How To Stay Motivated and Productive Working In A Job You Hate (while secretly searching for a new one)!

“I know it’s a bad time to quit a job. It’s a good job. It pays well and, at the moment, I don’t have a Plan B. But, the fact is, I can’t take this toxic work environment for another day.”

That was the conversation I had recently with my client Nikki. She wants out of her current role so much, because it was taking a toll on her well-being. 

The problem is she is still in the search phase. She hasn’t found the right fit. And the fact that it takes on average three months of job searching for every 10k of salary, it could be a long search. So the question is: how to stay motivated and productive? Especially when you’re working in a job you hate.

Nikki is in a situation that many Americans find themselves in. One where their current situation feels unbearable due to a toxic culture. Yet, they have to stay. For a while at least.

Focusing On A Positive Mindset

As I work with Nikki I know how important it is for her to remain in a positive mindset during her search. In fact, a negative mindset can cause her to miss opportunities that are out there. 

Here’s what I mean. A job search should be an overarching theme of all your daily interactions.  It might be a conversation with a friend who makes a casual mention of an opening she’s heard of. An opening that is outside the normal realm of your search. 

If you’re in a negative, stress-filled mindset, you risk missing the mention. Your friend is speaking and you’re not ‘listening. Instead, you’re focused on anxiety and stress. You’ll continue your search on job boards and find only those that show up in your detailed search. 

You may also miss hints that show up in press releases or news stories from companies. Remember, not all jobs end up on job boards. 

5 Tips On how To Stay Motivated And Productive

I know you’re likely thinking… easy for you to say, you don’t work there!  I hear you. It is hard to remain positive when you’re surrounded by toxic people. It’s even harder to stay motivated and productive. But there are some things you can do that will help.

1. Take on a stretch project

There are two reasons for this. First, a stretch project requires you to focus and learn. You won’t have time to focus on the toxic culture and working in a job you hate if you’re in over your head a little on a project. And second, it keeps you on your toes. Even if you’re looking for a new job, you want to leave your current job on good terms. You want to walk away with achievements under your belt. A stretch project before you leave can help.

2. Do an appreciation dump

When you start your workday, you may already feel anxiety and stress. This weighs on you throughout the day. It takes a heavy toll. Instead, sit down and begin listing as many things as possible that you appreciate about your job. This will provide you with relief from the stress. This happens because the human brain can’t focus on stress and appreciation at the same time. 

3. Take time for self-care

If you allow the stress and anxiety to rule your world, you’ll pay a price later. You want to be in top physical and mental condition when you begin a new role. Find time now to do some meditation, journaling, and exercise. Try to eat well and keep yourself in top shape. Besides, focusing on health keeps the brain away from focusing on negative thoughts.

4. Ditch the negative self-talk

We ALL do it. No matter how successful we’ve been in our lives, we do it. The voices in our head continue on. Telling us we will never find a new role. We will never earn what we deserve. We will never… you get the idea. When a thought like this enters your mind, you have a choice. You can either focus on it and let it consume your mind. OR, you can choose to acknowledge the thought and move on. I often tell clients to imagine their thoughts as items coming past them on a conveyor belt. If a negative thought comes along, they can pick it up off the belt and take hold of it. OR, they can let it keep going by and wait for the next, more positive thought to show up. 

Nikki will find her next role. And so will you. Stay positive, stay focused and take action toward your goal. Every single day.

For more on this topic, watch my IGTV video here!

What Else You Can Do While Working In A Job You Hate

Want more tips for how to stay motivated and productive while working in a job you hate? And whether you’re in a job search right now or not, you should be keeping up with your LinkedIn! Your professional network is important. Click here to grab my free resource QuickStart Guide to a Winning LinkedIn Profile.

QuickStart Guide To A Winning LinkedIn Profile

Looking for a career transition or to create a bigger impact in your current careerSpeaker and coach Cynthia Corsetti can guide you in Executive LeadershipCareer Transition and Interview Skills. Connect with her on InstagramLinkedIn. and Facebook


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