“Sometimes only a change of viewpoint is needed to convert a tiresome duty into an interesting opportunity.”
Wake up. Go to work. Stress Out. Come home. Wash, rinse, repeat. Looking forward to the weekend, are we? Are you working the weekend? Even worse! If you talk to people about work, it’s amazing how many complain about or just out-right hate their jobs. I know this because I used to be one of them. Is any workplace perfect? Definitely not. However, there are things you can do to make work a satisfying experience, even when your job is less than ideal.
Everyone has their reasons for complaining about work. Interestingly enough, there are few people who simply dislike their craft–most of the dissatisfaction comes from one or more of the following:
- Subpar management / structure / processes
- Feeling overwhelmed by the workload
- Feeling unappreciated or undervalued
- Tasks increasingly becoming tedious and cumbersome
- Poor treatment by clients or customers
- Low Pay
- Lack of challenges
When the going gets tough, do you just quit and find another one? There are times and situations that call for you to leave a job, but that may not always be a plausible option and/or not the best solution to your work woes. Is the grass greener at the other job? More often than not, people find themselves disappointed all over again—a different place with the same situations. If you happen to decide to quit your job, I highly recommend that you secure another one before taking off in a fit of emotion. Don’t burn your bridges; you never know what opportunities you may be robbing yourself of in the future. For most of us, though, a small change can trigger a world of transformation when it comes to job satisfaction.
“When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”
There was a point in my life where I absolutely dreaded going to work. Getting myself out of the bed in the mornings on workdays was a chore in and of itself, only to further have to drag myself to the office and go through another day of torture. I hated going there, I hated being there and I couldn’t wait to leave. I was spending 2080 hours a year of my life being unproductive and unhappy (way too much time to spend that way). It wasn’t until I started changing the way I thought about work that I truly started appreciating and actually enjoying it!
My journey to a higher level of job satisfaction started with this simple thought—I started imagining myself as being unemployed. It’s amazing how the thought of not having a job or having to search for one can suddenly make you appreciate the one you have a whole lot more! Stressing out about finances, completing endless applications, hours of resume-tweaking, all for the hopes of landing a job interview that may or may not get you anywhere. As that Joni Mitchell song goes, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” Don’t take the fact that you have a job for granted. The moment I start dreading work or start to form a complaint about it I stop and think, what would it feel like right now if I didn’t have a job and needed one? I immediately become grateful and my whole attitude towards it changes. I literally say out loud, “Thank You, God, that I have a job!”
Turning Negatives into Positive Pictures
As you know, we all have things that we dislike about our jobs-legitimate complaints about our work environment. However, every flaw is an opportunity for a challenge and/or growth. Are there processes at your job that are less than efficient? Make it your goal to find a way to improve the current process! Work becomes that much more satisfying when you have purpose. Have less than the ideal boss? Find those characteristics about their leadership that are flawed and learn from them! Learn what-not-to-do and grow from it both personally and professionally. Overwhelmed with work? Make it your personal challenge to learn new skills, become more efficient– tackle a little bit each day and celebrate the milestones along the way! Work becomes more fun when you feel a sense of accomplishment as you move towards a set goal.
Celebrate the Perks
As bad as a job may seem to be, if we think hard enough, there is always something you can appreciate about it. However, you have to purposely choose to focus on the benefits of your job–Does it pay the bills? Does it give you a sense of purpose in your day? Do you get an opportunity to meet or socialize with people and make friends? Do you get health benefits? Do you get to learn new skills? Are there special perks to working where you work or doing what you do? I love helping people, and a great deal of my job incorporates this passion of mine. Also, my current employer has a child care center located onsite, and as a mother of young children, this has been invaluable to me. We can all find something that we like about our jobs. Remember why you took the job in the first place–it may help you to reignite the desire to work there. Make a big deal of the little perks–because it’s the little things that may just help you appreciate your job in a big way!
As the saying goes, “Don’t hate–Appreciate.” Many people spend more hours of their lives at work than at home. Life is too short to be bored and frustrated for the majority of the week. Change your perspective and you might just see your job in a whole new way!