We’ve all seen the research about how many people are not engaged in their work or actively hate their jobs. You have a decision to make: You can dive in and decide to make positive changes. Or you can detach from your job emotionally and get your validation elsewhere, says Danielle Harlan, founder and CEO of the Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential and author of The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who Are Redefining Leadership.
Many people are disenchanted with the state of the world, Harlan says. Think about the changes you need to make to feel more fulfilled overall. “Think about the organization you’re working with: What do they do, or what does my team do that creates a positive impact in the world? Look for what choices you can make, and actions you can take, that are going to bring you more meaning,” she says. That may mean making changes in your career to get the fulfillment you’re seeking, or readjusting the rewards you seek from work and other areas of your life.
Are there people in your work life you can’t stand? It’s probably hurting you more than it’s hurting them, says former Wall Street analyst Amy Newmark, publisher and editor-in-chief of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, and author of Simply Happy: A Crash Course in Chicken Soup for the Soul Advice and Wisdom.
Try to let go of the negative emotions and take a more analytical approach, Newmark says. What is the person’s motivation for taking objectionable action? Usually, it’s more about them than about you. “I realized that almost all the things that have ever been unpleasant—somebody yelling at me or whatever—really weren’t about me. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t take these things personally,” she says. You don’t have to be a doormat, but you also don’t have to waste energy on grudges.