This post was originally published on Gen Y Girl on June 3rd.
For many people there’s an uncomfortable space between realizing a job isn’t a great fit and landing that next big thing. If this happens to you really have two main options. You can spend your remaining weeks or months at your current job unhappily biding your time, or you can choose to make peace with this ‘in between’ time and use it to your advantage.
Here are three ideas that will help you cope with being in a job that you’re planning on leaving.
1) Connect to Your Why
The bigger picture reasons for sticking around at a job may slip your mind in the middle of a tedious meeting or a hectic commute, but there are plenty of tangible and intangible benefits to employment. These include a paycheck, health and retirement benefits, references, continuity on your resume, connections to coworkers, and a place to go each day. Which of these matters most to you?
Dig deeper here for the most impact. For example, what do your earnings help you pay for? How many relationships are present in your life because of your work? How much more selective can you be with your next employment choice because you aren’t feeling desperate? By connecting to your why, you’ll have a touchstone you can lean on during those moments when you’re at the end of your patience.
2) Hone in On Your Fundamentals
People sometimes pick up unhelpful habits in an attempt to compensate for a less than ideal 9 to 5 experience. Maybe you’re staying up late watching tv or grabbing one too many snacks to make it through your day. See if you can make some small improvements to your schedule in your current situation to set yourself up for future success.
After all, your daily routines and habits will follow you into any job. Consider what needs to be in place for you to have a great work week. This could be as simple as developing the habit of laying out your clothes for the next day at night or making sure to get up and walk around at lunchtime. Put a little extra effort into improving your fundamental habits now in preparation for your next career opportunity.
3) Keep Making Small Exit Strategy Efforts
Hopefully the first two ideas will help to improve your mindset and your day to day experience, but they aren’t likely to change the fact that you’re ready to move on. Honor this desire by taking small, persistent actions to help you find your next opportunity.
Since job searching can involve a lot of ups and downs, waiting, and uncertainty, you’ll want to keep your focus on the steps of the job search process that are within your control. For example, you can affect the time you put towards networking, even if you don’t have command of when that networking will pay off. By taking a proactive stance on developing your exit strategy you’ll be able to remind yourself of the fact that your current job won’t last forever.
The in-between period of being at a job you know you’ll be leaving can be a tricky space to maneuver. Remind yourself of why you’re sticking around, improve your day to day experience, and keep working on your job search efforts. Overall, hang in there, and be sure to continue to show up at your current job as best you can so that you’ll be able to leave on a good note.
Have you ever been in this situation? What helped you?