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Don't worry: we're not about to tell you to feel thankful for having a job, any job, or to be excited about all your "free time," if you're among the unemployed. But cultivating a genuine attitude of gratitude can be helpful, both for your professional success and your personal happiness.
Here are a few things you can genuinely add to your list of gratitude-inspiring things this season:
1. The bright spots in a tough job -- and what you can learn from them.
Even if you hate your job, there's probably something you like. Keep tabs on those things, because they'll tell you what you should be doing, once you finally get free of your current gig.
2. Your skills.
"But I don't have any!" Yes, you do. Alison Doyle at About.com's Job Searching site has a comprehensive list of skills employers love to see on resumes. You're guaranteed to have some of them, and probably more than you think.
3. Your ability to learn.
Think about where you were at the beginning of your career, and where you are now. Even if there have been some ups and downs, you know more now than you did then.
4. Your network.
Networking is a scary concept, until you realize that it's pretty much just formalized socializing. Your friends and former colleagues are a great resource for your career. Just by moving through the professional world, you've accumulated connections that can help you.
5. Your boss.
Good or bad or in between, your boss is a model of how to be a leader -- or how not to be one. Especially if you're a manager or want to be one, you can learn a lot from how your boss behaves. Pay attention, and you'll learn how you want to be when you're in charge.
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