Originally authored by April Klimkiewicz at Bliss Evolution
I meet with a lot of people who have negative beliefs about the possibility of a great career match. We create our reality with our words, whether it’s the words we say to ourselves inside our own heads, or the words we say to those around us. If you tell friends, “I don’t see a way out of this terrible job,” you won’t look for one. If instead, you say, “I’m going to find a way to do what I love,” you will.
Before we dive into how-to’s, let’s look at the research:
Gratitude Research Study 1: Counting Your Blessings
In this study, research subjects were broken up into three groups. Group 1 was asked to reflect on the week and then write down five things they were grateful for. Group 2 was asked to think back on the week and write down five hassles. Group 3 was asked to think about the week and write down five meaningful things that happened. The first group with participants who focused on gratitude reported three things when compared to the other two groups:
• They felt better about their lives
• They were more optimistic about the upcoming week
• They reported less physical complaints
What does this mean for you?
If you think back about your work week and look for things you are grateful for, you may have more energy to be available to your family at the end of a long day or to tackle a job search on your off time.
Gratitude Research Study 2: Gratitude and Pro-Social Behavior
This study looked at participants who were given help with a task by a friendly person (planted by researchers) and compared them to study participants who chatted with the friendly research plant but did not receive help from them and a third group where the person planted by the researchers was a stranger. What the study found was that those who were helped by the research plant were more likely to agree to help them with a task later.
What does this mean for you?
It’s all about doing something good for others to increase help back and forth between you and another person. Since the takeaway from this study was that people who felt grateful to another person were more likely to help them out, if you do something a little extra at work to help out your colleagues or your boss, you’re putting yourself in a great position. Human behavior indicates the other person will have gratitude for you and be willing to do you a good turn in the future.
Grateful for what?
But what about if your job really sucks? What can you possibly find to be grateful for? Let’s try on a few ideas…
I’m grateful for the ability to make money and provide for my family and myself.
At the very least, you’re making money and that’s why you haven’t walked out on this job yet. Until the time is right, you can be thankful you have the ability to support yourself and your loved ones.
I’m grateful to have the opportunity to brush up my skill set while I look for a new job.
While you’re searching for jobs, you may find job descriptions with skills you have the ability to try your hand at while working your current job. If that’s the case, you can be grateful for the opportunity to practice and hone presentation skills, written communication skills, or teamwork skills at your current job – and then you can add them to your resume.
I’m grateful to have a job while I look for a job.
It is easier to find a job when you have a job, so even if your job stinks, it’s great to realize that having any job at all proves you’re employable to a future employer.
I’m grateful to be able to focus most of my energy on my job search.
If you happen to be out of a job at the moment, you can still be grateful. You could be grateful that you have more time and flexibility to a job search rather than having to work around a job.
I’m grateful to know I’m not stuck.
Sometimes we feel stuck, but that doesn’t mean we actually are. If we talk to someone new or do some research to learn something we didn’t know before, we could open a door out of our current situation that we didn’t initially realize was a possibility. Gratitude can help us be proactive because we believe there really is a way out of the current situation.
Wow, that’s quite a mind-shift! If you’re looking to cultivate a practice of gratitude at work, now is the time.