You’ve made your decision – you’re getting out.
Maybe you’ve polished up your resume, taken a class on interviewing, or engaged a career coach.
Hopefully, you are working on contacting your network and expanding it as well.
But job searching takes a bit of time, doesn’t it? Especially if you want to do it right, and WOW do you want to do it right this time!
So, what do you do in the meantime while you’re executing your strategically crafted career happiness plan (see me if you don’t have one of those)?
Sometimes you just have to slap a bandaid on it to cope with whatever is driving you away while you’re on the road.
I have had to do this myself on numerous occasions (my resume reads a bit like a regrets list haha…) and I have worked with countless clients who needed to stabilize their current situation before effectively seeking their next and best role.
So what’s a smart, accomplished girl to do when she’s in a toxic, frustrating, or downright impossible work situation?
I am about to share my tips but before we jump in please remember:
YOU ARE DONE WITH THIS JOB!
I know you are thinking – “but they can still fire me” – and yes, maybe they can. But is that really the end of the world?
You’re going to find your dream job very soon, so don’t allow a current bad situation to hold you hostage. Fearing getting fired is the number one way to stay unhappy in your job. If you were a terrible boss, wouldn’t you love knowing you had that kind of power over someone?
Let’s take back your power with some real-life strategies you can implement immediately.
1) Stop caring so much
I know you are a great worker and I am not suggesting you throw your work in the trash (like my aunt who threw her typing assignments in the garbage if she couldn’t finish them all in the 60’s – true story).
But I am suggesting that you do what you need to do to get by and don’t allow the worries of the job and organization to cause you stress.
The team isn’t going to meet their numbers this quarter? Who cares, you’ll be gone and you’ve done all you can do for this dysfunctional group.
Take the pressure off by removing your emotional connection to the outcome – you did your best and now it’s time to move on.
It isn’t your job to fix everything for a paycheck.
Save your amazing skills and extra effort, both physical and mental, for the next place where it will be valued and you will truly care.
2) Stop working so many hours
Remember when moms said, “if your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge would you do that too?” – or maybe that was just when I was a kid.
But the sentiment remains even though it’s now considered a wildly inappropriate thing to say to anyone, let alone a child.
I have had so many clients stay stuck in jobs they hated because they had no time to look for a job.
Because they were working all the freaking time.
Believe me – I get it! There are some jobs that are structured so that the only way you can meet the ridiculous expectations is to work in your sleep and throw out your underwear and buy new ones because you don’t have time to do laundry.
However, this is changing. The Great Resignation has happened in part because as the band Twisted Sister said in the 80s – We’re Not Gonna Take it Anymore!
I have a current client who was working 12-14 hour days and hated every minute of it. She has severe eye strain and had to take some time off for medical leave.
Returning from leave she said there is no way she could go back to that schedule and her doctor would not give her a note for reduced hours.
So I said – just tell them you’re not working more than 40 hours per week. That’s what you were hired to do.
Of course, she is actively looking for a job and executing her strategically crafted career happiness plan, but she still felt that she just couldn’t say that because…wait for it…
Everyone else is working those hours.
She told her boss that she wasn’t able to work more than 40 hours and they got HR involved and reduced her workload.
Is this a long-term solution where she can stay at this job and everything will be roses and rainbows?
No, I am sure her boss is not happy but whose happiness is it her job to protect?
She did not previously believe that she could ask for what she wanted or claim it.
Bad bosses thrive knowing that you are willing to do whatever they ask because that’s the expectation that has been set. They are counting on your silence.
So shout it out loud and reclaim your health and sanity on the road to better days.
3) Stop suffering in silence
If you feel this way, chances are others at work do as well.
I am not suggesting that you start a complainers club, but it is a good reality check to talk with your colleagues about their experiences.
Maybe they have better ways of dealing with the stress, or they’ve learned how to do some tasks more efficiently to save time.
Perhaps they are all looking for new jobs.
I am not normally a fan of the “misery loves company” mentality because it’s all about whining and not doing anything about it, but as long as you are executing your carefully crafted plan, you need a little support and friendship along the way.
And of course, a mentor in your network or a career coach can help you to manage the difficult workplace while staying on track in your new search.
Many new clients come to my programs exhausted from trying to do it all, and the work of job-seeking becomes like drudgery and just one more difficult task.
They don’t have the time to do it well or strategically, so they piece together a solution and when it doesn’t work, the additional disappointment is crushing and they give up – using the current job’s stress and overwork as the reason they can’t escape.
I’d love to offer you a hand to get off this horrible wheel of confusion, frustration, and exhaustion.
Finding a new job or career can be fun, empowering, and exciting!
I would love to help – look for a new free workshop coming soon and a new coaching program that will set you up for career happiness now and in the future.