Making the Best of a Bad Job Situation

Are you stuck in a rut and anxious to leave a job you used to like?

Perhaps after receiving several promotions, you’re spinning your wheels in a role where there’s little room for further advancement. Maybe your company’s corporate culture has taken a turn for the worse, or a new manager is placing unrealistic demands on you. Feeling unchallenged, underappreciated, and overextended are just a few of the many reasons people become disillusioned with once-appealing jobs.

The problem in a tough economy is that it can be extremely challenging — and time consuming — to secure a new position that fits your career goals. With countless other professionals looking for employment today, you may discover you need to remain with your current employer until conditions improve. If this is the case, use the following strategies to make the most of a bad situation:

Be Action-Oriented

Dwelling on the downsides of your job will only have a corrosive effect on your outlook and productivity. Instead of wallowing in frustration, consider steps you can take that might make your job more rewarding. For instance, can you volunteer for more challenging assignments to broaden your expertise and raise your profile? Are there different responsibilities you could request that would make better use of your time and talents? You won’t know until you ask, and your boss might be more receptive than you expect.

Don’t Check Out

Displaying a bad attitude and poor work ethic can tarnish your image and jeopardize your employment. Moreover, you’ll likely need your supervisor or colleagues to serve as references down the line. Regardless of how you feel about your job, protect your professional reputation by continuing to work hard.

Hit the Training Circuit

From mentoring programs to brown-bag sessions, take advantage of training opportunities offered by your company. If internal options are limited, make a case to attend industry conferences or seek tuition reimbursement for relevant courses. Expanding your skill set through professional-development programs will keep you intellectually stimulated and boost your marketability.

Stay on the Hunt

Striving to find more enjoyment and fulfillment at your job doesn’t mean you should stop looking for other opportunities; you can tackle both tasks at the same time. Quietly tap members of your professional network for job leads and consider connecting with a recruiter. Staffing professionals can conduct an employment search on your behalf, in addition to helping you improve your application materials and providing professional-development tips. Knowing that you’re doing everything possible to land a new job can make difficult workdays easier.

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