Why would you want to find ways to love your job when actually you hate it?
Well, firstly, it will make the days more bearable, for you, if you find something positive to focus on about your work. But secondly, it’s because it will be one of the best strategies for helping you move on to pastures new.
People hire people they like, know and trust. You’ve heard that before, right? Well, here’s some tough love: No-one likes a misery guts! It’s very difficult for your colleagues, let alone your boss, to recommend you on LinkedIn, if you’re turning up each day with low energy and zero enthusiasm.
Are you a “Mood-Hoover?”
Being miserable at work is stressful and that’s why I urge you to reflect regularly on how things are going. Getting out or moving on before you turn into a “mood-hoover” is by far the best way to progress in your career.
But what if you’re already past that stage?
Maybe you feel like you are super-professional and you put on a brave face in front of colleagues and customers? Here’s some more tough love: You’re not kidding anyone! They’ve seen you at your super-duper best. They remember when you were keen and on top-form. And they can tell now that something’s changed.
You used to have a laugh. Now it’s hard to find that sense of humour.
You used to go the extra mile. Now you’re on a “work to rule.”
Maybe it’s worse than this. Have you given up and switched off? Just gritting your teeth to get through each day? Going through the motions on auto-pilot? Perhaps you are feeling a bit defensive? Sometimes you snap at people or just find yourself staring blankly into space when you should be listening in a meeting? Are you watching the clock, working out how many minutes are left before you can escape until tomorrow?
If any of this reads like your life, here’s the good news! You can choose a different response and here’s how:
- Make a decision. Will I stay or will I go? If you choose to stay, let’s make the most of that. If you choose to go, let’s create a great spring-board to help you make the leap.
- Make a plan. Deciding how you will make the rest of your life the best of your life is an empowering and inspirational thing to do. It’s an adventure!
- Set a time-scale to achieve whatever it is that you want because otherwise you might drift.
- Take action on your plan. Every day make sure you take at least one step in the direction of your dream.
- Enjoy and trust the process. Give yourself well-deserved pats on the back when you do well and be kind to yourself if you suffer a set-back. But keep focused on your destination.
These five steps will go a long way to helping your current job be more bearable than it has been lately. You’re back in charge of your destiny, after all. However, I promised more than ‘bearable’ in the title of this blog post, didn’t I? I said you could learn to love the job you hate!
The first thing I urge you to do is to stop generalising. When I work with my coaching clients, one of the first things we do is to analyse the various aspects of their work and see exactly what it is that is so unsatisfactory about the job.
We look at categories like: Management, Personal Growth and Learning, Colleagues, Pay and Perks, Customers, Physical Environment, Work/Life Balance and Career Advancement. I ask my clients to rate their satisfaction on a scale from 1-10 for each area. Try it yourself and you will see that while some areas are very unsatisfactory, others may be surprisingly high.
You may really like your colleagues (or some of them anyway) but it’s that office environment that’s really getting you down. You may feel like you’re wearing golden handcuffs because you get paid so well but it’s the fact that you can’t see any career advancement opportunities that makes you feel like you’re just treading water.
So, what’s to be done? Well, first, identify the one area that is the most satisfactory of all of them. Say, it’s your colleagues. Focus on feeling grateful for them. Let them know how much they mean to you.
Then choose another area that has rated better than most on your satisfaction scale. Say, it’s pay and perks. Focus on all the positive things that you can do with the money that you’re receiving right now for doing a job that no longer makes your heart sing. Maybe you can start saving up a “security cushion” or pay for a well-deserved holiday and be thankful that you are in a position to do that.
Let’s take a third choice. If you can’t think of something to be grateful for there, get creative and work out a way of making it more satisfactory than it is right now. Say, you feel really dissatisfied with the lack of Personal Growth and Learning within your job at present. What could you do, off your own back, to learn something new and interesting? Could you research something new each day on the internet? Read a book, join a group, sign up for a class? You don’t have to wait for an employer to teach you new things; you can go learn whatever you want!
What I’m really saying here is that finding even the smallest things to be grateful for and taking even the tiniest steps in the direction of your dream each day will transform the way you feel AND the way others perceive you. Finding ways to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step will not only make your current job more bearable but, crucially, it will put you in a far better frame of mind for planning your escape! The bonus is that you will have positive, upbeat stories to tell at interviews and your future employer will be more attracted to the prospect of giving you your dream job!
I’m willing to bet that you will look back fondly, one day, at this job. You may even be able to love it because it was the catalyst that spurred you on to achieve all the great things that you were put on the planet to do. The challenges you are facing right now are simply signs that you need to do something differently.
Please let me know how you get on with this. I love to hear all your success stories so share them in the Comments below and help to inspire others. And if you get stuck or things are so bad that you can’t get your head round what to do next, please do contact me to see how I can help you.
Here’s a link, especially for you, to book an hour, completely free, with me. It’s what I call your Career Clarity Session.
It’s an opportunity to press “Pause” and really focus on the way ahead. It could be the most important hour you’ve ever invested in yourself!