I read a good Forbes article yesterday, “How to Turn a Job You Hate into a Job You Love,” that has great insights worth saving. Because hating a job – even for an excruciating stretch that only lasts two weeks – happens to us all.
The common thread between all 10 tips is initiative. Sometimes you have to work to like your work. The main point is that job satisfaction is in your hands; you can’t expect your boss to read your mind and start making improvements that you want.
Career coach Deborah Brown-Volkmann has offered two other tips that are worth considering.
1. Let go of your need for outside approval.
Not everyone will embrace your ideas. This is only a problem if you listen to the naysayers rather than the champions. One person telling you your idea is no good can derail you even if four people earlier said they loved it.
It doesn’t matter what other people think, only what you think. If you are waiting for other people to applaud your ideas before you can implement them, you may be waiting for a long time. You may think that you need everyone to love what you are doing. While it would be nice to have approval, real approval comes from you and no one else.
2. Realize your career is only a slice of the pie.
When something is not working in one area of your life, it can easily affect the others. How can you make plans in your life when you are in limbo or there is uncertainty in your career? The problem with that thinking (or that question) is it keeps you from moving forward, finding answers, or taking action to do something differently. You lose perspective.
Many people define themselves by what they do, and when that is lost or in jeopardy, they are lost too. Your job and/or career, although a big part of your life, is only a piece of the bigger picture. It is what you do for a living, to pay the bills and take care of yourself and your family. Yes, you want a satisfying career, one that makes a difference for others. But if you don’t have that at the moment, don’t let your frustration or disappointment take over your entire life.
The above pointers are common sense and probably not new to you. But sometimes a solid reminder or two can lead to something revolutionary. Or maybe a new career – see “Filmmaker finds lemonade in a layoff.”