Mademenoire / Carlota Zimmerman

Stuck in a Job You Hate? Don’t Switch Jobs, Change Your Mindset

June 22, 2017

depressionYou’re miserable at work. It seems like drudgery to get up and go into the office every day. You’d love to quit, but right now you just can’t make that move. While your situation may seem hopeless, this is the time to stay positive and keep up your morale.

“Identify even one good thing about your job,” suggested success strategist and social media expert Carlota Zimmerman. “Is it the brand name of the company? Is it the money? Are you given a ton of responsibility, so you’re learning a great deal? Does the company pay for you to get a grad degree at night? Identify at least one tangible perk, and go to town on it.

“If, for example, pretty much all you can say is that your commute is great, how about using that easy time to learn a foreign language on YouTube, or ride your bike to work? In six months when you’re speaking beginning Chinese, or 25 pounds lighter–or both–it’s likely that your newfound pride in your abilities will start your mojo working in other ways. It’s likely that having achieved a goal in your personal life, and feeling better about yourself, will give you the courage necessary to make long-lasting professional changes.”

One of the most important ways to keep your morale up in what you consider to be a dead-end job is to not give up on it. “Giving up only leads to more giving up, and when you give up on yourself…why should anyone else go the extra mile? Make a decision to not spend the day bitching about your job, and instead, in the morning write out a list of even three significant tasks you will complete this day. Keep yourself busy and focused. Challenge yourself,” noted Zimmerman. “If you’re feeling stuck at work, hate to say it, but responsibility for your career lies with you. So what are some next-level assignments you could take on that would get the boss’ positive attention? Resolve to do one today.”

Instead of spending so much time mulling over what’s wrong with your job, now is it a good time for self-evaluation,” explained executive coach Lori Scherwin, founder of Strategize That. “When you decide you want to change or are unhappy with a situation, often times it starts with evaluating yourself, what changes you can make in your environment, and how you view the world. It’s possible to see things differently with a new perspective, and often you’ll do a 180 and experience a positive shift in your life.”

A support group can do wonders for your mental health as well. “Surround yourself with positive people,” added Scherwin. “Remove the negativity in your life. There’s a common saying that ‘you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ If those people are negative, chances are it’s rubbing off on you. Be around people you aspire to be. It will help you get where you want to be and give you more confidence in the form of support from others.”
It’s also important not to consume yourself with work that doesn’t satisfy you. Spend time working on other aspects of your life instead. “Have personal plans to look forward to. Make a date with family, friends or even with yourself! Schedule something fun and put it on the calendar. Knowing ‘me-time’ is coming soon will help pass the time and get you through the day,” offered Scherwin. “Make a daily gratitude list by writing down 10 things you are grateful for in your life. Anything from your family, legs to walk on or reality TV. Focusing on what is good in your life as opposed to what is “going wrong with your job” helps relieve anxiety around work.”

Lastly, don’t think you can’t change jobs-even if it takes some time. “Make a plan,” said leadership trainer and professional coach Wayne Smalls, president of L. Wayne Smalls & Associates, LLC. “When you decide you want to quit your job, or end a relationship, or try that new skill – make sure you have a plan to get there. It’s one of the most important elements to help you get started on progress and keep you motivated. That said, it’s critically important to know what you want-and what you don’t want-to successfully avoid putting yourself in a situation similar to the one you are currently facing. Get specific – what does an ideal job look like to you? Vision it out, write it down, and go and make it happen.”

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