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Overqualified and Under Stimulated: How to Cope

 FREE TELECLASS on MAY 6, 2010: “Simple Steps to Making Career Changes,” to register email Laura@corelifedesign.com.

I recently worked with a client who is in a situation that is too familiar in this economy. After being unemployed for five months, she took a job far from where she would like to be at this point in her career. Though the job is in her career field, she is overqualified.  She’s got the drive, motivation, and ideas but says she is stuck in a situation that leaves her feeling bored and without any choices in her life. And when you feel bored and powerless, a bit of anger starts to brew.

For the first part of the session she stewed about the things that were wrong with this job. As the list continued I could sense her resistance to her situation getting stronger and stronger. After she got it all out, I asked her for her choices. Of course she said she had none. It’s at this point that I ask my clients to dig a little deeper. We acknowledge that there is a part of the situation that is crappy. But unless you choose to leave the job, you need to accept what is. In her case, she had to accept that there were elements of the job that were not pleasant and that she was not in her ideal job.

After acknowledging and accepting the situation, she could let go of her resistance. Releasing resistance doesn’t mean suddenly falling in love with your job, it means choosing not to let it affect your every thought and action, in and outside of work.

Finally, I asked her what she really wanted to do with her career. Full of passion and excitement, she detailed a project. Suddenly, she realized how she could use her current position as a spring board for this project. This job that she had previously referred to as a waste, suddenly looked full of resources and people who could help her. She realized that she has the choice to better her job, to create opportunities that will help her in the future. The end result: replacing frustration with a sense of joy and purpose.

Here are some tips for shifting from resistance to choice:
• Acknowledge your disappointment and accept the situation.
• Limit the time you spend dwelling on the situation. Resistance will drain your energy and keep you stuck.
• Focus on the potential opportunities of your situation.
• Create an end game and make steps each day that bring you closer to your goal.
• Incorporate the things that bring you joy into your work. It could be as big as a walk in the park during your break or as small as a flower or favorite picture on your desk.

The challenge here is to learn how to coexist peacefully in a job or situation that is not your ideal. That’s where the most personal and professional growth happens.

Laura Tirello is a Career and Life Coach. Her company, Core Life Design, works with people who are looking to find their highest potential both in their careers and personal lives. Are you looking for ways to turn your career ideas into action while staying at your current job? I am hosting a*free* teleclass “Simple Steps to Making Career Changes” which will feature an open forum for discussions around creating new career opportunities and finding peace at your current job. Email Laura at Laura@corelifedesign.com to sign up or visit corelifedesign.com   for more information.

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One Response to Overqualified and Under Stimulated: How to Cope

  1. Frustrated College Grad says:

    Easier said than done. I’m in a similar situation. It’s difficult to search for job opportunities when they venture too far from the position’s “job description”.

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