Daily Archives: January 17, 2008

Making the Most of a Job You Don’t Love

Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or dry cars at a car wash, when you’re no longer satisfied, you’re not going to be happy. Your job can start to feel like a dead end when you no longer know what you’re working for, you’re under stimulated, there’s no room for advancement or the tasks you use to enjoy no longer excite you. If you find yourself counting the minutes until you go home, or you sit around daydreaming about finding a better job that best utilizes your talents, there are a few things you can do while working at your current job that will prepare you for new opportunities when they arise and help you focus on something other than not liking your job.

Evaluate and Improve. Take this time to look at yourself and honestly assess who you are as a person and your work ethic. Evaluate how you react in certain situations. See how others treat you and how you treat others. If there is tension between you and the rest of the staff, try approaching your co-workers and addressing the situation so you can better understand what it is that might need improvement. Often times, there is a common denominator and if you keep running into the same problems all the time, chances are it’s you. By taking this time to evaluate yourself and correct your own faults, you’ll be better prepared for opportunities when they arise.

Be Positive. You never know who you might meet that can advance your career, so try to stay positive even when confronted with negative situations or people. If you’re dealing with a dilemma or an angry co-worker, instead of complaining or lashing out, turn the situation around by challenging yourself to correct the problem. Learn to recognize problem areas and practice working things through to create a positive outcome. Optimism is contagious, and eventually you will begin to impact other people’s attitudes while creating a positive image of yourself.

Take on New Challenges. It doesn’t matter what new challenge you take on, just take on something different than your normal everyday tasks. Learning to do new things, no matter how small, stimulates your mind and boosts your self confidence. According to a report written by Helen Fisher, PhD, learning new things increases brain levels of dopamine, which increases feelings of pleasure. So, no matter how bored you are in your current job, try stepping out of your everyday routine and learn what your co-worker or someone down the hall does. Challenge yourself to come up with a new idea that can benefit you or your company. Offer to help a co-worker with a project, or ask your boss if there is anything you can do to increase your workplace knowledge. Keeping your brain active will ensure you’re ready when a new job opportunity comes your way.

If you feel dissatisfied in your current job, try following these tips and take this time as a learning experience to better yourself for your next job opportunity.