Have you fallen out of love with your job but feel stuck given the current economic climate? Do you have a boss from hell but are scared to move on? It can be very difficult to feel positive about life when work is the source of so many hours of dissatisfaction. What can you do when leaving your current position or changing careers isn’t an option?
The solution lies in learning how to reframe the way you think about your current work life. Even though nothing is different about the situation, when you change your perspective, you are more likely not just to survive, but to thrive.
Here are five strategies to help you move from a downward spiral to an upward one – without changing your job:
- Identify what you have to offer. Think about your strengths. If your current job isn’t showcasing these skills and talents, what changes can you make so more of your day is spent doing what you most enjoy? When you focus on what you have to offer your workplace, rather than on what they should be giving you, your whole mindset can change.
- Create a personal fun project. Your work life and personal life are not two distinct arenas. In fact, they are interrelated. When you feel stuck at work, you can also lose interest in personal activities that once brought you pleasure. To shake up your energy and attitude, find something creative, playful and energizing to do in your spare time. When you become positively engaged in your personal life, that enthusiasm will start to filter back into your work life.
- Recommit to your current position. When you’ve adopted a negative mindset towards you job, your actions follow suit. You find yourself slowing down, calling out sick, dragging your feet on completing tasks. The antidote is changing your attitude. When you adopt an attitude of enthusiasm, your energy also shifts. Remember, you have the power to create a “happy day” regardless of the circumstances.
- Stay connected. Make an effort to connect with your coworkers. Negativity creates a sense of isolation while building a community leads to greater contentment and satisfaction. When you make an effort to get to know your colleagues, you are cultivating a sense of belonging, and this can go a long way towards making a bad situation more bearable.
- Adjust your focus. No job is perfect. Every job has its downsides. Where you choose to focus your attention can make a huge difference in how your experience your day. Choose to focus on the positive aspects of your job. Of course no job is perfect, but in down times you tend to focus on the negative aspects. By intentionally focusing on the positive, you shift from despair to relief and maybe even to satisfaction.
So, if you are in a rut and on a downward spiral when it comes to work these days, try one of more of these strategies. Even if it is time to move on, you’re more likely to find that new position with a positive mindset, and once you get that new job, you’ll be taking a positive mindset with you. That’s what I call win-win!!
Source: Psychologies, September 2010, pp. 98-102.