Underemployment takes on many forms, but it typically refers to employees who are employed in a position for which they are overly qualified for. For example, a qualified medical doctor who works full-time at a fast food restaurant would be considered underemployed, as he or she is not putting their medical credentials to use. How can you stay positive during a period of underemployment?
Focus on the Present, Not on the Past
It is all too easy to give in to feelings of negativity when you are underemployed and to look back on the “glorious” years you spent as a student or in a previous job where you were able to shine and prove your true potential. But dwelling on such thoughts will not prove in the least bit helpful during a period of underemployment.
Rather, such negativity will only bring you down. Focus more on the present, rather than on the past, as you cannot change what has already occurred, but you do have more control over the present.
Be Positive Around Your Colleagues and Boss
Maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace when you are underemployed will help you to reap many benefits and perhaps even gain some joy and satisfaction from your work. Avoiding a self-righteous, superior “I am better than you” attitude will endear you to your colleagues and boss, rather than isolate you in the workplace.
Show up to work with a smile on your face and an easygoing nature. Even if you do not enjoy your job and you resent having to take a cut in pay, maintaining a positive attitude will make the workplace a more bearable place to be.
List 5 Positive Things About Your Job
When you are underemployed, it is unlikely that you will feel the same ready sense of loyalty to the job than if you were in your chosen career field you are qualified for. However bleak your current position appears to be, consider the positive aspects of the job.
Make a list of 5 positive things about the job. At the top of the list could be your ability to pay the rent or mortgage, utilities and other essentials, followed by friends at work and the opportunity to make advancement within the company.
Underemployment is a reality for many employees, some of whom are highly qualified individuals. However, maintaining a positive attitude can help you to cope until you find more suitable employment. Focus on the present, rather than the past. Be positive around others at work and list 5 positive things about your job.