- Get professional help
Speaking to a Counsellor or Life Coach can be helpful. You may get different perspectives to your problem as well as a sounding board for your innermost thoughts and feelings in a neutral, unbiased, and safe space. Such sessions can leave you feeling relieved and more empowered to make the necessary changes.
- Get support from friends and family
Speaking to your friends and family members will help you alleviate some of the stress and tension of being in a difficult work environment and knowing that they understand what you are going through, and they support you, will make you feel better and give you the energy to face another day.
- Insulate yourself
It helps to separate your personal self from your work self. As soon as you step outside the door on your way to work, assume a new identity, a work identity, a professional identity. This will shield you from the emotional and mental blows of the workplace and the anxiety they bring. A lot of people take things personally and find themselves carrying around the baggage of work on their shoulders or constantly feel the need to prove themselves. Getting a work alias or alter ego will help take the pressure off you and remind you that you are at work.
We have seen many famous performers do this successfully, the alter ego overrides any personal defects that may threaten performance like lack of confidence, when they became this alternative person, they become brave, and it also shields them from harsh criticism, knowing that the critics are attacking the performer and not necessarily their true self. You do not have to be famous to do this, being in a difficult work environment on its own is enough reason to shield yourself. Similarly, when you head home, switch back to your personal identity, one who is looking forward to letting loose and relaxing at home with loved ones. It goes without saying that for this to be effective, where possible, avoid or limit carrying work home.
- Remember why you took the job
It could be the money you so desperately need, it could be a worthy cause that ties into your passion, or simply a stepping stone towards something bigger or greater, remembering your why is important to get you going even in the toughest of times.
- Observe and learn
Your workmates play an important role in helping you deal with stress; some have been there much longer than you, they have more experience, thicker skins or are perhaps more vocal than you. Observe and take note of how they handle challenges and see if you can adopt some of the coping mechanisms for yourself, particularly those that you are most comfortable with.
- Make home your safe place
A difficult work environment can leave you feeling depressed, anxious, and less confident. It is important that you have some private rituals at home designed to add back what was taken away from you during the day. This differs from one person to the other. Others read books, watch inspirational dvds or listen to motivational audio. Some pray or spend time reading the bible. Some reward themselves with their favorite treats after a long day. Others read their gratitude lists, chant positive affirmations, or write in their journals. Some get creative or plan for the future. Whatever it may be for you, it is important to maintain consistency and to stay refreshed and refueled.
- Get Proactive
It is important to keep your CV up to date and to be aware of what is out there in the job market. What skills are in demand? How can you make yourself invaluable in the workspace? What additional skills can you add to your resume? Which companies are hiring or offering a lucrative package or excellent working conditions? Where can you grow? Where do you see yourself in 5yrs time?
If you feel that a regular 9 to 5 does not work for you anymore, or you have always wanted to scratch an entrepreneurial itch, ask yourself what would you rather be doing if it was not for money? Is there a way to monetize that? What are your natural skills or talents? What do you do easily and happily? What have people told you, you are good at? How can you establish a small business out of the favours you have been doing for your friends and family? How can you advertise to more people? How can you use social media to your advantage? What additional courses do you require to achieve your goals?