june 25th

Here are the ten ways to make a bad job better, as long as you have to be there:

1. Every night after work, spend some time thinking about your next step. Don't jump to the conclusion that in your new job, you must do the same kind of work you're doing now. Get a journal and write in it. Write about your ideal job. Write about your strengths, and what you love to do more than everything else.

2. When you leave work, get active. Go bowling or play croquet or dance to YouTube. Work your body and your mind will help you create your vision!

3. When you're at work, focus on your breathing. You will see how helpful it is to consciously breathe in and out, especially when things are stressful around you. Get up and walk around or stretch as often as you need to. If that's every half hour, do it.

4. Give yourself a treat at the end of every week and month. It could be a long bike ride or a favorite bottle of wine. Remind yourself why you are sticking it out at a job you don't love. There is a greater purpose. You're doing it to get resume fodder, to get the "stay" bonus and to close things out on a high note before you move on.

You're going to get a sum of money. You'd better be crystal clear on where that money is going, and how it will support your new chapter.

5. Connect with your most trusted friends, not only to get their advice on your career transition but also to be give and get moral support.

6. Pretend that you are in a real-life video game, because you are. You have six months to grab all the gold and other treasures from this level of your video game -- that is, this job. First you have to know which treasures are there. What can you get for your resume while you still have this job?

Grab every lesson and piece of random learning you can.

7. They already told you they need you for the transition, and they proved it with their checkbook. Now you can take risks, and it will be good for you if you do. Speak your truth to your manager and his or her manager and everybody up the line you want to talk with.

I don't want you to complain about what has transpired, of course. You struck a deal with them that you could have walked away from. Talk with them about the deal they want to make, the buyer they are looking for and what they foresee for themselves and for the organization. Talk to them about what they are thinking about -- the hoped-for acquisition and their life beyond the deal.

In a time of turmoil like the one you're in, even the most remote and forbidding executives can get very real with you very quickly. Take the opportunity to learn more about the business world and perhaps forge long-lasting relationships as you prepare to step away from your company.

8. Become the most helpful, compassionate and sensitive version of yourself you ever imagined, and even more so. Soften, for your own sake and everyone else's sake.

9. When you have a quiet moment, count your blessings. You know when your job will end. Most working people don't. You know you will have funding for your next venture. That is insanely rare. You have time to reflect on what you want.

You have time to build your network. You have time to plan. It's tempting to dwell on the bad part of the story -- you're losing your job. Yet most people who get laid off get little to no notice. They have to react fast and potentially take another lousy job to pay the bills.

You have the gift of time. You have a paycheck until December. Use every minute of the time between now and then to plot your next move.

10. Finally, remember that reinvention always includes pain. Snakes don't necessarily love wriggling out of their skin when the old skin gets too tight. Humans don't always love going through life transitions either, but we always grow in the process.

We always get stronger. You are getting stronger already. Picture your destination, choose a soaring altitude and watch: the runway will appear!

All the best,


Liz Ryan is CEO/founder of Human Workplace and author of Reinvention Roadmap. Follow her on Twitter and read Forbes columns. Liz's book Reinvention Roadmap is here.