It was Sunday night again, and I was dreading Monday morning.
Taking the last sip of my ginger turmeric herbal tea (because I’m hipster and healthy like that), I nestled down into bed and turned off the light, sighing deeply in apprehension at the work day to come.
Many people feel this way to some degree. We wish on some level that we could live in a perpetual state of “weekend” that just goes on and on. But honestly, we’d eventually get bored with that (and we’d run out of money).
We’ve all had a job that we dreaded. Maybe it was bagging groceries or working retail at Abercrombie & Fitch. Or maybe that IS your job right now. I get it. You’d rather do something more “worthwhile,” whatever that may be.
So what should you do about it?
The obvious option is to just quit. Quit your job and go find another part-time job that you’ll quit 6 months later.
But is that the best option? Is that really what you should do?
I’d like to propose some other options. Quitting is too easy. There are ways to approach a job you don’t love that help others as well as yourself. But the first thing you should do is…
1. Be honest with your boss
Honesty and transparency are wildly absent from our culture. We want it. We crave it. But our relationships tend to be devoid of it, not to mention our politics and industries. So why not start by telling your boss how you really feel? Not in a Jerry McGuire sort of way, but in a more respectful manner.
The truth is, your unhappiness in your job could be a company wide problem. And you could provide the feedback that your company needs to make adjustments for its employees in order to provide a better working environment for everyone. This helps others, and it helps you.
2. Try to get promoted
Everybody wants more money, even if they don’t necessarily want more responsibility. But stepping into a possible promotion will grow you in a big way. You’ll learn to manage more responsibility as well as people. And people management can be the most stretching thing in your human existence.
3. Reimagine your work
This takes a bit more imagination but, if a promotion isn’t available, then take a different look at your work. There are parts of everyone’s job that aren’t pleasurable, but they all serve a purpose.
So if you’re a grocery bagger, imagine someone taking those bags of groceries that you just bagged, setting them in the floor board of their car and driving home. When they get home, they easily take the groceries into their home and begin to unpack their groceries and put them away. Nothing was smashed or broken. All eggs were intact. And it’s all because you do your job well and you think about the benefits of others. Which leads to the last thing…
4. Make someone’s day
No matter what your job is, you can smile at everyone you see. You can offer to help those that may need it. You can answer questions people may have at your store or business. You can help solve someone’s problem. You can make someone’s day by just being who you are!
When you take on an others-centered approach to your work, your job can have new meaning and purpose. This can make what you already do more fulfilling and rewarding.
So before you jump ship, stop and see if there’s something in you that needs changing first. Because, if you’re the problem, then that problem will follow you to every job you take.