Hopefully we all have jobs we love—jobs that inspire us, pay well, and fulfill our dreams. But let's be honest, that's not always reality. Whatever your current complaint is about your work situation, you can make some internal shifts right now that will improve your outlook, your workday, and maybe even move you forward in your career!
1. Learn to say no to your colleagues.
This can be tricky, but the point is that you don't have to always say yes to your coworkers. If your office mate's attitude drags you down, then limit your time with her. If office lunches turn into bitch sessions, then spend time with people who are positive.
Attitudes are contagious and your time is too valuable to fill it with negativity. Same goes for happy hours, after work events, birthday parties, and other non-work functions that feel like work. Smart networking is more valuable than being seen everywhere.
2. Schedule your meetings, breaks, and lunch hours mindfully.
If you have time to go to a restaurant at lunch, can you use that time to grab a noon yoga class or chair massage? Or perhaps you can use your break to take care of some personal errands rather than staying at your desk catching up on emails? Maybe that drink meeting can happen outside at a park? Getting out of the office and away from your desk for even a short time can improve your day.
3. Use your vacation time.
I am amazed at how many people have built up months of vacation time and seem proud of this. Your company is PAYING you to be gone ... why are you there? Vacations are necessary to refresh, recharge, and give us a new perspective. Most high level executives I know use all of their vacation days and completely unplug from the office during that time. Same goes for personal and sick days: Do you really think the office will completely fall apart without you? If you do, then perhaps there is a deeper control issue going on.
4. Connect with people who are doing what you want to be doing.
If there is something else you'd rather be doing other than your current job, then find people who are doing it and invite them to lunch. Research, explore, and investigate what would need to really happen in order for you to make a transition. Take classes, read books, and pick the brains of the higher-ups at your company and see what you can learn from their journey. Most people are flattered and happy to share their experience with others who want to learn.
5. Realize that no dream job will just magically appear.
You create your life each and every day by being present in the moment. By giving 100% attention to whatever task is in front of you, you embrace the present moment. This is when the magic happens, when we stop living in the future or the past. Decide to be the best at whatever you are doing right now, rather than wish for something new to come along and fulfill you, and watch how things transform.