When You Can't Change Your Job, Change Your Mindset.

2017 is here and it’s time to finally bite the bullet and make that career change, right? You know, the job you really should be in.  That career you deserve to have.  At some point you determined that quitting your job cold turkey and starting over in a field you love would be the answer to your professional frustrations.  It certainly could be.  Yet, you’ve kicked yourself every day since for not actually doing it. 

But maybe, for good reason, you just can’t change the job situation you’re in right now.  And you know what?  That’s ok.  So here’s how you can find happiness and fulfillment in the job you already have.  Identify your frustrations, then change your mindset.  Let’s walk through some common examples together:

Frustration: My personality and passions don’t fit this job.

Mindset change:  This actually makes me better than my coworkers at certain things.

These differences in your characteristics and traits are what make you unique, so list out creative ways your differences could benefit your company.  For example, I am a corporate auditor.  Yet, I love to design things and write influential articles.  So I asked my boss if he had any side projects that might put my passions to use.  He had me redesign a presentation for senior leadership and update our job postings to be more appealing to the millennial generation.  While my fellow auditors might’ve cringed at these projects, it came easy to me.  And major bonus, my boss loved it.  So you see, you have a unique opportunity to really shine when your differences can be put to use.

Frustration: Professional attire just isn’t my thing.

Mindset change:  I’ll take my personal style and make a brand for myself.

Start wearing your favorite clothing item 1-2 times a week, then balance it with what’s considered more typical attire for your office.  For example, I love cute sneakers but I work in a corporate setting.  When I wear sneakers, I make sure they look damn good, and then I offset their casualness with a blazer for professionalism.  It’s all about balance.  I have an entire article on how to pull this off on my website.  Eventually people will pick up on your new style with enthusiasm.  Not everyone will prefer it for themselves, but they’ll fall in love with your confidence.  And that means the real you can now shine through during your workday.  How awesome is that?

Frustration:  I tried, but the opportunity just isn’t there for me to do what I really want to do.

Mindset change:  Make a game out of your day job and devote one hour each night to your passions.

When all else fails, you might just have to lose the expectation that you’ll be passionate about your current day job.  So make a game out of it to get you through the day.  Have a speed contest with yourself each week to get you through the work faster.  Or, for each of your job responsibilities, write out one thing you’d do differently if it were up to you.  Figure out a way to put a different spin to your work so that you can at least get it done on time and exercise your brain in a new way.           

Now for the important part.  Devote one hour each night simply to do what you’re really passionate about doing.  For example, I started writing at night over two years ago.  I placed no expectations on myself other than to spill my thoughts onto paper as I ate dinner each night.  This did two things for me:  1) It was a healthy outlet for my frustrations, and 2) After two years of doing it, I got really good at it.  And look, here I am writing to you today.

To sum it all up, you ultimately got hired because of who YOU are.  So don’t ever change.   A business cannot sustainably thrive on one set of personalities and skills.  So find creative opportunities for your differences and offer them up to your leaders.  Because guess what?  If nobody else has the skills you have, then that automatically makes you the best at them.