“Over 70% of US workers surveyed in Gallup poll either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged.” NY Daily News reported.
What about you? If you were part of the survey what would you say?
Are you part of the more than 70% that don’t like their job? What if most people deep inside actually enjoy their jobs? There is something that attracted them to it in the first place! Consider this: there are many other jobs you could have chosen from all sorts of different industries and you chose this one. It may just be that you are not enjoying the other things that come along with your job, such as the office politics, roadblocks to implementing change, or picking up on other people’s stress levels, etc.
The first step to having clarity on what is working or not is to not lump everything into one statement and acknowledge what is really going on. When you acknowledge, you allow more awareness for creative ideas and solutions.
Below are some tools and tips you can easily use, to become aware of what you actually do enjoy and to start acknowledging when these things occur in your work, business, or in your personal life.
Acknowledge what you enjoy in life in general.
- From a place of curiosity, ask,
“What do I actually enjoy doing? What would be fun for me to add into my life? What activities bring me the greatest joy?”
Just keep asking the questions. The point of a question is to gain additional information and awareness;, not rely on answers we’ve already concluded. Questions are also expansive, and they put what you desire out into the ether, so the universe can provide you information and ideas, that maybe you haven’t even considered as enjoyable before. You may find yourself doing a task and suddenly say, “Oh, I’m actually having fun here.”
- Write a list of all the things that really bring joy into your life. Keep adding to it over time. It does not need to be only work related. What would it take to add more enjoyable activities to your weekends? Or after work?
- Then with each activity ask “what can I be or do different to have these activities in my life?” What would I have to change in my mindset to actualize it?”
Acknowledge what you actually do enjoy within your job.
An extension of the above exercises is to acknowledge all the things you enjoy within your job, because it is highly unlikely that every single task and aspect about your job is going to be unenjoyable. Do you enjoy the people you work with? Do you enjoy the location? Do you enjoy specific tasks or projects?
- Ask questions like,
“Is there something that drew me to come here?”
“Are there things I enjoy about my job?”
- Whenever you are doing something you do enjoy in your job, ask
“What would it take for me to have more of this? And “How does it get even better than this?”
Reframe your ‘job’ into activities.
What if none of it is a ‘job’? The word ‘job’ has so many attached meanings that come with it, depending on your previous experiences, culture, etc. When you are doing something enjoyable, or you enjoy what you do, do you even think of it as a job? Or do you just have fun doing it?
- Avoid words that have a heavy connotation to them, like ‘job’ and ‘work’. Replace them with the activity you are performing.
Examine the things you don’t enjoy about your current activities.
As I said above, most people actually enjoy their jobs, so let’s look at what is making you think it is unenjoyable. What is it, specifically, about the aspects you don’t currently enjoy? Is that aspect something that can be changed? For example, are you reacting to the way a particular person behaves? Do you really not enjoy filing, or calling people, or whatever it may be. When you are aware of exactly what is going on for you, you have the choice to keep it as is or change it. You can ask for greater possibilities and you can change your mindset about it to reduce the stress and the bad feelings about the situation.
If it is something that you can’t change, for example, the situation is such that you are required to do filing at the moment, and you really don’t like filing, what can you add to the activity, or change, that would make it more enjoyable? For example, if you like music, can you play music while you file? Or, what else is possible here you have not yet considered?
By increasing the level of joy overall, you will attract more enjoyable work activities to you; as well as more enjoyable activities within your life in general.
Don’t use this examination as a way to judge yourself, your job or other people; as judgment is not creative in any way, and can only loop yourself in a non productive place and destroy things. The target is to explore ways to break it down into specifics, to ask questions that will generate and create different and greater possibilities. Remember, questions empower and judgment destroys.
- Whenever you don’t like what you are doing, or what is going on in the workplace, ask,
“What can I add or change here that would make this more enjoyable?”
This puts you in a place of empowerment. It’s when you feel like there is nothing that you can do to change something that your enjoyment goes down. Even if you just acknowledge that you have a choice to do the task or not; of course, whether you do it or not will bring its own results, but knowing that you are choosing it, for whatever reason, is mood enhancing.
- Another great question to empower you in the workplace is,
“If I had not decided that I don’t like this task, what else is possible here?”
Allow your job to be a contribution.
“What contribution can my current job be to the enjoyment of my life and living?”
This changes your point of view about work and working. If you look to how it is a contribution, rather than labelling it as unenjoyable, your energy changes. And,
- Be grateful for everything it is contributing to you already; even if it is just the pay check.
Everything can truly change. But it starts with you and your point of view. If you’ve already given up and you’re not willing to change anything, you’ll attract what you are being. But if you are doing things you actually enjoy, you can pull more of that in your life.
Laleh Hancock is a management consultant, Joy of Business facilitator and the CEO of Belapemo and Global Wellness For All. With nearly 30 years of experience in operational excellence, change management, and organizational wellness, Laleh has inspired and empowered hundreds of thousands of individuals, including Fortune 500 executives, to seek greater success, happiness and wellness.