For people in their 20s and 30s, the pressure to find the perfect job can be overwhelming. Having a less-than-stellar job title or working at an unexciting company can make you feel like you've failed already.
But according to Janet Foutty, CEO and chairman of Deloitte Consulting, focusing on what you don't have can prevent you from getting ahead.
"The advice that I gave many years ago and I still give today," she says, "is to be really thoughtful about what you can learn from every experience that's put in front of you."
While it's easy to get caught up in worrying about if your job title is perfect for you, you're better off focusing on what you can learn.
Ask yourself questions such as "What can I get out of this?" and "What can I learn, both in my own development as well as in whatever I'm trying to accomplish?" the CEO says.
Once you focus on what you can learn, you'll feel more engaged at work. And your productivity will probably increase. This will help you feel better about your current role or could help you feel more hopeful about finding a new job with the skills you realize you have.
It's a lesson Foutty has learned from overseeing many employees at Deloitte. Before assuming her current role, she led the firm's government consulting practice and its technology consulting division. The most successful employees, she says, make the most of the opportunities put in front of them and stand out with their good work.
Concentrate on what you can learn, the CEO says, whether it's about the technology you're using, different industry-specific skills you're acquiring or your social skills, like how to deal with a person who has a different working style than you do.
In addition, you can make the most of your current role by proposing new projects or taking initiative and offering to help your boss on a different assignment. Outside of work, you can take up a hobby, exercise or work on a personal project to make your days more fulfilling.
"Just take a step back," she says. "It's a really powerful mindset shift."