THE SIMPLE MONEY MINUTE – A Little Labor Day Magic
You might have read my love story about work last week and rolled your eyes. Work? Gross! Work sucks! I hate to work!
If that describes you, then today’s bit of sunshine is for you.
Unless you are a rich socialite like Paris Hilton, work is a necessity. Making a living so we can support ourselves and our families and have a little bit of leisure once in awhile is kind of how the world works.
So, in honor of Labor Day, let me offer you this: embrace your work.
Hear me out, here. Life is too short to wake each morning dreading your workday. Life is too short to spend entire days depressed and miserable doing the job you’ve been hired to do. The way I see it, you have two choices.
One is that you can DECIDE to like your work. Yes, decide. If you are going to make a 180-degree shift in the way you think about your work, it has to start with you making the decision to do so. You may not have the best job in the world, and there might be 1000 other jobs you would prefer to be doing. But the job you have is the job you have for now, and you can choose to like it.
How do you embrace a job you dislike? You focus on the value you are bringing to it. Is your job part of a process that provides a service to people? Then focus on the fact that you help make peoples’ lives better. Is your job part of a factory line that makes a product? Then focus on how this finished product with the help of your workmanship is going to serve the end user.
In short, focus on the value you bring. Because you are valuable.
Perhaps that is just too much to bear, and you are peeling your eyeballs out of their permanent eye roll right now. There is a second choice: find work you prefer. Love animals? Find a way to work with animals. Like to create things with your hands? Find a way to use your hands to build or make things.
Look, I know that not everyone will have a job they adore. I know that not everyone will wake each morning with the bluebirds singing a tune of happiness about the workday ahead. I’m a realist as well as an optimist, after all. But I cannot understand choosing to be miserable day after day due to the job you have.
If your job bores you but provides a good income, perhaps you have chosen to stay in that work. Could you ask for more responsibility to increase your interest level? Or are you satisfied with an “easy but boring” job because it allows you to pursue the things you love outside work hours? Even if this is your case, you can still embrace your work. Changing your attitude from negative to positive makes ALL the difference in your day.
You’ve heard the expression “love it or leave it,” right? That applies to work. If you can’t or don’t want to leave it for something you like better, then choose to love it. Not just tolerate it. There’s a difference. Tolerating a situation temporarily is one thing. Choosing to merely tolerate a less than ideal situation indefinitely is crazy.
Ok, I promised some Labor Day magic, so here it is. Assuming you are off work today, spend just a wee bit of time reformulating your thoughts about work. Be happy to be employed and think about ways you could do your job even better than before. Focus on service, focus on improving yourself on the job.
Then tomorrow when it is time to go to work, remember the magic you cooked up today. When thoughts of dread enter your head (I’m not immune to this, by the way), replace them with thoughts of service and improvement. How can you make this (your workday) even better?
The best part? When dealing with angry customers or negative coworkers, you can spread a little of your magic around. Make someone else’s day, and that makes YOUR day better, too.
Am I off base here? Want to argue that it is entirely possible to go through life hating your job? Or want to share about a change you made to improve your work life? I want to hear ALL your stories!