It’s hard enough at the best of times if you don’t like your job but when there’s an economic downturn it can feel like a prison sentence. Good jobs are thin on the ground, and let’s face it, we’ve all got to eat and pay the bills. And so you stay put and try not to rock the boat too much but it’s eating away at you. Your enthusiasm starts to wane, you lose motivation,your joie de vivre for other parts of your life is affected and before you know it you’re well and truly fed up!
How to Improve Your Working Life
Here’s three tips to help you cope with the bad times and get ready for the upturn (trust me, this will pass).
1 Don’t Take it Personally, Think Global
We women have an uncanny ability to personalise things. Thoughts like ‘Why me?‘, ‘I’m no good’, ‘I’m so unlucky’ start to morph into ‘I’ll never get a good job again‘, ‘no one will employ me’. It’s a downward spiral and doing you no good at all. I’m all for being realistic about situations and the reality of this situation is that there is a global economic downturn and ‘times is ‘ard’ for almost everyone. It is not personal.
2 Upgrade Your Spam Filter
Now about those little messages dropping unwanted into your brain as you sigh over yet another unrewarding piece of work you have to do. Believe me, they are making you feel worse. So if we want to feel better we need to deal with them. If you’re a regular reader you’ll know I’m very into evidence based research and using techniques that work. Well, positive thinking is not something off the wall; it’s a technique that works and is used in treatment models for all kinds of conditions.
First you have to identify your negative messages to self (write them down as the thoughts go in; I bet you’re really unkind to yourself sometimes). Then you have to harness that negative impact for a good and positive one. So turn your spam into something helpful, like ‘ I am good at what I do’, ‘this will pass’, and so on. I can’t write them for you as they have to be something that sounds like you talking and doesn’t make you squirm with embarrassment!
3 Find Something Fulfilling Outside of Work
When you’re not getting what you want from work try and get it from somewhere else! Work out what you’re missing: challenge, stimulation, new learning, team work, responsibility, money maybe, and see if there is a way of finding that outside your current role. You could offer yourself and your skills to a charity, maybe do an additional part time job (that’s harder but not impossible), start an online course, read a self help book and try out what it advises, sign up for an evening class…. Give yourself ten minutes to jot down all the possibilities, don’t censor anything. Or better still do it with a friend and make it fun.
I’d love to hear how you cope or have coped if you’ve ever been stuck in a job rut. And don’t forget my book ‘When Work Isn’t Working’ covers all of this and more.
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Photo Credit: Kostas Kitsos
Posted on May 18th, 2011 by Jane