Have your social media feeds been filling up with thankfulness over the past few days and weeks leading up to Thanksgiving? If these public statements of gratitude make you roll your eyes rather than count your blessings, never fear: we’re not here to convince you to join a movement, or even start a journal or buy an app. However, focusing on the positive and remembering the ways in which you’re lucky can be good for your career, if you go about things in a way that works for you.
(Photo Credit: InaFrenzy/Flickr)
1. When you’re unemployed…
…you can be thankful for your friends.
Networking works. At least 60 percent of jobs are found through networking, according to Alison Doyle of About.com’s Job Searching site. While the word “networking” puts some job seekers off, causing them to envision a sweat-inducing series of cold calls or awkward business lunches, it’s really just another term for something we do every day without thinking about it: build relationships.
If you’ve gone to school, had a job, belonged to a sports team, attended a house of worship, joined a club, or otherwise interacted with humanity in any organized way, in person or online, congratulations: you’re already out there and networking, and you might not even have known you were doing it.
These social connections are the very ones that will bring you to your next job. So even if you’re having a tough time finding the right place for you, be grateful for your friends and acquaintances. They’re the folks who will eventually connect you with the opportunity you’re looking for.
2. When you have a job you hate…
…you can be thankful for what you’ve learned.
Bad jobs teach you as much about yourself, your career, and your talents as good jobs — maybe more. Only by experiencing a bad fit, will you learn how to recognize a good one.
Not only that, but those gigs that feel like writing with your non-dominant hand often teach you valuable skills that you might not otherwise have a chance to acquire. Maybe you’ll never be the world’s greatest salesperson or waiter or tech support specialist or what-have-you, but by learning how to do a good job at something you’re not naturally set up to do, you stretch your skills and learn how to communicate with people who think differently.
At the very least, the empathy you acquire by learning to see things from another point of view is never a waste.
3. When you have a job you love…
…you can be thankful for sneaky skills.
This one seems easy: how could you not be grateful for a job you love? But, it’s important to use these experiences to help you continue to develop as a person and a professional. Don’t just coast in your dream job. Keep stretching and learning, but most of all, keep recognizing the ways in which you learn new things without even realizing it.
Most of all, be grateful for the opportunity to keep updating your resume, and then make sure you do it. Hopefully, your wonderful job will last for years and years — but if it doesn’t, you’ll be equipped to make the jump to something else, and continue building a career that gives you joy.
Tell Us What You Think
What about your career makes you grateful? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.