6 Ways to Stay Checked In to Your Existing Job When You Can’t Wait to Find a New One
Once you’ve made the decision to exit your current job and look for a new one, it’s challenging to stay plugged in to your existing role with optimal productivity. You’ve had enough, you’re eager for change and you’re more focused on the better future you want than on the here and now.
There is good reason, however, to keep you’re A game going until you have exited your position completely.
At the simplest level, fixating on a perceived improved future prevents happiness in the present. You can be so preoccupied by visions of how much better your life will be when you land your ultimate dream job that you make yourself more miserable than perhaps you really are in performing the functions of the job at hand. Maybe you sense that you are not working to your true potential at the moment, you are underpaid or unappreciated, but great satisfaction can be experienced in deliberate attention to what you are doing and simply doing good work.
The result: you’ll experience more contentment and exude more cheerfulness, which helps you feel better and makes a better impression on those you work with. Remember; you want your manager and teammates to think and say good things about working with you from start to end. Plus, your job search might take a while. Many job searches take 7.5 months on average. No one can afford to postpone happiness or invite more stress by mentally being anywhere but here.
Your performance matters, even if you have one foot out the door. If you allow yourself to work with anything but the highest level of commitment and pride in the quality of your work, you can easily slip to B- or C-player status. Your lack of engagement can be a red flag that you are job searching and even get you fired. That’s not the dignified exit you want on your record, nor will it keep a paycheck coming in during your search.
If you know it’s time to move on, by all means ramp up your job search and envision the next step in your career path. You can have goals and dreams and be working toward them while still contributing and staying connected to the present. You can employee strategies to help you do both, such as:
· Set aside time everyday to think about and visualize your career path. Then stop, and get back to work! What you are doing now is a stepping stone to accomplishing that dream.
· Get excited about delivering good work, even if your present work environment isn’t optimal. Your work has your name on it. Make your brand a quality one.
· See your work as an act of service to others, including your co-workers as well as your customers. People who are altruistic report greater levels of happiness.
· Even if you have one foot out the door and have your draft resignation letter ready to go when you receive that dreamed-of new job offer, look for ways to innovate and improve right where you are. Thinking creatively keeps you tuned in and energized. And you get a bonus: being creative triggers the brain to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters.
· Being immersed in work or a project can put you a state of flow, which makes time pass pleasurably and lightning fast. Dig in. The waiting period for your next career adventure will speed by much faster than it might if you are actively resisting where you are and what you are doing.
· Build as much fun as you can into your workweek. Schedule lunch with co-workers, friends or networking contacts. Think of ways to delight the people you work with or create more team camaraderie.