How to Cope with a Difficult Job

With the unemployment rate still high, many people are feeling extra pressure at work.  Employers are demanding more, and offering less to employees. These factors are not only contributing to decreased job satisfaction, but also to an increase in mental and physical health problems.  Some tips for dealing with a difficult work situation:

Recognize the Positives

Any job should have some positive aspects, so focus on those factors rather than the negatives. Every day, try to think of one thing you really like and appreciate about your job. One method is to think of how your situations could be worse.  If one of your coworkers has a bad attitude, you can be grateful that you don’t work in an office full of similar people.

Personalize Your Workspace

You don’t have to clutter your desk with photos, but it helps to have one or two personal items to help you stay calm when things get tough. Do you have a favorite funny or inspirational quote you can put up on your wall? Maybe you have a photo from a favorite vacation spot. Think of what calms you down or lifts your spirits the most and find a way to incorporate that into your workspace.

Find a Positive Role Model

Every workplace has a variety of personalities.  There should be at least one person that has a positive attitude and responds calmly to stressful situations.  Watch how he or she reacts to negative events and try to emulate those reactions.  If possible, find a positive network of coworkers to surround yourself with and avoid negative people as much as possible.

Assess Your Accomplishments

At the end of every day, think about what you’ve accomplished.  These accomplishments don’t have to be big; it can be as simple as fixing your printer or helping out a coworker.  You might be surprised at how much you do every day and how many valuable skills you possess.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Most people compare themselves to those with more, rather than looking at how many people have less.  You might be earning less than a friend in the same field, but you may also be earning more than many others in your industry.  Comparing yourself to those who have it “better” will only make you miserable, so focus on the things that you do have (health, good friends, a job, etc).

No job is perfect and no amount of advice can eliminate work-related stress.  You don’t always have control over what happens at your job, but changing your attitude and reactions can decrease your stress and give you a more positive outlook.

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