Do you know how many people in America actually hate their jobs? No, you are not alone, if you’re finding yourself stuck in an employment position for which you have no love lost. According to the latest Gallup State of the American Workplace survey, a mere 30 per cent of all American workers can say their job engages or inspires them. That’s only 2 per cent more than in 2010, when the world economy had just hit rock bottom. Out of the 150,000 people polled, 18 per cent professed to being either dissatisfied with, or outright hateful of their jobs. The truth is that, at present, it’s not that uncommon to be underwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid as a professional. Yet some career coaches say you can learn to love your job in as few as three simple steps – even if it’s a job you hate. No, you needn’t sell your soul, nor do you have to start earning triple the amount you’re making right now. All you have to do is shift your perspective, as follows:
#1 Love your job for the job description
If you feel your current job description does not paint an accurate picture of what you actually do on a daily basis, then ask to reopen the discussions on this topic. Approach your boss in an honest, straightforward, yet polite manner, and explain that you feel you could be more productive and even come to love your job, if the job description was updated. If you feel your current workload is too much for you to handle, then do express this – as you should also express the fact that you might be feeling unchallenged, if this is the case. The mere fact that you have this conversation can change things in a greatly positive way for you, so don’t postpone it. Focus on the effort of becoming more productive, instead of complaining about all the things that are not working out for you at the moment. Remember, your goal is not to come across as needy and whining, but to create a vibe of mutual understanding between you and your direct supervisor. If you manage to explain your situation, they ought to be able to understand that you only want to feel more efficient on the job, not undermine their authority.
#2 Mix it up!
Oftentimes, workers find aspects of their jobs that they really dislike and from then on only choose to focus on them. It could be a particular project or assignment, a specific task, the office layout, or even a coworker. The simplest solution to such a conundrum is to ask for a certain degree of variety in your order of business. Ask to be assigned to different projects on a regular basis. Suggest that your office try a bit of desk shuffling – it has been scientifically proven that switching locations around an office can help boost productivity and employee satisfaction. Have a change of pace, team, and atmosphere; you will soon see how this shift will come to determine a change of perspective in your view of the job. You might not love your job overnight, but with the right amount of refreshment, you should at least warm up to it.
#3 Really get to know your co-workers
This is more about synergy around the office than it is about socializing on the job. Ideally, if you’ve been with a particular organization for some time now, you should be able to tell which ones of your co-workers share the same principles you harbor. It might be that you have similar views on work ethics, or that your problem-solving approaches are complementary. Whatever it is, the people you enjoy working with are those who are going to help you learn to love your job. Nurture these relationships: ask to be assigned on the same projects they are working on. Hang out with them outside the office and even consult them on projects they are not directly involved in. Psychological research has shown that the strength and quality of our relationships with other people have a major impact on our enjoyment of life. Avoid forming a clique, which other colleagues might find destabilizing and unprofessional, though.