This week we are talking about what to do if you hate your job. Of course, quitting is always one option but if that was just the simple answer, you probably would have already done that by now. Every now and again we might find ourselves feeling a bit burned out, sluggish, downtrodden and just a bit “wonky at our job. And, as our week’s get busy and stuff is falling off our plate, it’s easy to really begin to resent work leading us to feel like we don’t like our jobs very much.
It might be worth it to identify what the key causes of disliking your job might be of course. Maybe it’s your boss or the amount of work that you have to do or the work itself. But first, we need to understand what is within our control and what isn’t. The truth is, 90% of our happiness is experienced by how we choose to experience our world in the first place and how we choose to respond. I know, that sounds radical doesn’t it? But the truth is, it is best to focus on what we can control. Additionally, 75% of our job success is even predicted by our own optimism, social support and our ability to see stress as a challenge versus a threat.
So, let’s explore those!
-Optimism: What is it? It is the ability to see the less positive occurrences in our lives as impermanent, non-personal and not impacting all of the areas of our lives. Now it’s worth knowing that this can be learned and that you can choose how you want to see the events in your life. Even when work isn’t going great, we can still choose to know that things may be very transient and fleeting and that we can choose how we experience and respond to our work. A lot of our happiness is a choice. It’s worth knowing too that having more of a “flexible” optimism is best too. This means that we don’t ignore things that aren’t going well but we identify the things that we can control and influence.
-Social support: Do you have friends at work and people that you can rely on? Well guess what, this really matters. If you have at least one person at work that you know you can rely on, you are 80% more likely to enjoy being there outside of work. And of course, taking time away from work to be with friends and family is mandatory and so easy to loose sight of when work seems like it isn’t going well. Becoming a workaholic won’t help you with those relationships.
-Our view of stress: Believe it or not, the way that we view stress in our life has a bigger impact on our lives that the actual stress itself. Although chronic stress isn’t helpful (i.e. you never take a break), the daily stressors of our lives can be viewed more as a challenge and a way to build our resilience. Dr. Kelly McGonigal has a wonderful TED talk on this very topic that is one of my favorite discussions on the topic. We can let go of the idea that stress is “bad”.
-So, if we want to wire our brains to work more optimistically, here are some things that really work:
Three good things exercise: write down three good things that happened to you each day, why these things happened and what was important about those things to you.
Journal each day about one great experience that occurred for you.
Mediation: I can’t say enough about this one but taking 5′ minutes a day to pause and meditate really changes the game. My favorite app for learning to meditate if you haven’t before is Headspace. Try it out!
So, maybe you won’t hate that job as much as you thought. But let us know what you think.