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Do You Love the Job You're In

Copyright (c) 2006-2023

Let's say you work an average of 40 hours a week and you started work when you were 20 years old and retired at 65. You're also a good sleeper and get a good eight hours a night.

That's 93 600 hours of your life or a solid 10 years devoted to work. If you consider that you spend another huge chunk of your life sleeping, work is a big part of our existence so isn't natural that we want it to be a happy existence?

In my experience it would appear not as I've never met one person, who worked for someone else, that loved, let alone, thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of their job.

It made me think of a tidbit I heard during a recent seminar about a survey asking critically ill people what they most regretted in life:

  • Not making the most of their relationships

  • Not doing meaningful work, and

  • Not playing enough

    The last two points really had an impact on me. Nobody is sitting on their deathbed proclaiming, "I wish I bought another house." or "I should have spent more time in the office."

    No, they're saying they should have loved more, lived more!

    If we spend workdays craving 5pm or the weekend does that indicate work that is meaningful or fulfilling? And why do we always consider our playtime outside the hours of 9am-5pm?

    So why are a majority of us filling our precious lives with unfulfilling work?

    Some answers, and what you can do about it, follow.

    ++ You Fell Into It ++

    You've had the same type of job from day one and all that may have changed is the company you work for or your job title.

    At one stage you had great dreams of what you aspired to be. Standing in front of the mirror singing into a hairbrush experiencing the bliss of being a pop star. Running through the backyard with a hose fighting imaginary fires. Peering through a microscope's lens intrigued by the cells moving before you.

    In youth we're often clear what we want to be when we grow up. But then something happens, some would say life, others would say bad luck or even reality.

    Basically it's the gap between what you dreamed of and the work you're currently doing that causes dissatisfaction.

    ++ You Feel Stuck and Don't Have a Choice ++

    You have a mortgage, kids to feed, not enough education or no time.

    So you've chosen a job that reflects your circumstances. You're basically trading time for money to pay for a life you're not thoroughly enjoying. ++ You're Numb ++

    You get up, go to the bathroom, have a shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, walk to the bus stop, arrive at work, work, eat lunch, work some more, come home, eat dinner and go to bed. REPEAT. Sure, our lives are busier and more colorful than that, but essentially these steps are present each weekday.

    You exist in an unconsciously competent state, similar to driving a car where you get from A to B without thinking about it. Same thing with work, you're going through motions.

    You know something 'just ain't right' but you don't know what it is, and even if you did, you wouldn't know how to get out of it.

    There are a plethora of reasons: your job is your identity, you're continually looking for the 'perfect' role, society made you do it, or in some cases, your parents.

    There are a plethora of reason but all you know is that when it comes to your career you may feel stuck in a chasm, in the abyss, between a rock and hard place. The great thing is, if you look up, you see a glimmer of light and that's called possibility. You can make a change, a choice to do something differently in your life, escape the 'stuck-ness' and seek fulfilment.

    It may seem overwhelming, a task too big to even consider, but don't forget the adage.

    "How do you eat an elephant?"

    "One bite at a time."

    Apply the same approach to seeking a fulfilling work life and discover how you can 'Escape the CHASM(tm)'.

    ** Create Choice and Change **

    What can you do when you don't have much choice? Well the fact that you're doing nothing is a choice in itself. If you want your life to change you have to 'do' something about it, they can be large or small choices, but they are essential.

    A few months a go I worked in marketing consulting. One day I asked my husband, "Why are we both working like crazy so we can live in an apartment we never see and create a life of things we never enjoy?" A month later I quit that job and went into 'retirement'. I decided that I was going to do something different for once in my life - nothing.

    How could I afford to do that you may ask? I wanted to make a change so I had to make some choices.

    Firstly, we decided to sell our investment property which pretty much got rid of our major debt and reduced our mortgage to a very manageable $600 a month. We also decided to move into a house after paying a crippling $52,000 special levy the year before on our condo. Instead of staying in the suburb we currently lived in where we would have to get another huge mortgage, we opened our minds to the possibility of a different area where we could buy something for cash. I also decided that I had enough shoes, handbags, clothes and other material things for the time being so I stopped the shopping addiction that often kept me caught in the trap of: I don't like my work, I'll buy something to cheer me up, now I have to work to pay for what I bought. All these things were huge changes for me and at times I was uncomfortable.

    Months later I was speaking to a motivational consultant on the topic of choice and change and I reflected, "When I made the choice to opt-out of the corporate world to create a life I experienced, instead of just watched, I thought I was making a sacrifice. But you know what, when you're on the other side of it, there really is no sacrifice, just decisions which create circumstances that make you happy or unhappy."

    In that moment I realised, that at the time, I thought I was giving up a lot, in reality, I had lost nothing and gained more than I could have imagined.

    I spent more time with my husband and pets, I got to see the sun during the day instead of starting and ending my day in darkness, I created time to do the things I always put off like walks on the beach or reading in bed.

    So the choice to change doesn't have to be a scary one, on the contrary, it can be very freeing.

    ** Create Happiness **

    Follow your glee. That's easier said than done. My friend Jo once said, "I don' even know what makes me happy anymore because I spend so much time making sure everybody else is."

    Do you remember what makes you happy?

    Think back to experiences that made you smile, laugh out loud, proud or warmed your heart. What were you doing and what choices are you going to make to reclaim your happiness.

    ** Have the Right Attitude **

    When graphic designer Bev Bradnick was asked how she started doing the job she now loves she said, "I changed my attitude. I also chose to start doing things I really enjoyed but never thought I had the time to do. Finding the time to do them really enabled me to become more creative, less stressed out and more fulfilled which in turn affected my working relationships."

    Attitude was key to Bev's success. Consider this, if you wake up thinking, "Great it's Tuesday, I've got to go to work." You're not really starting the day off with an, "I'm going to have a great day" attitude. And how you start the day is often how you end it as it's challenging to break the cycle once you're in it. So make the choice to create the right attitude.

    ** Just Start **

    To be happier in your work life you need to start doing things differently. If you don't, you're practicing the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

    It might be worthwhile to start changing your attitude towards your job like Bev did. Instead if thinking, "Oh no" when the alarm goes off consider, "I'm going to make the best of this day". It's a small change, but it's a start!

    What else can you start doing? Look on the Internet for a new position or course to add to your skills. Start thinking about what you really enjoy doing and explore how you can turn that into paid work (it can even be part-time).

    Maybe you can start clearing some of the circumstances in your life that keep you stuck: do the children really have to go to private school, do you need the latest model car? Keeping up with the Jones is what keeps us suffering.

    I remember when I was in jobs I loathed I always felt better when I started applying for other positions. It felt good to do something other than just moan about it.

    ** Motivate and Keep Moving **

    Once you decide to make a positive change in your job it's important to motivate yourself along the journey.

    It's like exercise; you have to consistently put in the effort to achieve the desired result. You also need to up the ante from time to time so your fitness doesn't plateau but continues to move you towards your goals.

    Perhaps you've decided the company you're currently in isn't for you and are looking for a new job. If you go for a few interviews and nothing becomes of it you have to remind yourself why you're doing what you're doing in order to keep yourself motivated.

    After 12 job interviews Samantha was becoming discouraged, "I was over the whole process: searching for work, sending resumes, going to meet people and then nothing happening. Then I thought about why I was looking for another job and it was because I was in a position where I was no longer learning anything and I felt my skills weren't being appreciated. I used that to motivate me."

    In the end Samantha landed her dream job. "I believe everything is for a reason and the fact that I didn't get those other roles was because there was a more fulfilling job waiting for me - and I got it!"

    Remember, there's inspiration in doing something you love, or even enjoying the process of getting there, and you probably don't realise it but you're positively affecting others along the way.

    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Belinda Crosbie is creating an inspiration epidemic. Her website encourages people to abandon the rat race and pursue a motivating and fulfilling life. 'Escape the CHASM (TM)' is an initiative that invites you to ask probing questions and make choices with clear intent to create a rewarding and meaningful life. To find out more, subscribe to a FREE newsletter . Belinda holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology, Masters of Commerce in Marketing and a Higher Diploma of Advanced Freelance Journalism. She has been a business consultant and mentor for over 17 years.

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