Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dreading work every morning?

You're not alone but that doesn't mean it's "normal" or that you should just "get used to it" the way many people do.  When you're hating your job, sometimes it's easy to remember times when people complained about theirs and chalk your job-loathing up to standard fare, but the reality is there are some people who actually LOVE their jobs.  They not only wake up excited about working but sometimes they don't go to sleep because they can't STOP working the night before...and not out of deadlines, stress, or job security pressures, but because they enjoy what they do and believe in the mission and purpose of their work.

I'm not saying everyone has that.  It would be a lie.  But I do believe we are all capable of it.

I started a job once and months later (while absolutely MISERABLE) I found a note from my first day to a friend telling him it was the worst first day I'd had in my life and I knew I should start looking for a new job.  It took me about 7 months from that first day email to become so depressed by my coworkers and my boss that I felt like a failure.  My self-worth was down, my hopes for future opportunities were low, and my self-esteem and belief that I even had the skills to do my job were nearly non-existent.  By month 8 I'd had enough and started to REALLY re-do my portfolio and send resumes and do that dreaded networking thing where I actually ASKED people for their HELP (*gasp*) and 9 months after I entered hell, I exited... On my own account and because I knew I needed to change my position in order to change my life.

What a difference a job makes.  Your coworkers can put you down or bring you up.  Your boss can support you or bowl you over.  Responsibilities can break you down or help you build skills and confidence.  A lot of this has to do with them, but a lot of it also has to do with you feel about the situation, the work, the environment and, as I've found, about your life and how your job fits the life you want.

This is where it gets tricky because I think most of us dream of being a millionaire chilling on a beach with a cocktail, but in practice that isn't REALLY the thing that would make us wake up and feel passionate about life each day (at least not EVERY day).  Family, friends, travel, sports, other hobbies...those big LIFE things, that are actually the things that tend to bring us the most joy?  You guessed it; When they are suffering, we suffer.

I think oftentimes those things suffer because of how we feel at work, and then how we feel at work suffers from our personal life suffering.  It becomes cyclical by nature because when we are unhappy, we see unhappy things, and we breed unhappy outcomes and we see the negativity.  Likewise, however, when we are positive and we are happy, we find it easier to look past faults and to see the greater good in things and this is why if you wake up every morning and you are dreading work... 1) it's not just WORK that is suffering by the time you get to this point and 2) you need to change it before the backlash on the rest of your life becomes toxic.

Now yes, you may argue that you can't just change jobs every time your bf breaks up with you and you've eaten gallons of Ben & Jerry's, or every time that a shooter has entered a school, mosque or gas station, or every time that you've cried because you have way too many hormones flying, because these things, though they affect you, are not necessarily work-related, so it's important to analyze things properly.  What I'm saying is, not wanting to get up in the morning is not the same as dreading going to work in the morning...capisce?

So once you realize it's not just that you're hungover from a Thursday night out or dead tired from enjoying a Lord of the Rings marathon that you started at 5pm the night before that is making you want to stay in bed, it's time to get cracking on changing your situation...because even though a lot of people do it, no one really WANTS to wake up and hate what they do every day.  No one wants to go do something that they don't believe in or that doesn't inspire them or that doesn't make them feel like they are accomplishing something every day.  You have the power to change it.  Changing your job changes your life...when you find the right one, it'll change it for the best.

For more on this topic and ideas on how to change jobs to find a happier life, check out the Forbes article that inspired this rant post!

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