That job you despise may be a blessing in disguise. If you’re having trouble finding the silver lining in your work these days, now’s the perfect time to look a little closer. Whether your job is plagued by boring tasks, low pay, long hours or a tyrant of a boss, there is always a reason to be thankful for your role. Below are five reasons to be grateful this season. It’s a paycheck It may not be enough, but the fact of the matter is that you have a source of income, while 7.3% of Americans do not. While you search for that perfect position, make sure you’re being properly compensated for your current job. Use sources like Salary.com and TheLadders Scout to research the fair market value for your position, and then negotiate your worth. It helps to clarify goals While the “dream job” may still be elusive, each job you hold helps eliminate career options. Make a list of your past positions and write down what you’ve liked and disliked about each of these roles in detail. Then take a step back and look for themes. If you’re unsure of a particular career path, take a look at what the person two rungs up the ladder is doing. If you find the job your manager’s boss performs to be appealing, then you’re on the right track. It allows you to assess your skills Consider every job opportunity to be a means for evaluating your skill set. For instance, you may find that while you are a great salesperson, you still have room for improvement when it comes to forecasting. Or perhaps you excel at multitasking but struggle with the delegation of assignments. Take into account feedback you’ve received from management, your peers or your clients; use this information to identify skill gaps that could hold you back from landing your target position. It provides networking opportunities Networking is a key component to career growth, whether you’re looking for a promotion or wanting to change companies. Leverage your current position to build your network. Get to know your coworkers, supervisors, and any regular customers – there’s no telling who these people know or how they can help you with your job search in the short or long term. It can spark a change Sometimes it takes a really bad job situation to prompt us to take action. As organizations are striving to produce more with less resources it’s no surprise that many professionals are reevaluating their situations and considering a career change. If you dread going to work every day, then it’s time to do something about it. Continue to be a model employee, but start formulating your job-search strategy. The holidays are a great time to lay the foundation for a strong job search in the New Year!