Hate your job? Here are some things to do while you look for a new one.
You are not crazy about your job. Maybe you even hate it. Every morning you drag yourself into work, wondering how in the world you will make it through another day.
Obviously, you need a new job, or even a new line of work.
While you’re figuring all this out, here are some things you can do to make life less miserable.
Take a vacation. Too many people do not use all their vacation days. If this is you, please do consider taking some of that time off. Even a couple long weekends can help you get a new perspective on life. Hint: As much as possible, do not bring your work along with you. Make it a real vacation.
Consider a sabbatical. Sometimes a few days aren’t enough. Find out if your employer offers unpaid leaves (these can be from one to three or even six months). Sabbaticals are especially effective when your problem is burnout. You will need to use savings, but it may be worth it. A sabbatical can be used to job hunt, to get more training or just to recharge your batteries.
Focus on the positive. Clean, organize and beautify your workspace. Look for things about your job that you like (a particular colleague, say) and strive to enhance them (joint projects, anyone?). In general, spend more time with cheerful, upbeat people who make you feel good about life, and less time with people who complain, lie, gossip, grandstand, judge and manipulate.
Change your job without changing your job. Try talking to your boss. Maybe there are ways to shift the workload so you are doing more of the tasks that give you joy and less of the ones you don’t. Same goes for colleagues — if a particular co-worker is the problem, maybe you can move your workspace to someplace far away. Many employers are willing to alter your workload, schedule or responsibilities if you make the case that it would be good for the bottom line.
Finally, talk to someone. This person can be a mentor, career counselor or just a wise friend. Talking out your emotions relieves pressure and helps you gain perspective. Choose someone who is encouraging, experienced, and is willing to act as a sounding board.
Meanwhile, hang in there.
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use and of the novel “The Paris Effect.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.