Staying Put Doesn't Mean Staying Stuck
I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. – Aldous Huxley
Sometimes it makes sense to change jobs… and sometimes it doesn’t.
As I’ve said before, if you are TRULY MISERABLE at your job, it is time to leave. However, if the timing isn’t quite right and you need to stay put, you don’t have to feel stuck. There are steps you can take to not only make it through the day, but actually start enjoying your job.
And it all begins with two key realizations:
1. You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself.
2. In many instances, you can’t change your job duties, but you CAN enhance them
It’s happened to ALL of us. The snarky co-worker. The slacker on your work team. The negative boss. The IMPOSSIBLE client. And while you THINK you can change this person, don’t even bother trying. Look how difficult it is to change behavior at home, i.e. the roommate who constantly leaves dishes in the sink, the partner whose clothes NEVER make it to the laundry basket – getting a stubborn youngster to do homework. So what makes YOU think people will change all by themselves if they a) don’t want to, or b) are happily oblivious to the situation and don’t see the need to change?
So it is up to YOU to change, and it starts with your attitude. Change how you react to your colleagues. I personally try to take the high road in work situations. If someone is super critical of my work just to be mean, I SMILE and sincerely thank him or her for “helping me do better.” If a teammate refuses to do any work, I stop resenting him and start empowering him to take action. If someone is just completely miserable AND determined to make everyone else miserable, I keep smiling, never take ANYTHING personally, put on my negativity shield and move through the day. And I live in gratitude, focusing on all the positive aspects of the job.
Enhancing Your Job
If you feel stuck with limited job responsibilities, don’t hesitate to ask to work on projects that give you satisfaction – even if it means no raise or extra work. Create opportunities for yourself. Just being able to do something stimulating, as opposed to mind-numbing, is gratifying and may lead to bigger things. Also, if you can, reach across departments and develop projects that both benefit the company and your own creativity. While you have never worked with the Human Resources Department, maybe you can help them plan an Employee Appreciation Event.
Think of ways to take your job to the next level, learn as much as you can … and then leave all the stress and angst at work every night so your home can be your haven.
Focusing on the positives, learning to navigate the negatives, understanding what you can and cannot control in your life – all can help you make a mediocre job better. It can serve as a sturdy bridge until the right job comes along. Or you may surprise yourself and find that you’ve started to love your job.
But the change must begin with you.
Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is the founder and chief executive officer of Baker Schena Communications, a firm dedicated to “Unleashing Your Potential Through the Power of Words.” We offer motivational speaking, leadership consulting and medical writing services. Find us at www.loribakerschena.com