You Checked Out at Work. Here’s How to Check Back In.

 As a career coach, I frequently encounter professionals who are unhappy at work but continue to receive their paychecks. If you're in this situation and want to keep your job until you can leave on your own terms, there are steps you can take to shift your approach and intentions to embrace your current role. 

You can start by determining your "career commitments," which are your professional pledges that anchor the work you do and how you navigate your career. To do this, ask yourself what you want to be known for and identify the characteristics of high-performing professionals you've worked with. Pick two or three traits you want to be known for, then write down one example of how you can bring each one to life with aligned actions. 

When embracing a new approach, be invested for the long run and make incremental changes to how you work. Even the smallest shifts in body language, mindset, communication, participation, collaboration, visibility, or productivity can result in significant and lasting impact. 

Additionally, commit to solving simple but impactful problems, and don't underestimate how you can add value by sharing or applying what you already know. Avoid seeking external validation from others as the only measure of your success. Instead, track your own progress and be proud of the choices you're making to build a professional reputation that will propel you forward.

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