I would say that learning how to keep your cool at work is one of the most important general lessons you can take away from any job. Training yourself to keep calm in a stressful situation is not only something that you can apply to other jobs, but something to use in your personal life as well. However – and I know from experience – it’s not always that easy. So, here are my tips for how to keep your cool at work.
1. LET IT GO
Now, this is much easier said than done – but it’s one of the most important parts of learning how to keep your cool at work. You may feel like there’s no escape, as you spend most of your time at work - and that’s why small things can seem fantastically irritating. Try to put them in perspective – in the long-run, does it really matter that one of your colleagues KEEPS USING YOUR SPECIAL MUG? This way, you’ll be able to brush off what doesn’t matter and focus on those issues that do.
2. WRITE IT down
This can really help with number 1 – and it may prove useful in the future as well. Every time, something (or someone) does something that annoys or upsets you, write it down. Often when you look back, you’ll realise that perhaps you were being paranoid, or overreacted. Or, if the situation really does get too much for you to handle, you’ll have a written log all ready to go if you decide to take the matter further.
3. TALK about IT
Don’t keep it bottled up – it’s important to talk to someone who is completely separate from your work life. You’ll have a sympathetic ear to listen to your ranting, and they may even be able to offer an objective view on things that will have you thinking in a different way, too. If not, you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel for letting all the frustration of the day out.
One of the biggest things for me is thinking about the future in a positive way – the future I want for myself, and how to get it. Okay, so your job may royally suck at the moment, but think of the experience you’re getting. Who knows how far away your dream job is?
When you have a quiet moment, sit down and identify what the problem actually is. Do you feel under-valued? Is your boss a nightmare? And so on. Once you’ve worked out what the actual problem is, you can better focus on solving it.
6. TALK to YOUR BOSS
It may get to a point where the above tips just won’t be enough. If your standard of work is suffering, then it’s time to talk to someone at your company. Chances are, they’ll be very understanding and do their best to help you. If it’s your boss that’s the problem, talk to HR – or their boss.
7. GET out
If none of this helps, maybe the real problem is that you aren’t happy in your work. Maybe you want a change of career, or you don’t feel right where you’re working. Yes, it’s tough out there right now, but it’s not impossible. Just start putting yourself out there and looking for something else – you could find yourself surprised at what you find.
Don’t get worn down. You deserve to be happy in your work, and you will be - just never lose sight of where you want to be, and you’ll get there in the end. What are your own tips/experiences?