In college I had a professor who advised our class to go to the bank and open a “Go to Hell” account and save up at least six months salary in it. He said that if you ever came to a point in your life that you absolutely hated your job, you could simply tell your boss to go you know where and still have money to pay the bills (not that I am advocating this).
In all seriousness, try to figure out why you hate your job. If it is something unchangeable and not temporary, begin the job search. I would never recommend quitting before you find a new job. No matter how much you hate your current career, do you really want the stress of not having enough money to pay the bills?
Next, I would seriously consider having a professional write you a resume and cover letter. I guarantee it will shorten the amount of time it takes you to have interview offers. I own a resume writing service and a friend of mine recently came to me, frustrated that she hated her current job. After weeks of submitting resumes to no avail, she came to me for help. I wrote her a resume that highlighted her skills that came in handy to almost any industry she would apply to. Within a week she scored a great job in a completely different field and she loves it.
Resume writers spend every day writing resumes and they are experts on what employers look for in a resume and cover letter. Their goal is to make you stand out and get you interviews. Most resume services offer to re-write your resume for free if you don’t have career offers within a given length of time.
I offer this to my clients but I have never had anyone request to have theirs re-written. In fact, most of my clients find jobs almost immediately. Think of it as an investment in your future. It’s probably the most important document to your career. The key is actively job searching after you have the resume in hand.
There are so many great job-search sites on the web today. Use it to your advantage and spend at least an hour a day searching and applying to positions you are interested in and qualified for. Being pro-active about finding a job you love will pay off in the end. Life is simply too short to spend your days working somewhere you hate.