Well this is not exactly surprising at all as most people choose jobs simply because they want to meet an immediate need. The need for survival means they will work in any environment and even accept a low salary ignoring all the warning signs that kept screaming; “you will be unhappy in this job”. They literally walk into “trapportunistic” jobs. This is the downside of working for money only. I am not about to reecho the ever popular “do what you love”. In fact I think it is getting boring; although it is the single most useful advice anyone can give you. Also, many people set dead-end goals. An example of which is simply to get a certain job or join a certain profession. Jobs and professions are vehicles (means)to be used to achieve something specific(end). It is this something specific that must drive the choices we make regarding occupation. This kind of motivation is of the intrinsic kind. When you are motivated from inside, the bad boss, low salary, and time spent commuting to work, your unfriendly colleagues all fade into the background and the most important thing really is what you do and how it makes you feel. In fact if you can get what you do right, it will fix all the so- called problems you have that affect your performance as you will engage wholeheartedly ignoring everything else. Nobody ever did a good job half-heartedly.
Take the pain out of the job
Most people start a new job with great enthusiasm but change within a few months when they have settled in. They become familiar with the environment and get used to the culture. They have left the primary need zone and now they want more than being able to feed, clothe and shelter themselves. A new set of eyes open and they soon start seeing the negatives of the job and the environment. All of a sudden the attitude and management style of the boss is so bad they will take the next opportunity to leave. At this point, performance stagnates or begins to drop. You know you have been there.
So what can one do when they are already in a job they hate? Reverse the do what you love idea. Well you already skipped the opportunity to do what you love. love what you do is the only way out. No; I won’t tell you to quit because that can be a problem in itself. You do that by finding all the possible good things about your job no matter how small and believe me they exist. Since you function by your lower needs, allow your mind to start seeing how this job feeds, clothes and shelters you. Balance that against how your life will be if you didn’t have the job. Think about how it helps you to indulge in something you really like doing– now that’s a healthy bridge to build. Your performance should be influenced positively.
Why this works is simple: your thoughts create feeling which triggers behavior. This exercise will help improve your feeling and that will improve your attitude towards your work. You will soon see; that your boss may be bad but really not the worst one in the world. In fact you might learn that you two actually have something in common and that his wife probably went to the same high school as yours. Whiles this may improve your performance, it is only a temporary measure as you will never be happy and fulfilled in any job unless you are made for each other. What you need is a job that doesn’t require effort just to engage and you need to do it for a reason that is more inspiring that feeding and clothing yourself.
So now you know what to do if you are trapped in a job you chose without thinking: build a bridge between where you are and a place you want to get to. Create a transition plan. You cannot be your best when you are unhappy with what you do or people you do it with or for. You can’t change the people or the environment but you can change how you think about them. Of course there are many other factors that come to play if you want to be your best. In the meantime read “try true love” . Have a high performing day.
Answering the following questions is a great way to start.
How does your current job make you feel?
What could be different if you actually loved your job?
What needs to happen to improve your affection for your job?
What do you dislike about your job the most and why?
Is this a solvable problem and who’s responsibility is it?