From tough bosses to crazy hours to boring menial work we all have reasons to complain, but in this economy, you probably can’t afford to quit.
Psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere offers helpful hints on how we can all learn to love our job.
Gardere’s helpful hints:
1. Change the way you look at the job to positive:)
“I think the most important thing we can do is reconfigure the way that we look at the job, especially if we don’t happen to like it right now,” Gardere explained. “In other words we need to be positive about the job. The verbiage that we use. As far as talking about the job. Getting in there and looking for ways to make it something that’s more than just a paycheck, but that brings us pesonal satification.”
Gardere also points out that you will only be “a wholly healthy person when you are both physically and mentally healthy.”
And although work is a not a luxury for most people, on top of providing money and supporting your lifestyle, work is important to stay vital, stay interested and engaged in life, he says. According to Gardere it’s no accident that some people pass away after retirement, work keeps us going.
2. Take pride in doing your job well
“The most important way to start loving your job, is to take pride in doing it well,” he said. “If you are going to stick labels on pill bottles, it’s important to be the best pill bottle label sticker you can be. Always reach for new goals, always set new standards to keep your job challenging.”
3. Do not complain
One piece of advice: Do not complain. Make a conscious effort to stop any negativity about your job coming out of your mouth. It may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s important, and it will help you feel better about your job. It works as a great tool for a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, in that if you stop verbalizing your negativity at work, you will actually become happier. Eventually if you think positive, you will have a positive experience.
Also, having a positive attitude about work is an important example to set for your kids. Hey, you don’t want to go to work? Well, guess what? Chances are your kids don’t want to go to school. Show them that obligations and responsibility are not always the opposite of enthusiasm and fun. Show them that you can love what you do each day, even if it’s something that has to be done.
4. Redecorate your office or cubicle
Another aspect of learning to love your job is to convert the space you work into a space you love. It’s very hard to be really motivated and productive in a beige or brown cube with a fluorescent bulb overhead. It’s hard to feel at home or appreciated in a cubicle where you have no privacy or boundaries.
The easiest way to decorate your office is personal photographs or artwork by your children. If your office allows it, paint it a color that you like that brings you peace like a light blue or green. Even if you are in a cubicle, put down a throw rug you like. Try to bring plants in to make the area feel more natural.
If it isn’t set up like this already, try setting your desk so you are always facing the door. According to the Japanese traditions of Feng Shui, this will help you feel more in control, less like someone can sneak up on you, and therefore more at peace when you work. Another principle of Feng Shui is that you need to keep your desk UNCLUTTERED. The more clutter around you in your workspace, the less in control you will feel while working. You want to feel on top of your job, NOT the other way around.
5. Exercise at work
We have heard it time and time again, but that doesn’t make it less true, when you exercise, you are more focused, you are more energetic, and therefore more positive. Sure you can join a gym or run before you leave for the office, but there are exercises you can do right at your desk that will help you stay focused and attentive at work.
Try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair to keep your weight centered and balanced. Set an alarm every hour to remind you to get up and walk around. Getting the blood flowing will help, no matter how trivial. Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Leave something important in your car (your lunch, your briefcase, etc.) so you have to run out to get it (and take the stairs).
6. Exercise your mind at work
The last point: Keep fit mentally at work in order to keep yourself interested. If you don’t feel mentally challenged at work, teach yourself. Become more knowledgeable about your industry or the sector you work in by using the Internet, or the library. This will not only keep you occupied while in your current job, but might help you move ahead when the economy gets moving again.
Learn more about the company you work for! Contact Human Resources or your boss to get material on your employer. Read older brochures, mission statements, employee manuals, product releases. Find out what your companies’ values are, their mission statements, their goals. See if there is some way you can take your companies values and goals and fit them into your work goals and tasks. See if there are things you didn’t know about your company. It might just surprise you.