The downward slide of the recession is not only changing the job market but also people's attitudes about their jobs. You can summarize the shift in thinking with the song title of the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young hit, "Love the One You're With."
You may not have your dream job; but if you've got a job right now, make the most of it.
Satisfaction Gets a Boost
Job satisfaction actually rose during the first year of the recession, according to an annual Yahoo! HotJobs survey. In December 38% of respondents said they were "very satisfied" with their jobs, compared with 28% in December 2007.
"For many people, the deepening recession and ever-present threat of losing their jobs means modified expectations and requirements for job satisfaction," says Liz Bywater, executive coach and president of Bywater Consulting Group. "Most people are just glad to have a job. They may be working longer hours, they may be picking up additional responsibilities as other jobs are cut, or they may not care for their coworkers or boss. Still, they’re employed. In today’s environment, that’s a huge plus."
Author and career coach Hallie Crawford agrees, saying that workers are looking on the bright side. "Because it's not a good time to look for another job, they are forced to be more positive and optimistic about theirs in order to maintain their sanity in a way. If they're unhappy there but have to stay, they might as well make the best of it."
Making the Most of Your Lot
If you're one of those workers and need help seeing the bright side, I recommend the article "How to Love the Job You Have," by Roberta Chinsky Matuson.
Of her many great tips, I'll cite this one:
"Right now it may feel like you have no choice but to keep this job forever. However, this won't be the case if you play your cards right. Use this recession as an opportunity to increase your options. Enroll in evening or online classes, volunteer to work on projects with high visibility and gain the experience you will need to move to a new place in your career. Who knows, this may just be the spark you need to reignite the flames of love again in the job you have."
Which reminds me of the wisdom in another song, "For Now," from the musical Avenue Q. The show's closing song reminds us: "Everything thing in life is only for now." This recession, your job — only for now.