Learn to Love Your Job
It’s time to make peace with what you do.
By Kathy Simmons
Readers from the South are, no doubt, familiar with kudzu-a prolific vine that wraps itself around other vegetation, strangling the life out of it. Does this sound like what your job is doing to you? Rather than helping you to blossom, is your job running you over like a lawnmower? Stop the madness! You spend too much time at work to be miserable. You can cut through career kudzu by putting the following advice into action.
Be Honest With Your Boss
Your boss may be talented and inspirational, but probably not a mindreader. If you are frustrated at work, speak up. Your boss has a right to know if you are feeling undervalued, burned out, or desperately in need of a more flexible schedule. There are, of course, ways to conduct this talk so that you don’t sound whiny or hopelessly confused. Many companies now offer training to employees, helping them to understand their personal values and what their dream job really is. This training teaches employees how to instigate and prepare for development discussions with their boss.
You may be more appreciated and have more options than you thought. A good boss can give you strategies to pull your attitude out of a funk. Give it a chance, and be honest in your discussion.
By forgiving abusive jerks, you are actually giving yourself a break.
Let the Job Bring Out Your Best
If you have a job that matches your skills poorly, you’ll end up hating it. For example, sales jobs are not for everyone. An introverted, quiet person is likely to feel uncomfortable chasing down some sales quota. Your job should fit like a glove, not force you to be something you are not. Ill-fitting jobs cause stress, according to psychologist Bill Crawford, author of All Stressed Up ; Nowhere to Go!. Stress is a signal that something needs to change. Suffering is when we don’t make the change, Crawford explains, Often we don’t listen to the signal of stress in our lives until it becomes a severe problem. If your job is not fulfilling, get creative. Drastic changes are not always necessary. Arlene S. Hirsch, author of Love Your Work and Success Will Follow, tells the story of a banker with strong financial analysis skills who was experiencing great job dissatisfaction. He recaptured his love for music by accepting a job as CFO for a symphony orchestra. Smart move!