Hate your current job? Get cracking with ‘Resume Jiu-Jitsu’!

Even though you hate your current job, does updating your resume seem like an impossible task? Put that negative energy to work to achieve success. (Part 1 of 2)

Jiu-Jitsu match. (Image via Wikimedia, CC 3.0)

WASHINGTON, December 10, 2016 — Looking for a new job, but having trouble getting past those negative feelings about your current job? That could make it harder to think about and remember your accomplishments—the key element you’ll want to highlight for a prospective new employer.

Not getting your current accomplishments into a newly updated resume will slow down your progress in finding a newer and better job. It could even impair your career advancement at another company.

How about taking a creative approach? You can actually take hold of the negativity you’re experiencing and transform it into something positive. It’s like doing mental jiu-jitsu on yourself by taking your weaknesses (like your bad attitude) and turning them into strengths (like a great resume that will accomplish your objective).

In other words, rather than wait and wait until your mood becomes sunny and bright so you can revise that tired resume—or until you can simply force yourself to do it anyway—you can seize that hopeless mood you’re in, ponder it for a moment, and then turn it on its head to get your key accomplishments together and build that perfectly tailored resumé. Call it “Resumé Jiu-Jitsu.”

Read also Part 2 of this series: Breaking through self-sabotage to update your tired resumé

You can perform this resume jiu jitsu alone or with help from a friend or a mentor. Here’s how:

On Your Own. From time to time throughout the workday, you may find yourself overwhelmed with feelings of resentment, annoyance, frustration, or some other negative response to your current workplace situation.

Stop for a moment and get into those feelings, but go deeper than the surface, beyond simply rehashing what an individual or company has done to annoy, offend or diminish you or your accomplishments. Then ask yourself what you know or have actually accomplished professionally that triggers your negative feelings and sense of resentment or frustration. Extract that positive example and let it shine, free from the negative aura that currently overshadows it.


Manager’s or co-worker’s complaint: “Doesn’t anybody around here know how to handle unhappy clients?”

Your comment: “I wrote our policy on customer service a while back. I’ll send you a copy if you think it would help.”

Your actual feeling: “What an idiot! Nobody ever remembers anything I do around here!”

Your later note to yourself: “Developed and delivered official company Customer Service Policy document used by company’s field engineers and technicians since 2014. Available for review upon request.”

Bingo! You’ve jotted down a key, transformative accomplishment that you can now add to your revised resume. Whenever an experience like this transpires, turn that negative moment into a positive and make a note of it immediately. Gifts of insight are rare, and they disappear from memory if you don’t keep track of them. So make a habit of doing mental jiu-jitsu, starting right now.

With a Friend. Get together with someone you trust, like a parent, a mentor unaffiliated with your current employer, or even a good friend who knows how to listen. Tell him or her you want to have a pity party. A creative pity party. Ask that trustworthy person to listen to your litany of complaints ask you sympathetic questions about them and to take short, specific notes on your answers.

Then start complaining. Describe what you did for the company that’s gone unappreciated or ignored. When the inevitable questions arise, go into detail about why things are wrong or go unnoticed at your current job and what you previously did to make it right.

Clearly, you already know how you feel about the general subject, so its important that your friend, parent or mentor follow up by asking what you’ve done or plan to do to change a current workplace situation or practice for the better. Some suggestions:

  • What did you do to fix the problem?
  • How long did it take?
  • What happened next?
  • What was the outcome?
  • What kind of money or time did you save the company/department/program?

These are questions a professional might very well ask if you were to pay for professional coaching. But you can save money and still make forward progress by getting someone you trust to help you out for free.

The bottom line? To conduct an efficient search for a new job that’s better than the one you have now, you need to be ready with a good resumé and great answers to the interview questions that will inevitably follow. And no matter how bad your attitude is today, simple, positive steps you can take on your own or with a friend will start you on the road to positive thinking and ultimately to success.

More Help: Are you procrastinating on updating your resumé? Look for Part 2 in this series for new insights on how you can stop self-sabotage.

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