Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Career Advice: Career 101 for Recent Graduates, New Hires, and Would-be Corporate Climbers » Check Your Attitude at the Door - No, You're Not Crazy, Combating Negativity, Reach Out And Touch Your Emotions

Check Your Attitude at the Door - Motivating Yourself

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Whenever I start hating my job, I take on more work so I don't have time to think about it. I find that the busier I am, the less opportunity I have to consider how my company is ruining my career. Because you know what the worst feeling is? Staring at the computer screen, your mind so numb that you can't even think of an Internet site to surf. It's at that moment that every second of the workday feels like an eternity and all of the negative emotions—dissatisfaction, frustration, depression—come flooding in.

Robyn, 25, Nevada

Maintaining a positive attitude is much easier when you're inspired by your work and the people around you. Unfortunately, corporate business today is often not the most motivating environment. Many managers feel that their employees should consider themselves lucky to have jobs, and they see no reason to lead and encourage them. Twenty-somethings find themselves working more hours, while rewards and recognition for stellar performance are few and far between. Additionally, channels of career progression are more confusing than ever. Considering these circumstances, who could blame you for going into work every day and doing the bare minimum? The corporate establishment doesn't deserve anything more.

The problem is, having an attitude like that only hurts you. Here's why: If you're playing your cards right, you're using your job as the means for achieving your big-picture career objectives. Therefore, when you stop giving your all because you didn't get a raise or someone didn't pat you on the back for a job well done, you're sabotaging your own goals. Meeting your own criteria for success should be motivation enough, don't you think?

Getting motivated is not as simple as it sounds when it's a rainy Monday morning, an angry client is on the phone, and you have urgent deadlines to meet. You can use this chapter's strategies to give your attitude a boost, but don't underestimate the importance of firing yourself up to do your best every day. Need a crutch? I suggest rereading a cheesy self-help book of your choice and posting some of your favorite inspirational quotes in your cube or office. Share your motivational tips with others, and you'll be surprised how much easier it is to believe in them yourself. Sign up for any personal development or leadership courses your company offers, and stay busy so you don't have time to sit around and think about how much better your job situation could be.

Always keep the big picture in the forefront of your mind, but don't forget to acknowledge your little successes along the way. Every time you master a new skill or finish a tough project, celebrate the fact that you're one step closer to your overall career goal. And just because your corporate colleagues don't give you kudos doesn't mean your friends and family won't. Tell them!

No matter how hard you try to rally against negativity, there are going to be times when you feel like marching straight over to your boss's office and handing in your resignation. Beating yourself up for feeling this way will only upset you more. Instead, be patient and wait for the mood to pass. You might also try this suggestion from Hendrie Weisinger, author of Emotional Intelligence at Work: pretend it's your first day of a new job, and imagine approaching every task with confidence, eagerness, and enthusiasm. You can do the same thing by imagining that this is the best day of your working life. You are full of energy and ideas, you're getting lots of things accomplished, and people are responding to you with praise. Maybe it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy!

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