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    We’re Employed and Unhappy, Now What?

    By Julie Gleeson

    (Editor’s Note: San Francisco Bay Times welcomes new columnist Julie Gleeson, who will provide advice on how to have a more successful and personally rewarding work life. We are proud to feature Gleeson, who has over two decades of experience in helping clients at the business she co-founded with Sherry Platt Berman, the Career Wisdom Institute. For more information:

    Frequently these days I hear that people are employed, which is good news, yet unhappy at their jobs, which is bad news. Is there anything you can do?

    The answer is yes. Here are four steps that you can take now to boost your career satisfaction.

    Take charge of your mood before you leave home.

    Check your mood before you leave for work. Are you already annoyed? Frustrated? Worried? These moods not only carry negative energy that people can feel, but they also cost you energy and the ability to have fresh ideas. Moods are like the weather.  They show up and pass through us as long as we let them. Instead of blaming anything at work, try being neutral and curious for a week and see if you notice anything different in how you feel. We are wired to be in good moods, by the way. Every time we tell that story about how bad things are we tank our mood. Let it go, and talk about what is working. By the way, neutral means no labels about yourself, anyone else or the project! Just consider the basic facts.

    Prioritize rest and sleeping.

    Most of us are doing more with fewer resources. Because we want to do our best, we sacrifice our “off-time” to get the work done.  Sleep studies tell us that every hour we miss in sleep is equivalent to one glass of wine. We have a work force that is working in an inebriated state! Meditating for a short period every few hours is amazingly restorative if you do it consistently. Set a timer or bell on your phone to remind you. Don’t judge how it goes. Although your mind is busy, regular daily practice will give you amazing results through time, even if you can only meditate for about 5 minutes each day.

    Start to notice what works about your work. 

    Making a list of things you are grateful for each day literally changes the way you view things. Can you find small things at work that you appreciate? Write them down, and do this daily. If you end each day with at least two things you loved about your day, you will open up a whole new view of your work and career.

    Listen for new thinking, even if it is annoying.

    Most of us listen to prove our own point of view as being right. We “fill in the blanks” in conversations so quickly that we are, in effect, only listening to ourselves, and not to the other people around us. Try asking questions you don’t know the answer to instead of telling people what you see. It seems like it takes too much time, but people will relax around you and everything will start to happen more quickly if they experience feeling heard, and appreciated. You will begin to see fresh ideas show up, and the team will connect at much deeper levels.

    So, don’t take your mood seriously, make occasions to rest more, meditate, retrain your brain to focus on what works, and try listening to see a new perspective. If you have questions, please contact me at

    Maybe I’ll answer them in this new column!

    Julie Gleeson is the Co-founder of Career Wisdom Institute and the Founder of The Art of Living, Inc. She brings over 25 years of experience as a consultant in the fields of resilience, stress and overwhelm elimination, career designing, and couples mentoring. Julie also co-authored a best-selling book, “Inside Job, 8 Secrets to Loving Your Work and Thriving” (Bush Street Press, 2012).