Remember the lyrics to the DMX song “Party Up (Up in Here)?” The hook to the song—which was all about venting pure frustration—went like this: “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind up in here, up in here!” I think we’ve all felt that way at one point or another when it comes to our co-workers or bosses at work.
If stress on the job is making it hard to stay motivated and productive, you might have considered quitting and just starting fresh somewhere else.
Unfortunately, leaving a job isn’t so easy.
In today’s economy, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make a career change and find that job of your dreams. Still, you do have some options when you think you can’t take one more day at your job. And no, you don’t have to “act a fool up in here!”
Sometimes, lining up another job or different career options is in order. It might take some time, but you can work towards it slowly. Alternatively, if you want to stay with your current employer, you might just need a fresh perspective on where you stand.
Here are eight things you can do when job-related stress has become overwhelming:
1. Take some time off. Take a few days off to enjoy a long weekend away from the office and make sure you log in plenty of “me” time. Taking a breather can help you put some things that have been aggravating you recently into perspective.
Breaking away from your usual schedule could also help you reframe some negative parts of the job and help you see the positives. Use up some of that vacation time you haven’t taken so you can enjoy a much-needed break from the routine.
Even using a sick day is advisable if you can’t take one more day on the job. After all, if you’re at your breaking point, your health really is at stake—your mental health, that is.
2. Polish up your résumé. Use some of your time off to polish up or rewrite your résumé. If you don’t have strong writing skills, consider hiring someone to write it for you.
Remember that your résumé is the one of the main items that many prospective employers will use to learn about you. Make sure yours really stands out and truly represents who you are and where you are going in your career.
3. Build up your network. Use networking tools like LinkedIN to see what employers in your field are hiring, and what types of jobs might be a good fit for you.
LinkedIn does have a job listing section and many employers post open positions right on the site regularly. You can also contact people in your network to see if there are any open positions available.
Don’t neglect your offline networking too. Are there important industry conferences, meetings and social events that you’ve neglected? If so consider, attending them to open up your career prospects.
4. Talk to your supervisor. Do you think you might be qualified to apply for a different position? Is it time to move up in the company?
If you think a position change would do you some good—instead of a whole career change or leaving your current employer—set up a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your options.
You never know what might be available and your supervisor might be open to recommending you for a newly opened position.
5. Create a list of positives. What are the things that you really do enjoy about your job? What do you, or could you, look forward to each day or week?
If changing jobs isn’t an option right now, you’ll need to at least see some positives in your current situation.
Draft a list of bright spots about your work (OK, so maybe it’s only one or two things!). But whatever good point(s) you can identify, reference it regularly to keep things in perspective and make the most of your current position.
6. Adopt some healthy stress management strategies. If you tend to get overwhelmed by job-related stress very easily, make sure you’re setting aside some time for yourself to reduce that negative stress.
Take up yoga, hit the gym regularly, or indulge in a hobby when you get home. Even just taking a hot shower or bubble bath each night may be the stress-buster you need to better cope.
Do things that fulfill you so that you aren’t constantly focused on the negative parts of your day job.
7. Talk it out. To alleviate work-related stress, try talking to a trusted friend or family member about your job situation. Pick someone who won’t disclose your business to others, but refrain from choosing a colleague on the job (you never know how office gossip could spread).
But do take time to share your work difficulties with a responsible confidante who can give you some outside perspective—or even just allow you to vent.
Sometimes, just talking a situation out and being able to get troublesome events off your chest can help you to regroup and recover a bit from what’s been bothering you.
8. Consider starting your own business. Finally, if you feel like you’re going crazy at work, maybe it’s not your particular job at all. Maybe it’s simply working for someone else—anyone else.
If you’ve been secretly (or even overtly) hankering to start your own business, perhaps the workplace frustration you’re experiencing is really just your own dissatisfaction that you’re not doing what you really want to do: which is run your own show.
This article originally appeared on AskTheMoneyCoach.com.
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