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It’s an astonishing figure when you think about it. A recent study showed that a mere 13% of Americans are happy with their current jobs. Furthermore, nearly half of those surveyed reported that they were “largely dissatisfied” with their employment.

That’s a sad state of affairs considering that life is short and it seems like the bulk of our time centers around going to work so that we can pay bills and lead normal lifestyles.

What prevents most people from quitting their jobs to look for something more fulfilling is insecurity. It’s just too easy to stay in a comfort zone – even if that zone is really not all that comfortable.

However, there are good ways to branch out and search for something better without quitting your current job in the meantime. One way is called “profiling” other forms of employment.

One person who tried this is Jennifer Turliuk, a self-made entrepreneur, speaker and author from Toronto. After college, she found herself trudging off to a job she hated every day. She wanted out, so she decided to simply start cold-calling companies she found fascinating. Turliuk was able to secure what she called “shadow experiences” with several firms.

This involved taking five days, or so, to sit in within a specific department of each firm and observe how its teams went about their daily business. She offered to help out in any way that she could for no pay. She did things like write reports and sat in on strategy meetings.

Turliuk was surprised at how many CEOs and/or managers were more than happy to allow her a few days to come in and just get a better idea of the lay of the land and learn how the company conducted business.

Turliuk said profiling was cheaper than going back for an MBA. In fact, offering her services as a short-time intern or as a helper was like gaining a free education.

Turliuk sat in with more than a dozen different companies and gathered invaluable insights about her own career goals and desires. For her, it was starting a new business. For others, it may result in finding one’s dream job at another company, she said.