You’re probably thinking I’m going to tell you that you should start your own business in order to love your job.
It’s true that entrepreneurship is the most rewarding thing I have ever done for myself. I could go on for hours about all the reasons starting a company is amazing, but it’s also the hardest thing with the longest hours and some lean years early on.
That’s for another article.
Chances are you are struggling with enjoying your current job working for someone else, and I’ve been there. Prior to launching my agency, I worked for a staffing company. I loved it for years and then I fell out of love with it and by the time I left, I hated it.
Looking back now, I can see that it was a really good career. We were paid exceptionally well and had great vacation benefits and lots of bonuses and perks and company functions. But by the time I left, no one could have told me that it was a great job because I was in a state of negativity that was all my own making.
The reality is that here in America we just like to bitch about our jobs and spend hours thinking of the grass that must be greener. We convince ourselves that we are unappreciated and that every other workplace would treat us better. We spend too much time focusing on the negative.
Oftentimes that grass really isn’t greener, so what can you do to love your job again? Here are some ways to turn your thinking around and make the most of the job you are in.
There’s nothing so good as a hard day’s work when you know you’ve given it your all. You get to go home with that sense of satisfaction and pleasant exhaustion and fall asleep knowing that your efforts are appreciated by the universe even if they aren’t appreciated by your boss.
It’s easy to blame your job for your unhappiness but pause for a moment and take stock of where you are. Is your job the problem or are you the problem?
Circumstances are always neutral. Your job exists. You go to work at your company every day and they pay you to be part of their organization.
Where does negativity enter this picture?
Before you condemn your career to the depths of hell, take a minute to assess whether it’s the job that’s negative or if it’s just your own thoughts about the job that are causing the problem.
Is there anyone else in the same job that seems to love coming to work every day? Find out what they love so much and determine if you are overlooking the truly great things about your position.
Take Massive Action
On the day where you find it particularly hard to get out of bed, challenge yourself to crush it. Go to work and swing for the fences. What can you accomplish in this one day that will give you the most satisfaction for a job well done?
Tackle the Worst Tasks First
This is something I learned from a supervisor at my staffing job. Incidentally, he’s one of my dearest friends today, over a decade after we both left that company and moved on to other careers. Yet I still employ this one strategy every day in running my company.
Perhaps there is a phone call that you’ve been dreading. Maybe a client is unhappy and you need to address it or maybe there’s a truly boring task that you’ve been procrastinating on.
Whatever it is, make it your first duty that day. Face it head on and get it out of the way. You’ll feel relieved when it’s done and you can enjoy the rest of the day much better.
Ask the Right Questions
I follow a life coach by the name of Brooke Castillo. She has a great podcast that focuses a lot on mindset so if you need help in this area, I strongly recommend you check her out.
One of the things she teaches is to ask yourself the right questions. If you say to yourself: Why do I hate this job so much? – then your brain is going to answer with all the things you’ve been telling yourself and it will stew on that negativity as long as possible
Try this instead: Ask yourself better questions, such as:
Why am I so lucky? What great thing can I accomplish today? Who is my favorite person at this workplace? What can I learn today that I didn’t know yesterday? If you totally loved your job, what would you be thinking at this moment?
When you ask yourself questions that require positive answers, your brain will go to work selecting the positive and your whole mindset will change for the day.
Learn Something New
If you are going to be here awhile, figure out the most valuable things you can take with you from this job when you leave it someday. Ask your supervisor to let you sit in on meetings or projects that fall outside your current realm of knowledge. Can you learn a new skill while you are here? Something to make your resume pop when you later move on?
Write down 5 things that your manager or your department handles that would look great on your resume. Then set about learning those things even if it requires extra hours to accomplish
Change Your Expectations
Exactly who told you that you are supposed to love your job? Sure, there are people out there who do, but for hundreds of millions of people, their jobs are a means to an end. We work so that we can have the things in life that we most enjoy.
Life isn’t supposed to be 100% lovely. In fact, it would get really old if everything was happy, happy, joy, joy all of the time. It’s okay to have days where we feel disappointment or apathy, but tomorrow is another day. Shake it off and make tomorrow a new day.
Be the Good
Who is someone at your current job that stirs the pot? There’s always at least one person that we love to talk to, so we can gossip about co-workers or bash the boss. This person is the worst person for you to be around, so change that immediately.
Instead, work on being the one that everyone else wants to be around. What can you say today to someone near you that will make their day? What duty can you knock out that your manager will be the happiest about? Start each day by being the best person in your department, and you’ll slowly begin to feel the positive effects of being the good guy.
Leave It at Work
I have some news for you. A billion people in China don’t care if you hate your job. Sometimes we can minimize our own misery by focusing on the bigger picture. A hundred years from now, the way that you felt about your job today is probably not going to matter.
So, if you don’t love your job, at least set it aside when each day is over. Go home to your friends and family. Read a great book. Take a relaxing bath and don’t think about work. People who can leave their job mentally and emotionally each day report the highest levels of satisfaction about their work.
Think Back to Day One
I’ll bet there was a time that you were so excited about your new job at this workplace. Try to remember what it was that attracted you to the position and focus on that. Maybe you get to help others or maybe this career is a great stepping stone. What’s your favorite perk about this job?
Concentrate on the happy things and dig in. After all, it’s not forever; it’s just for now. By doing everything you can to improve the current moment, you’ll find that going to work each day and loving your job becomes a bit easier.