By Dr. Perry, PhD
“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” ~Albert Einstein
1. Have realistic expectations
No matter what job you have, it is not worth dying over. When we push ourselves beyond breaking point, day after day, we will eventually burn out. We need to keep realistic expectations of ourselves. It is especially important for us to find satisfaction in knowing we did our best. When we fixate on performance (often the norm), we tend to focus on how good or bad things are going. By shifting our attention to the satisfaction we get from doing our best, we can see our victories more clearly. If we don’t make this shift, we will get stuck looking at only our losses. Thinking of past victories reminds us, we have overcome many obstacles just to get where we are now.
2. Develop your skills
Instead of approaching your job as a prisoner in servitude, think of ways you can increase your skills, especially in areas that could help you if you decide to change jobs. We tend to be happiest when we are trying to get better at something. Every job has the potential to teach us valuable lessons; even if the lesson is to breathe, and find comfort in our discomfort. The lesson might even be, how to work with extremely negative people.
3. Don’t just quit
Even if you are planning to quit, don’t do it impulsively! It is important to maintain your composure and professionalism. We always need to be strategic when making career changes. Consider your options. Seek counsel from someone you trust. If you feel like you might quit impulsively, it is time to use a vacation day or even call in sick. The short-term consequence of calling in sick (occasionally) is better than any repercussions from impulsively quitting.
4. Put on your IronMan or IronWoman suit
Before you walk into work, remind yourself, I cannot expect people to be nice. People stress, have bad days and then mindlessly project their negativity onto others. If you are a positive person, you can expect to be targeted. That doesn’t mean stop being positive. It means you cannot let down your guard. Smile with your eyes and never flinch. It is easy to forget you are a warrior, especially when you are deep in the trenches with negative people.
5. Treat yourself every day
How do you reward yourself? Is it with a jog after work? Is it with a large mocha Frappuccino from Starbucks? If you are doing things you don’t want to do because of your job, it is especially important to do what you want to do, whenever you can. Having something to look forward to can be a definite game changer.
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