If you’ve ever had a job you detested, you know the Sunday Night Blues well.
So you understand: there’s almost nothing worse than hearing your alarm go off on a Monday morning. After smashing the alarm quiet, you realize there’s once again an entire week of living hell ahead of you.
Sadly, too many of us spend at least some of our career living this horrific reality. Yet many of us wait way to long to do something about it.
At YouTern, we pride ourselves on not worshipping the problem; instead, we focus on finding the solution. So how can you survive a sucky job? How do you take back control?
The Job Sucks… Your Attitude Doesn’t
As many have learned, attitude has a huge impact on your career success. If your attitude is less than acceptable, that isn’t helping the situation. But attitudes can change quickly, even when working in a less than acceptable environment. And it all starts with taking an objective look at the parts of your job that aren’t horrible.
What about this job do you actually enjoy doing? What are you learning, or what could you learn, from your current job? What part of your job leaves makes you feel good about your work, and yourself? Which co-workers do you enjoy working with?
Once you discover the answer to those questions, ask yourself another: Is it possible to alter your job responsibilities so you can focus on those parts that you don’t hate, help you grow and fulfill your sense of purpose? Chances are that if you focus on the positives, and really kick butt at that part, people will notice.
Yes, this may seem like a bunch of hippy-dippy BS. It may feel soft. But you can change your job by changing your attitude.
Stay Disciplined About an “I’m Getting Out” Plan
Do you have a friend or colleague who constantly complains about a situation in their life but does absolutely nothing to alter it? You know that person isn’t always highly regarded. They may even be perceived as a troll; at the very least, they are seen as unlikeable and maybe unemployable.
If you let yourself be that guy — if you’re in a job you hate and every Monday, week after week, you’ve done nothing to get to help improve your situation — well, you may not be a troll. But you may be your biggest career enemy.
Make a plan. Prepare for a more positive situation. Sure, maybe you’re stuck in the hated job because you need the income. Or maybe you aren’t yet qualified for your dream job. Whatever your circumstance, you need a plan to build a little savings or get qualified — and get out.
What are you doing to self-learn your way out of career misery? What are you reading? Where are you spending your free time? Instead of sitting in misery or using negative energy to complain, intentionally take incremental steps to improve your current situation and long-term career.
Focus on a Better Opportunity
You may have heard the cliche: “Searching for a job can be a full-time job.” This is a cliche for a reason: job seeking can be incredibly time consuming. If you’re already working, especially under less-than-positive circumstance, a job search can be more than overwhelming.
But a better job will not magically land on your lap. You need to go get it. You need to invest the time, working or not.
Of course, while looking for work while working discretion is important. So set time aside outside normal work hours to improve your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and submit applications. After all, employers have a way of discovering your intentions.
Speaking of discretion, be sure to let your personal network know your intentions.This means making sure you tell only trusted colleagues, peers and mentors, in strict confidence, that you are looking for another opportunity — and exactly what kind of position interests you. Otherwise, they can’t help.
As much as you may hate your current situation, you are not powerless. Sitting still will get you nowhere. Settling for negativity will take you backwards. So stay focused on making your job better… or executing your exit strategy.
Either way, your career (not to mention your abused alarm clock) will thank you.
About the Author: Amy McCloskey Tobin is a content strategist and creator. She specializes in generational insights, the future of work, the remote workforce, workplace diversity, and how tech has changed the business world. Amy has worked with major online publications to develop content and content strategy. A devotee of social media, Amy believes firmly that great content begets social media community. Find Amy on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter!