Love your job

It's not always possible to change careers, so here's how to make the most of the job you have.

Follow these invaluable guidelines to give your career a big boost.

Positive thinking
Focus on the positives – what do you really like about your job (come on, there must be something)? How could you incorporate more of that into your working day? Remind yourself of the other positive aspects of your work – your friends and colleagues, for instance.

Challenge yourself
Find new challenges. One of the reasons people get restless in their jobs is, quite simply, boredom. Think about ways in which you could make your role more interesting. Perhaps you could volunteer to mentor new staff, or spend some time every week shadowing people in other departments to get a broader perspective on the business. Discuss your ideas with your boss.

Is there scope for you to work more flexibly? Working from home one day a week, for example, could give you more variety. This isn't an excuse to get up late and lie around watching daytime TV, though – you'll need to be able to show some output for your time away from the office! Again, discuss the options with your manager.

Learn more
If you feel you're not being stimulated enough mentally, consider doing some training or a course that's work-related: it will give you new insights, help keep you fresh and be a useful addition to your CV when you're ready to move on.

If meeting new people isn't already part of your role, find ways to incorporate it. Networking and getting fresh perspectives can help you stay both interested and interesting. If there don't seem to be many networking opportunities where you are, create some! Organise a pub quiz or a team outing, or arrange for you and your colleagues to meet up with staff from another part of the company.

Have some fun
Inject a bit of fun into your workplace. It could be something as simple as croissants on a Monday morning, team drinks on Friday afternoon or a more structured social event. Your colleagues don't have to be your bosom buddies, but you'll enjoy your working day much more if there's a bit of banter and humour around. Just because your work's a serious business doesn't mean you can't have fun while you do it!

Improve your social life
Make an effort to do more interesting things outside of work. If your working week consists of getting up in the morning, going to the office, coming home, having dinner, slumping in front of the TV and then going to bed, your job will have a disproportionate impact on your overall mood. Try to fit a couple of social engagements into your week – a dancing class or an art exhibition, perhaps, or simply coffee with friends you haven't seen for a while. Having something to look forward to during the week will help make it more bearable.

Prioritise your workload
If you're working such long hours that you don't have time to have fun outside work, let alone in the office, you need to tackle this. Get used to prioritising your workload – negotiate extensions to deadlines, if necessary – and make yourself leave the office on time at least three nights a week. Most of us have periods when we're extra-busy and end up working long hours, but if this is happening to you routinely, you need to get out of that rut.

Move on
If, despite trying all the things suggested above, you're still not enjoying your job most of the time, then perhaps it's time to consider moving on. Remember, life's too short to spend in a job that makes you miserable – but take your time, do your research and make all those necessary changes before taking the plunge!

- True Love

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