How to Make the Most Out of a Job You Dislike [Part II]

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Last week on Part I, I shared with you the first five things you should do when you’re stuck on a job that is underwhelming. This week, I share the rest of the tips:

6. Educate yourself – an underwhelming job for us overachievers can be very stressful. Yes, stress not only comes from too much work, it also comes from too little work, from feeling stuck and numb. The best antidote for that is expanding your knowledge. You want a better job? Work for it. Search for free or low-cost online courses, improve your skills or acquire new ones, get to study something you truly love. What I did? I’ve always been music-obsessed since I can remember. I was even considering getting my Bachelor’s degree in Music until I went with Mass Media and Communications. Now with a stable job, it was the perfect time to learn more about my passions. I ended up getting a Specialist Certificate in Music Marketing from Berklee Online. Best decision ever. I reaffirmed one thing -I truly love music- and discovered another - it is possible mix up Communications and Music! Being able to work in Music Marketing is my top goal.

7. Set goals and work for them – You can’t wake up, go to work, complain, get home, go to sleep and start all over. Is there something you would like to change? WORK for it. It can be a little overwhelming at first because you probably want to change a lot of things at the same time but, don’t worry. Just concentrate and decide what your main goal is and then set milestones. Be as specific as you need to. I confess that I am an overachiever but I am also a bit of a procrastinator. So, I not only set general milestones but also set specific dates in which those milestones should be complete. It worked wonders.


8. Start the job hunt – Job hunting can be bleh, but it is necessary if you want to move forward. Jobs don’t fall from the sky and specially not in this economy. Just like in #7, set goals about how many hours a day or a week you’ll dedicate to job hunting and stick to it. Do research, read articles to improve and update your resume (this is why #3 & #6 are so important!), look up possible interview questions and work on your answers, update your LinkedIn and maybe even sign up for their Premium trial that enhances the platform’s job search capabilities. I promise there is someone looking for you. 

9. Don’t give up – This may sound like an old, overused and generic advice but heck it is true! Nothing is going to be that easy, that fast, that perfect. Lots of doors will close before the right one opens. It is normal to feel down when an opportunity you really wanted ends up not being for you, trust me, I’ve been there. Instead, try to learn something from it. When we are told “no”, we usually think that there’s something wrong with us. It doesn’t have to be that way. Identify what was that prevented you from getting the opportunity and work on it. There’s always space to improve, if you want to.

10. Be positive – there’s optimistic people, and then there’s people like me, who’s often so pessimist our minds make up very improbable scenarios that would make everything go wrong. Do NOT be that way. Thinking about all the things that will go wrong and convincing yourself that it will happen, brings unnecessary stress to your life. If there’s a 50/50 chance of something going right, why would we focus on the chance that it might go wrong? Thinking that all hell is going to break loose if you make certain decision will only prevent you from growing. One of my favorite quotes from The Office is when Pam is making up excuses for not going to study art despite the one-of-a-kind opportunity and Jan Levinson says:

Amazing right? Remember there’s also a million reasons to DO something. Positive thinking. Positive! 

What are your short-term plans towards achieving your career goals? Are you currently applying any of the tactics on this list? Any tactic I could add? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
Photo credits: e-card via iscreamsundae & “Find Job keyboard” image via niekverlaan / Pixabay

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