Q: I’m one of the long-term unemployed, or I was until I took this job. My gut told me not to take it, but my need to get out of the house every day to earn a paycheck won out. I’ve been hanging on for two and one-half months, hoping. It’s not getting better. I can’t stand the grind, but I don’t know what to do to make it better.
A: Feeling stuck is a state of mind you’ve brought on yourself. Because of that, you can make some changes over the short-term to help you ameliorate your frustration and prepare you for your next move.
Every morning bring hope into your situation by doing at least one thing different that will reflect where you’re going rather than where you are. Of course, that means you have to know your direction. If your job requires you to copy materials all day long, develop a new way to put them in categories. If you’re constantly answering phones, adjust your tone and record the results of the conversation.
Taking initiative will get you unstuck eventually. Don’t complain about being stuck. Take steps so that you aren’t.
Q: I’ve been job hunting in a field with a lot of people who came up through technical work. They don’t communicate as well as many people with other backgrounds. They’re not bad people, but they’re not as nice or gracious. Am I being a stickler for details when I’m truly interested in the work they do? I wonder if being different might get in the way over the long term.
A: Although you’ve encountered a pattern among the people in the new industry, you don’t report that they’re not welcoming you. Have you seen any signs that you’d need to adjust your style for their sake? If not, consider adjusting your own attitude.
You can obsess over their rough edges every day or allow them to appreciate who you are and notice how they do it. Then, model your appreciation of them over theirs of you. Calm down! Sometimes being different is exceedingly helpful in establishing your value to an organization. People are drawn to you for the gift you bring. Become comfortable in your own skin as a good first step toward becoming comfortable around different people who are comfortable in theirs.
(Dr. Mildred Culp welcomes your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2014 Passage Media.)