Lots of women love their jobs. That is truly something to be celebrated! But many women are in transition, working one place to gain skills for something better, or struggling in a position that doesn’t fit their gifts and talents because they needed a job to pay the bills NOW.
There are some things you can’t change about a difficult workplace, like boring assignments, a grumpy boss or gossipy coworkers. All you can do is make the best of it. Here are five ideas to care for your heart at work… and perhaps help pave the way for something better. And if you’re one of those women who love your job already, these ideas might make it even sweeter:
• Give praise to others when merited, and graciously accept praise for your own work. Keep it up even when others gloat or you don’t consistently get the applause you’re due. You’ll feel good when you’re kind and humble.
• Don’t keep ideas to yourself. Even if you’re unsure that it’s a workable one, share it. It shows initiative and will build your self-confidence. Many of the most successful people in the world are successful because they attempted many projects before they landed on the one that worked.
• Find a mentor, either inside or outside your workplace, a woman whose attitude and skills you admire and would like to emulate. Propose a regular time to meet or talk on the phone, and be prepared each time with a specific area where you feel challenged or a situation you want to improve. Not only will you gain invaluable knowledge, but just knowing you have her support will keep you encouraged when coworkers or mundane tasks threaten to make you feel discouraged.
• If you are distracted by coworkers’ voices and you don’t need to converse to do your job, ask your manager if it’s OK to wear headphones part of the day and listen to music on your iPod or iPhone. I once worked with an entire office of CAD designers and graphic artists who did this, and it often helped me as a writer. It’s been proven that music and other background noise can actually increase efficiency—you might even share this article from Fast Company if your boss seems reluctant.
• Keep fresh flowers on your desk. It’s a way to pamper yourself, and there’s something about real blooms that brightens even the dreariest environment. At most supermarkets you can find blossoms like carnations and alstroemeria that cost under $5 and last almost two weeks.
Don’t miss Can Female Bosses Be Nice and Successful? Do You Have to Like Your Job? and Pursuing Dreams While Rearing Children.