Fed Up With Your Job? Hot Tips to Help You Cope Print E-mail

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

Many companies are managing tight financial times by piling additional responsibilities on the workload of existing workers. Such challenges often spark mixed feelings for staff at all levels of the organization, ranging from anger at feeling overworked to anxiety over keeping the job. Although you may be ready to leave, it takes time to gear up your job search and revamp your resume. Try these strategies to minimize the effects of a tense workplace while you prepare your search.

Stay Calm

All workplaces have some level of frustration, but additional responsibilities can shorten everyone’s fuse. Triggers for mini frustrations can range from a misunderstood email or a lost file to a conflict with a co-worker or your boss. The stress experienced from such events can build over the course of a day or week and can begin to affect your effectiveness at work, your relationships at home, and your health.
Focus on staying calm in the face of these frustrations for your physical health as well as for the health of your job. A short fuse can become even shorter under pressure. Practice simple strategies such as taking your break outside of the workplace, going for a quick walk, or listening to your favorite music to stay calm.

Get Outside of Yourself

Develop a sense of empathy for your co-workers and customers. They may be feeling just as frustrated as you. Take steps to diminish frustration for yourself as well as others and you can help foster more positive and productive interactions. Chances are you will accomplish more and feel better at the same time. Being seen as a positive influence in the workplace has its advantages. You may even begin to enjoy your current position more in the process! If nothing else, you are developing a strong network that may be very helpful when you begin searching for your next job.

Choose Your Battles

Cultivate your ability to distinguish office politics from confrontations that truly matter. Instead of participating in office gossip or politics, remove yourself from the drama and try one of the calming techniques mentioned earlier. Avoiding unnecessary and unproductive interactions can also build your reputation as someone who performs well under pressure, a trait which is often seen as an attribute in the corporate world.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

If this phrase reminds you of a popular song, consider it a reminder to use this approach in your work and interactions with others. The morale of the workplace may have taken a nose dive, particularly if people are tense about the security of their jobs or feeling frustrated about additional assignments. But you don’t have to follow the mood of the office when it is not healthy. A toxic or chronically negative working environment is a common factor in the decision to leave a job. Be in control of your own mood and outlook to avoid this contagion. Appropriate humor can also be a way to lighten your mood as well as the mood of those around you.

Leave Work at Work

Although it is becoming more and more difficult to separate work from home, it remains good advice for your well-being and your productivity. Try to tie up as many loose ends as possible before you leave work at the end of the day. Loose ends tend to take up space in your head even though you have already left the office. Create a ritual that symbolizes closing business for the day, such as closing your planner and putting it in your briefcase, setting aside your phone, or pulling the office door shut behind you.

Implementing these simple strategies can help you feel more in control of your work situation, which may have a lasting positive effect on your performance, job satisfaction, and overall health. Whether your goal is to survive while you search for another position or simply to make your daily life more pleasant, you may be surprised how much leverage you have to make changes and feel better at work!