kii Corporation.
You will carry and radiate that success wherever you go, helping yourself in other aspects of your life.
You'll be more productive
It's important to feel motivated and inspired in your career. Without the drive to excel, your performance will lack passion and, in turn, your company may suffer. Productivity allows you to work in the most efficient manner, which makes room for downtime and encourages work-life balance.
"If you are passionate about your job, you are likely to take an active interest in learning every aspect of the business," said Patrice Rice, CEO and founder of Patrice & Associates. "This not only sets you on the path toward success, it also helps you get through the daily grind."
You'll inspire others
Many people are too afraid to follow their dreams and do what they love. Think about what you would say to a friend or your loved one: Would you discourage them from doing what makes them happy simply because it's risky? When you do take that leap yourself, you become an inspiration to those individuals.
"As a mom who works, it is so important to me to be a role model for my young daughters," said Keli Coughlin, executive director of The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. "While there might be busy weeks that require more time at the office, my girls know that I love my job, that it's meaningful to me, and that I am proud of the work. It is my hope that as my girls grow up, they are inspired to find a career that fulfills them and they are passionate about."
Michael Phillips, founder and CEO of Coconut's Fish Cafe, said that when you enjoy your job, it doesn't feel like work. "It makes it easier to get through the trials and tribulations of business ownership," he added.
You won't need someone to keep tabs on your work or motivate you to reach your full potential. You will do your best work because it's natural and exciting for you to do.
"When you love what you do, you are compelled to push against yourself," said Amir Zonozi, chief of strategy at Zoomph. "You want to be where you are challenging yourself, and you are competing with yourself in achieving your vision."
Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon and Chad Brooks. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.