Stuck in a job that you don’t like but resigned to the fact that now may not a good time to search for a new one? The good news is that instead of making yourself miserable railing against the things you can’t change, know that there are things you can do to help make your job more bearable; you can make your job work for you.
One way to do this is to take charge of your own professional and personal development. There's a number of ways you can do this:
Set yourself a challenge. Choose an aspect of your job that is particularly onerous; difficult, tedious or boring. Then set yourself a challenge to make it less difficult, boring, irritating etc. Maybe, for example, you have a job where you often have to listen to other people’s complaints. Take it on as a challenge; make it your goal to become really good at managing and resolving customer complaints.
Initiate changes and improvements at work. Maybe you could lobby for a more comfortable working environment, or more efficient methods and procedures or a flexible working policy? If you're feeling unfulfilled and unhappy, finding the motivation to take the lead on something probably isn't going to feel like the obvious and enjoyable thing to do. But it does provide you with some meaning and purpose in your working week and it’ll give you an extra skill for your next job.
In fact, just because you're not able to leave your job right now doesn't mean you can't start working towards the next one. What would you like to do in your next job - is there a skill you’ll need that you can develop in this job?
Develop or learn a new skill. If, for example, one part of your job you enjoy is giving presentations to colleagues or potential clients, then you could further develop your presentation skills. You could take a free online course. Go to https://www.linkedin.com/learning/me or https://www.futurelearn.com/
Whatever aspect of your job you like, do whatever you need to do to get really, really good at it and make it as much a part of your job as you can. Find out about training, courses and workshops relevant to your job and ask if you or you and your colleagues can attend that training
Volunteer. Finding a voluntary role related to something you might like to do as a job in future can help you to find out more about a specific industry or profession.
You can get free training, gain practical experience, learn new skills, meet people, make new contacts and get a reference for a future job applications. There's lots of information about voluntary work opportunities at https://do-it.org/
If you feel you’re made for better things, then you probably are! It's very likely that there is another direction waiting for you, one that will bring more reward, recognition and satisfaction to your life. In the meantime, make your job work for you.
About the author: GILL HASSON is the author of Career Finder: Where to go from here for a successful future. She delivers teaching and training for educational organisations, voluntary and business organisations and the public sector. She has 20 years' experience teaching and writing on a range of wellbeing issues; confidence and self-esteem, self-care, overcoming anxiety assertiveness and resilience. Gill is the author of more than 22 books; the bestselling Mindfulness, Mindfulness Pocketbook, Emotional Intelligence, Positive Thinking, the Sunday Times bestseller How To Deal With Difficult People, plus other books on the subjects of resilience, communication skills and assertiveness. Follow: @gillhasson
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