Do you hate your job?   Before you yell “man/woman overboard!” and jump off the starboard bow,  find out what you do and do not want in your next job.  It will save you time, stress and maybe even money to know where you want to go next.

Would you like to avoid ending up in another less than satisfying job?  Are you willing to answer some important questions?  If you are willing to take the challenge and be completely honest with yourself, grab a pen and some paper and read on.  You might discover ways to become less stressed at your current job while you look for a new job.

To get the most out of the exercise, write down your answers.

List 10 things that you like about your current  job.  The list can include things as simple as you really like the building you work in or you have a great office or enjoy talking with a particular co-worker.  List anything that gives you pleasure, no matter how insignificant it may seem.  It’s a good idea to post this list where you can see it every day and add to it as new thoughts surface.

Chances are you found a few things that you do like about your current job.  Does that mean you have to stay there?  No, of course not, but that list might help you recognize that it’s not all bad and that you may  tend to focus too intently on what you don’t like or what is not ideal.   We cannot control which thoughts come into our head.   Thoughts come to us at an incredible speed of approximately 240 thoughts per minute.  As much as we might like to control our thoughts, it’s simply not possible. However, we don’t have to let negative thoughts wreak havoc in our lives.  Whenever you notice a negative thought is creeping into your mind, do not give  it more than a passing acknowledgement.  When we allow ourselves to dwell on the unpleasant or scary thoughts that come up, we end up following a rabbit trail that leads us deeper and deeper into discontent and hopelessness. 

Over the next 2 weeks, be vigilant about the thoughts that come up with regard to your job, your workplace or your boss.   When something positive happens and you find yourself feeling good about something at work, you receive a compliment on a job well done or share a laugh with a co-worker spend some time exploring that positive thought and silently express gratitude for that moment.  By focusing your attention on what is good at work, you will find yourself becoming less stressed out and more in control.  

Are you giving 100% to all aspects of your current job?  If not, this is the perfect time to improve your skills,  give more attention to detail, improve follow through, boost creativity and step up your effort to be a contributing member of the team.  Why should you do this when all you want to do is get out?   If you pay more attention to your own performance and less attention to your boss or co-worker’s performance, you will find the tension at work relaxing.   Another bonus is you’ll  feel good about yourself.  That confidence and pride will shine through in future interviews. 

Now, let’s talk about the job you really want!  Your search will be much more effective when you approach it with a relaxed mind and when you identify your perfect job.  So let’s identify that dream job!

Imagine your ideal job.  Spend some time on this step.  What would you be doing?  Be as descriptive as possible.  Describe where you would work, the type of building, your work space, what kind of work you would be doing and what kind of people you would be working with.  Include as much detail as you can. 

Are there tasks or skills from your current job that could be part of your ideal job?  If so, list those skills, tasks, etc…   

Are there skills, education, training or certification that you need to acquire to perform your ideal job?   If the answer to this question is “Yes”, what is the first step you can take toward getting the training you need?  (It could be finding classes in your area at times you can attend and calling to get more information.)   Are you willing to commit to making that first step in the next 3 days?   If so, do it and notice how that one small step makes a difference in the way you feel.

After you have identified your dream job you will be less likely to waste time applying for positions that do not meet your criteria.  When you already have a full-time  job, looking for a new job can be more challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible.  The upside is you are not desperate and can be much more selective.  When we have a clear picture of what we want, we are less likely to get distracted and settle for less than the best.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature~ Marcus Aurelius

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