It’s hard to love your job if your manager is aloof, your coworkers are incompetent, or the salary disparities are as huge as the Grand Canyon.

Yeah, that will make anyone an unhappy camper.

When you have a lot to offer, but are stuck with a bad team, it can be as frustrating as being a Knicks fan (insert face palm). You will still end up losing in spite of your best efforts. Just like in basketball, the star players can’t always ensure a win even with their best game—yet they are always the ones working the hardest.

But if you’re a true all-star, it really doesn’t matter if you’re on a bad team. You can still prevent your career from fading and your personal brand being benched.

If you’re seasoned in the career game, you’re probably beyond they “hey, choose me, choose me!” phase. The incentive to work harder is as absent as the flavor from a frozen diet meal. So what ends up happening is called the “killing time” phase.

Killing time until another job “comes up”.

Killing time until you get your promised promotion.

Killing time until your kid gets a little older.

Killing time until…

Not being “ready” to make a career move doesn’t mean you have to stay stagnant. You can renew your old self and use this time to explore your options and be open to new opportunities.

Start testing the waters and circulating your resume to see if you get any bites. It doesn’t hurt to keep your interview skills sharp. Interviewing is like dating: Everyone is just practice until you find the real deal. You may have some nightmare experiences, but grow when you’re the one who messed up.

If you’re not getting any calls, there probably is some work you need to do. If you are getting calls, it doesn’t hurt to see what’s out there and get a first-hand look at what employers want.

Worst case scenario: You still have your mediocre job.

Best case scenario: You have an updated resume, sharpened your skills, and are better prepared. Or, you may actually find the right match when you least expect it—kind of like love, ya know?

The key is to always keep growing even if it means kicking your own butt in gear. Don’t let your job take the spark out of your career because the flames are gone. Put your energy into developing your personal brand, so that you can join a team of all-stars.

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Marietta Gentles Crawford
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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Writer + Personal Brand Strategist, Founder at MGC Ink
Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of "From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career." With over ten years' experience climbing through top corporate and government brands as a writer and trainer, her passion is inspiring professionals to dare mediocrity.
Marietta Gentles Crawford
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