Mid-life career change can take up to three years. Therefore, many mid-career professionals find they have to take jobs they don't want, just to pay the bills. However, if you've been a professional, it's hard to view your work as just a day job, even though it is. You can find yourself so caught up in this temporary job that you just don't have the energy to pursue your dream.

"Linda" is a composite of a few of my clients. When we talked, she acknowledged her frustration.. She had just taken a day job with a government agency, planning to bring in some money while she waited for her dream job and investigated solo-preneur opportunities.

The plan seemed logical. Linda didn't want to quit before getting another job. She made a decision to avoid investing herself emotionally in the temporary job. She anticipated being motivated by her desire to find her dream job and a new life.

To her own surprise, Linda found herself struggling to balance these competing challenges. She came home every evening feeling stressed. She couldn't stop thinking about the events of the day even though she realized she was spinning wheels. "Who cares if my boss hates me?" she would say. "Who cares if we will implement Plan A or Plan B? But I find myself getting all worked up."

Linda is not unique. Here are some ways to coach yourself through this transition time.

(1) Compartmentalize.

As you leave work, take a minute to visualize yourself stepping into a whole new world. When you get home, change your clothes. Think of taking off the uniform and becoming yourself again.

(2) Build your psychic shield.

When you enter the workplace imagine you have a shield that protects you from every negative influence. I discuss this technique in my Report Ten Things To Do When You Really, Really Hate Your Job.

(3) Plan an activity for the end of the day where you engage with others. Schedule interviews, client calls, meetings or groups. When you sit alone at the computer, it's harder to stop a busy mind.

(4) Create a topic that you can turn to as your mind starts to circle around the work problems. For instance, think instead about your dog or cat, a trip you will take, your next career; anything for a distraction!

(5) Avoid getting too tired, hungry or thirsty. I've heard this tip by members of 12-step programs and it works here too. When you're vulnerable, bad things happen.

These 5 steps seem simple but in fact they make a huge difference to the success of your career. Nearly everyone I know has struggled with a job they absolutely hated. When you avoid panic and just follow these simple steps, you will be in very good shape to make a new move.

Author's Bio: 

Career expert Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., specializes in helping mid career professionals who want to beat the odds of changing careers and discover realistic ways to manage a stalled or stultifying career. Download her FREE Report: 5 Career Change Secrets Most Career Coaches Won't Tell You. Immediate access at http://www.MidlifeCareerChoice.com