If you are in the envious situation of being able to look for new work while having a current means of support, spend the first month or so applying for jobs you would like to have but which seem “way over your head”.
The experience you get at handling rejection is helpful. More importantly, many of the people who have tried this over the years actually get the job they thought was over their head – thus advancing their career by years. (This is because most of us fear rejection so much that we only try for jobs for which we are overqualified.)
When goals seem out of immediate reach, set them anyway.
Consider it your task to work your way to them over time.
You do this by taking advantage of each day’s small or large opportunities
in the direction you want to go.
WHY WE WORK
Once we start working someplace, we often lose sight of the fact that
we are working there for the pay!
And, although it may seem cold to remind someone of this, it is often quite helpful.
Few employers show any major degree of loyalty to their employees
and yet most employers say they expect
one kind of “loyalty” or another from their employees!
Remembering that our original motivation was the paycheck
can help us to figure out what is loyalty
and what is being taken advantage of.
Another advantage to remembering the paycheck is this:
People sometimes expect employers to be “second families.”
Remember that your employer’s obligation to you is financial only.
If some of the people you work with also happen to care about you, that’s a bonus!
Look for caring from friends and those family members
who you enjoy and can see regularly.
That way, any caring or closeness you pick up from coworkers and employers
can be seen as a wonderful “side-benefit”
to be enjoyed as long as it’s there
– but not to be either expected or relied upon.
ENJOYING YOUR WORK
It is YOUR responsibility to enjoy your work.
Others can help, but it’s your responsibility.
INTIMIDATION / VERBAL ABUSE
If you are treated poorly, stand up for yourself!
If you just take it, you only encourage the person to keep it up or even escalate.
When at work, remember:
“You are valuable, even if you need the job badly!”.
If it’s in a relationship situation, remember:
Whether you love the person or not
– and whether they love you or not –
isn’t the question.
How you are being treated is the question!
Abuse is abuse,
no matter who is doing it
or why someone is expected to think they deserve it.
BALANCING YOUR TIME AND ENERGY
One of the best exercises I know is this:
Draw two circles.
- Put the phrase “Activities: Where I Spend My Time and Energy” at the top of the circle on the left.
- Put the phrase “Rewards: What I Get Out Of It” at the top of the circle on the right.
- Now cut both circles into “pie pieces”. Use “% of Energy” for the left circle, and “% of Reward” for the right circle.
- When you are finished, ask yourself what you need to do in your daily life to make the left circle look more like the one on the right!
I keep telling people about this “rule of thumb”
even though I usually only get blank stares back at me….
But I don’t give up easily,
and I really like it,
so here goes:
There are only three things we can do with our awake hours:
WORK – To Be Productive.
PLAY – To Enjoy Ourselves.
DO NOTHING – To Rest.
At the end of an average week,
we should have spent
about one-third of our time
on each of these.
“Do nothing time” is also called mental health time
because this is when we get to know ourselves,
where we are going,
and how well we are doing.
(I guess this explains why a therapist would value it so much!)