How To Find Gratitude At a Job You Hate

I know I’m one of the lucky ones... I actually like my job!

But rest assured I’ve been in some less than desirable roles in the past, where I’ve been struck down by Sunday blues, slumped through the week and drowned my sorrows in a wine on a Friday night.

Although I enjoy my work now, I learned that even in the worst circumstances, you can make the most of your week.

Yes, it can be depressing to dread your tasks or feel fed up with your coworkers. Yes, it feels uninspiring at (all?!) times but no, that doesn’t have to be the absolute focus of your week.

So how can you rise above a job you hate?

Quit living outside of the moment

Jess Lively talks a lot about this one - if you wish away your work days and weeks, you are literally living outside of the present moment for 40 hours a week or more.

We don’t have infinite time ahead of us and we all know how quickly each hour, day and week passes when we look back. Wishing time away doesn’t serve you so it’s time to...

Fill your days with active choices

Now I’m not expecting you to lavish every joyous moment if you’re in a boring or uninspiring job, but please remember, you do have choices.

Even if you can’t change your day-to-day tasks, you can change the peripheral circumstances.

Beautify your desk with flowers, new stationery, photos of loved ones; plan fun lunches each week; listen to audiobooks on the way to and from work. Frame the lower moments with things you enjoy and you’ll notice...

What you focus on grows

If you focus on the mundane tasks of your job or spend your time obsessing about painful colleagues, those aspects of your life will grow and grow in your mind.

If you focus on the tasks you do enjoy or on the activities surrounding work that bring you happiness, that’s where your thoughts will start to default to each day.

And if all else fails…

Take responsibility for making change

Change can be terrifying at times, but if you’re sure you’re unhappy and find yourself wallowing each and every week, then you have to take charge of your circumstances.

I’m living proof that you don’t have to be unhappy in your job and if you keep searching and persisting, you will find a place you're happy to turn up to each day. Please believe me!

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What can you do this week to appreciate your job? What’s your number one tip for those stuck in bad career circumstances? Let me know in the comments below. 

 

Do You Chase Change, Then Freak Out When It Arrives?

Despite sometimes feeling our routines are stagnant, change (or even working towards change) is pretty common in our lives. I’ve noticed during recent catch ups with girlfriends that there’s a lot of change going on around us. Babies, new jobs, moving house, renovating - all big and exciting life events.

Another common theme is the stress and fear that comes with these changes.

We work towards change, then feel overwhelmed with stress, and even panic, when it arrives.

So why do we chase change? And why can’t we handle it effortlessly when it arrives?

The lead up

Most goal-based changes involve a long period of planning or effort before they arrive. Job hunting can feel like it takes forever ... babies take 9 months, house hunting can take years and moving overseas takes a major amount of planning and packing.

During the lead up, we’re often stuck in what I call, ‘future thinking’.

We fantasise about when the change finally arrives, and often feel bored during the planning.

The danger of future thinking

Also common is the continual striving for the next goal or possession to fulfil us. I’m sure many of us have had these thoughts - “I’ll be happy when I get a new car / have an amazing new job / get engaged”.

The overarching message we’re drumming into ourselves is that when things are ‘fixed’, we’ll finally be happy.

Are you missing the moment?

Often these changes we long for arrive in an awful hurry. After feeling fed up with my last job hunt, I attended two interviews, received a job offer and accepted, all within 5 days. Although it was exciting, I was somewhat longing for the boring day-to-day of job hunting by the end of that intense week!

Remember - the change is coming so try your best to stay present. There’s no point wishing time away, so fill your days with a variety of activities to keep your mind occupied if you’ve become obsessed with your change. Spend time with friends, keep up with exercise and be certain things will shift before you know it.

Start your future list

One of my favourite tips is to start a ‘future list’ - whether in a journal or in your phone. Whatever that long term change is, if you can’t do anything about it in this exact moment, get your thoughts or 'to do list' down and out of your head now.

A friend of mine is moving back to her hometown in around a year and was talking to me about options on where to live and work when she returns. I totally sympathised with this future thinking but could also see that if the thoughts took over, she might miss out on the city she’s living in at the moment.

Write it down and remember, there’s a time for everything.

The post-change panic

One thing I’ve learned about change (and I chase change!) is that once it happens, you will be out of routine. It can feel stressful and unnerving. What I’ve also learned is that this time passes more quickly than you realise, and you’ll be back into a routine (and likely thinking about your next change!) before you know it. Again, try and stay present.

Give yourself a break and let your standard routine be as flexible as it needs to be while you adjust.

What big change are you chasing at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!