Tag Archives: Job

You’re Not Supposed to Hate Work

About a month ago, there was a rather disturbing headline that came as a result of a Gallup study: “70% of americans hate their job.” When I first read that, I thought, that can’t be right, can it? 70%!? That means for every person who likes their job, there are at least 2 people who hate their job. Do you like your job? That means that 2 of your friends hate their job.

Even now, reflecting on this, I find it hard to believe that this many people would stay at a job they don’t like. There would have to be an overwhelmingly compelling reason to stay at a job that one hates. A few things that come to mind: mortgage, children’s college fund, student loans, etc. I suppose we could talk about some of these big-ticket items weigh on the minds of people, but I’d rather talk about work. Why is it that we can’t all be doing something that we like to do?

Assuming that there are as many jobs out there as there are people, couldn’t we reach some sort of Nash equilibrium where everyone’s doing something that they like to do and no one’s doing anything they don’t? Part of the problem with reaching Nash equilibrium would be that some people are motivated by different things or are coming from different situations. So, I might really like construction, but I’m not very good at the things that you need to work in construction. If I have a degree in accounting, I might become an accountant, even though I’d rather be working in construction. There may be someone who’s in just the opposite situation, too. If we could switch jobs, we’d both be moving from miserable situations to desirable situations.

I haven’t really touched on the health implications of hating your job, but that’s an important factor to consider, too:

‘Our analysis clearly established that there was no difference in the rates of common mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression, between those who were unemployed and those who were in the poorest quality jobs.’

I think it’s a misnomer to say that work is supposed to “suck.” Why can’t we do what we love? Maybe for some folks, they don’t do what they love “full-time,” but they can gradually work their way into doing what they love full-time. Ken Robinson, noted TEDTalk speaker, wrote a great book a few years ago about finding your passion. If you’re working in a job that you hate (and statistics would tell us that you probably do) or you know someone who is, I’d recommend taking a look at Ken’s book. It just might change your life…

Figure Out What You Love – Then Do It

“Our work is how we create and contribute and it’s how we make the biggest difference with our lives.” – Mike Dooley

Often times, I hear about people who don’t enjoy their chosen career. They get up in the morning, realize it’s a work day, and immediately, their attitude about the day takes a downward spiral. They clean themselves up, eat some breakfast, and head off to work. On their way to work, all they can think about is how much they’d rather be spending their time doing something else. So why don’t they?

Maybe the role models in their life were such that they thought they had to live through jobs that they didn’t like. Maybe they witnessed their mother or father coming home after being at work all day only to complain about how much they completely abhor their job. Maybe they didn’t have any role models at all and they are just modelling what they have seen their peers do or maybe… they picked it up from watching movies and/or TV.

While where they learned this habit is an important factor, I think it’s more important to note that their continued usage of this habit when presented with stimuli to the contrary.

There are lots of feel-good stories out there about people who change their careers midstream from something they despised to something that they love. There are oodles of books on the shelves explaining to people how to leave their current job and go work in a job they love. I’ve read quite a few of them and many of them seem to start with the same premise:

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU LOVE

This may seem obvious, but authors wouldn’t continue to make money through books aimed at people who don’t like what they do.

There are lots of excuses that you’ll hear bandied about by people who are in jobs they hate, but believe they can’t leave their job because of the money or some other reason. For those people, those reasons are absolutely true – because they believe them. They think that if they quit their job and try to find a new one, they’ll lose out on money they could have been making.

This seems to be a fair point, but I wonder if those people consider the price at which it is costing their mind, body, and spirit to continue to work at a job they don’t like? They spend all day in a ‘low-energy’ vibe and then come home only to need to ‘relax’ by watching TV or doing something completely mind-numbing, only to get up the next day and do it all over again.

If, instead, those people made 20% less money and worked in a job that they loved, they’d be ‘excited’ about the day and enjoy their time at work. They’d come home happy from what they’d accomplished and not need numb their senses through TV or some other form. This positive cycle would continue day after day, rather than the other version of people continuously getting worse and worse.

The jumping off point, for some, contains lots of fear. How will I make money doing something I love? Is it possible? Where will I find this job? All valid questions, but all questions that are based in fear. I believe there is an element of trust in this scenario. When someone trusts that doing something they love to do will reward them – it will. It’s a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy, I know, but again, there are many examples of people acting in this way and being rewarded.

When it comes to career, the only clear choice is something you cherish doing that will make you happy regardless of the size of your check.