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Staying Sane in a Job You Don't Want

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Are you "cocooning" at work, just waiting for the economy to turn around before you jump ship?

According to Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist, at least 54 percent of today's employees are ready to change jobs. I have read that the percentage of top performers eagerly waiting to leap is even higher. When you consider that women change jobs more frequently than men, odds are there are many amazing women teetering on the edge as they impatiently wait for the growing economy to provide new openings for top jobs.

However, once you make the decision to leave, it is hard to stay motivated in your current position. The more you think about what is possible for you in the future, the more you distance yourself from your current work. You fixate on the worst aspects of your job. Everything bugs you. You negatively judge everyone you work with. This may help you stay true to your resolve to leave, but it takes the fun out of going to work today.

On the other hand, you might start second-guessing your choice to leave. You worry that the economy will take another hit, that you won't succeed somewhere else, or that you don't make good career decisions at all. When you worry, you are also focused on the future, not the present.

Either way, your current job feels suffocating. Focusing on the negative is exhausting. What little joy and creativity you muster drifts away with your daydreams. You may still be committed to doing quality work, but it's a drudge.

No matter what you decide, you still need to find a way to wire yourself back into the present moment. There are things you can learn now that will help you in the future, even while watching people make bad decisions. And to maintain your sanity, you should make the best of what you have .

Here are some tips for motivating yourself in your present job whether or not you plan to leave in the future.

Tip #1: Practice centering yourself in the present moment. At various times throughout the day, observe your stream of thinking and note what emotions you are feeling. Don't judge yourself when you find your brain has wandered. Instead, acknowledge the rumblings of change going on in your mind and body. It's normal to feel excited or worried or both when thinking about making a change. Then deliberately focus on something before you--a person, something on your desk, or the task that needs your attention. Notice what you can enjoy or learn from the moment.

Tip #2: Ask yourself, "What can I do to see my current job as building the platform for my leap to somewhere else? How is this moment going to help me in the future?" Your current job is still a laboratory for learning. Study how your current company makes its brand known which may spark ideas for yourself in your next position. Initiate conversations with people who can help you understand business from a broader perspective. Find the lesson today that will help make your life easier tomorrow.

Tip #3: Change your routines to force yourself to think about what you are doing instead of counting the minutes until you can go. If you travel to work every day on the same route, take another one. If you have a grooming routine for your hair and make-up, mix it up so you do things in a different order. At work, start your day with a discussion on a current event instead of checking your email. Find people you don't know well and see what you can discover about their accomplishments. Act differently in a meeting. Attend someone else's meeting. Shake it up; you'll see and feel differently about your day.

Tip #5: Be an explorer. You create the story you are living every day. What would make today a great scene in your life? See each day as an adventure full of surprises to be discovered. The time until your next adventure will fly by.

In a future post, I'll give you tips to help you determine if your decision to leave is the right one for you right now. In the meantime, get out of your cocoon.

Adapted from Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds, release date June 15th.

Around the Web

Ten Things to Do When You Really, Really Hate Your Job

How to Bear a Job That You Hate - wikiHow

How to Survive When You Hate Your Job - US News and World Report

Hate Your Job? Here's How to Reshape It - TIME

Learning to say: "I love my job!"

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