This is the third in an occasional series of posts for people in corporate jobs. During the series I’ll be talking about some of the challenges you face in the current economic environment, and giving you some pointers for dealing with them in ways that allow you a more positive and life-sustaining experience.
This post is for people staying put in jobs they’d really rather be leaving. How do you turn a potentially dispiriting experience into something you can gain from?
- Make a positive choice to stay It may seem like you have no choice at the moment, but really you do. Instead of being an unwitting victim to circumstances, make the decision to commit to your current job. Focussing on what you don’t want, just takes you down into a spiral of depression and negativity. Instead, switch your focus and list off all the positive reasons you’re staying in your current role. Money is likely to be one; relative safety and security is another. If you’re thinking of working for yourself in the future, you may have decided that staying in employment for now buys you time to better develop your business model. If it really is the best option to stay right now, accept that with grace rather than gut-rotting contempt.
- Set yourself goals on what you can achieve by staying
Think about your hopes and dreams for your life beyond this role. What things would you like to add to your CV or to your skill set that would put you in a better state of readiness to achieve them? Rather than flounder aimlessly at work, get resourceful and make a plan to develop yourself whilst still doing what you do. So for instance, instead of looking at new assignments that come along as extra work, think about how they will stretch you in a way that might actually be to your advantage. And if you can’t see opportunities immediately around you, get your head off your desk and look beyond you. Go after things that’ll add to your personal portfolio. Rather than feeling resentful about giving your current employer more of your precious time, you’ll feel energised because you’re doing something for yourself.
- Stop hating the people you work withYour boss may well be a complete tosser, but the more you allow him or her to wind you up, the more tired, exhausted and, frankly, hateful, you will become. Realise that ugly feelings only damage you and let them go. If you really want to challenge yourself, set yourself the goal of learning how to deal with people you find difficult. It’ll be enormously beneficial for you in your present job and set you up well for all kinds of work and life challenges in the future.
- Maximise travel time If part of the thing you’d really prefer to escape from is a lengthy commute, consider how you can maximise this time. Could you listen to MP3 files on topics that help to take you forward? If you travel by train or underground, are there books or papers you could read to the same end?Does work often take you away from home? Rather than feel you must switch off from thinking about or developing yourself for the future, take your pc, a book or some papers with you – whatever you need to ensure you don’t neglect that self-supporting part of you.
- Find something soulful to do outside of work It can be difficult to nurture your soul in a deathly job, so make sure you give it space beyond the cubicle. Drawing, painting, writing, blogging, spending time with loved ones, walking in nature, doing yoga or meditation: these are all things that can bring your spirit alive. And, let’s face it, in a scenario where you may be challenged daily to keep your outlook positive, you need to make sure you’ve got good, positive energy to draw on.These are all ideas that have worked for me and some of the people I coach. But what works for you?