20 Ways to Love Your Job
As Labor Day approaches, I believe it is appropriate to address a significant work related issue. A recent Gallup Poll says 71% of people hate their jobs (other polls even claim figures as high as 80%.) Now, with so much job hating going around, and it seems like something should be done about it.
If you hate your job, then you are the somebody who should do something about it. Things won’t get better if you just sit around wishing it would.
Now, I understand that some work environments are toxic and intolerable. In situations like that, the best thing you can do is seek an exit strategy. If you really hate your job that bad, then look for another one.
Often, however, job dissatisfaction has much more to do with the worker’s attitude, than the dysfunctional environment. It is with this basis of understanding that I propose the following suggestions for learning to love your job:
1) Examine your attitude. Are you allowing negativity to poison your spirit towards those you work with? If so, the problem may be more about you than it is about them.
2) Start your day with prayer. Ask God to guide you and guard your spirit. Try this prayer, “God, help me to receive the people you send to me as a gift.”
3) Adjust your attitude. Try to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
4) Make it your goal to make someone else’s day. Do something extra that makes someone smile. You’ll smile too.
5) Speaking of smiling – if you’re feeling grumpy, then smile for 16 seconds straight. You will feel better.
6) Keep a realistic “To Do List.” This will keep you from being overwhelmed, and you will feel good as you progress and mark things off the list.
7) Do the most important things first. Trivial things have a way of gobbling up time, and adding unnecessary pressure.
8) Plan ahead. When you fail to plan ahead, other people will dictate your agenda. Planning brings order to the day, week, and month.
9) Get your schedule under control. To do this, you must think further down the road. Instead of asking, “What shall I do today?” it is far better to ask “What shall I do this week?”, and even better, “What shall I do this year?” Start as far out as you can, and work backwards from there.
10) Put breathing space in your schedule. Just as a campfire fizzles out when the logs are too close together, your life needs “breathing space” to burn brightly.
11) Delegate. Are you doing things that someone else ought to be doing? How can you help them do it?
12) Be flexible. If you’re rigid and uptight, you’ll always be upset. Just go with the flow when things don’t work out the way you expected. That’s just a part of life, and not worth expending the energy to fight. Just shrug your shoulders, smile and say, “Stuff Happens!”
13) Put value into it. Regardless of your work, it is important, or you would not be paid to do it. Remember, your contribution is important – even if others don’t see it. Give it your best shot and add value to the organization
14) Befriend your co-workers, while remembering you have a job to do.
15) Share concerns but don’t get sucked into drama.
16) Refuse to participate in gripe or gossip sessions. If you have a genuine concern, then bring it to the person who can do something about it, and don’t broadcast it. Shared negativity compounds and increases negativity. Your work environment won’t get any better through gripe sessions.
17) Don’t over-react. When you’re emotions are taking over, step back, take a deep breath, and try to respond maturely.
18) Say “Please” and “Thank You” often.
19) Practice patience and be respectful of every co-worker and customer.
20) At the end of the day – stop! You don’t need to carry it all home with you. For a few years, I carried my work home with me and stewed about it all evening. Then, after an “awakening” I realized I needed to quit that. It was unhealthy for me and unhelpful to my family. I decided to use the stop sign on my way home from work as my stopping point. As I drove to the sign, I dumped the problems, worries and challenges off at the sign, figuring that if they were important enough, they would be there waiting for me the next morning. That little exercise saved my sanity, and helped me have a much happier family life.