Posted by Brian McCullough
Do you hate your job? Are you sick of the mind-numbing 9-5? Do you wish that you were able to follow your dreams and to make a living doing something you really enjoy?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any or all of these questions then it would appear that you are in luck. The internet is awash with blog posts and e-books that will tell you how to make that leap – from the 9-5 to a life beyond your wildest dreams. The majority of this information comes from individuals who have actually made that leap and who are now enjoying a lifestyle that many aspire to.
Let’s face it – many people are currently employed in jobs that they hate – in jobs that they are desperate to leave, so that they can follow their passions and their dreams. That’s why the information on how to achieve this is so popular. And yet, with all that information available many stay put and continue to work the 9-5, only ever dreaming that the lifestyle that they so desire will ever be theirs.
Why is this? The simple answer is that most people want to stay within their ‘comfort zone’ – even if that comfort zone includes a job they hate. People are unwilling to take the risk that’s associated with leaving their current employment and trying their hand at their desired profession/calling. There are many reasons for this but primarily money would appear to be the root cause. People fear that they won’t make enough in their new profession to pay the bills, to service their debts, to pay the mortgage etc.
The problem is that the longer you stay in that job that you hate – the more disillusioned you become and the more desperate you are in seeking change. You then suddenly hit that point – ‘rock bottom’ – where you have had enough, and you know that things as they are cannot continue – you know that change must happen.
Change – the options
Once this point has been reached (or even before) you have two options open to you (yes – two options). Most of the blog posts and e-books focus on the first which is:
1. Change your job – as they say “if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen” – if you’ve had enough of the 9-5 and the greyness of the corporate world then change your job – follow your dreams – make that leap of faith. There’s plenty of good advice on the internet on how to do this.
There is another option though, and this is all about changing the way you view your current job – changing your perception:
2. Learn to love the job you hate – by changing the way that you view your job, your behaviours at work, your life around your job it is possible to end up in a place where you are happy, where you accept and love what is.
Option 2 doesn’t mean that don’t pursue those dreams – it doesn’t mean that you’ll always work where you are right now – it provides a platform (of happiness and serenity) from which those very dreams can be pursued.
Life is about living in the moment – about accepting and loving what is – from that place we are able to call forth change.
So let’s imagine – you’re in the 9-5 job that you hate and you’re desperate to get out. You could walk into work tomorrow and resign – many have done this and gone on to develop successful businesses.
Many though are fearful of this sudden change – they’d like to know whether they have a future in writing, or painting, or gardening (whatever their chosen passion is) and would like time to develop their new business. There’s no harm in continuing in your current employment whilst you develop your new business – at least you’ll know if you’ll be able to pay the bills if and when you make that leap. However, this means remaining in the job that you hate, at least temporarily – and if you hate your job that much then chances are it’s going to make you very miserable – and that is going to come across in your new business development.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to be happy in your current job, and pursue your dreams – that way you get the best of both worlds – you’re happy, and if the new venture comes off then great, and if it doesn’t then you’re still happy.
How to love your job
So – how to be happy in the job that you hate – here are some tips – and you just might find in practising them that you actually come to love your job….
1. Have a dream/goal/aspiration to work toward – the relentlessness of the daily grind can be soul destroying – we get up, go to work, come home, go to bed, get up, go to work etc. Just like a hamster on a wheel – we work and work and work, and yet feel like we’re going nowhere. That’s where dreams/goals/aspirations come in. The daily grind will take on a different meaning when you view it as a means to an end (i.e. this will pay the bills while I work on getting my dream business up and running).
2. Realise that your current state of affairs in temporary – nothing lasts for ever. Change is going to happen – it’s one of the constants in life. Ask yourself “can I continue in this job for the next six months?” – you might find that the answer to that question is ‘yes’ whereas if you asked yourself if you could continue in the job forever the answer would be ‘no’. If six months is too long – try a month. The key is to see that your current job is not infinite.
3. Make time to work on your goals/dreams/aspirations – set time aside each week to work on whatever it is you are aiming for e.g. if you want to be a successful writer, put time aside to write.
4. Remember you are not your job – you are not the Head of Finance, or a cleaner – you are a spiritual being having a human experience – you are a wonderful aspect of the Universe – you are unique. Learn to love and value yourself as such – your value is not determined by your job title.
5. Don’t be afraid of getting fired – it’s funny how the fear of getting fired can make us overly compliant in the workplace. We’ll work that extra shift, suck up to the boss, do everything and anything that’s asked of us – just because we’re frightened of getting fired. This fear needs to be overcome if we are to find ourselves and find happiness in any job that we do. The simple truth is this – that unless you do something that is clearly a sackable offence (and these are really obvious – punch your boss, steal from the company, not turn up for work etc.) then it is highly unlikely that you will be fired. Try saying ‘no’ to some things – see what happens – lose the fear – find yourself.
6. Plan your day – we all end up in routines – they make us feel comfortable. Try planning your day but mixing it up in terms of routine – get up a little earlier and do something for you before heading off to work. When you get to work focus on the 3 main tasks for the day – one by one. Limit the amount of time you spend answering email – do an hour or so in the morning and another in the afternoon. Spend some time getting to know your colleagues – have that human interaction that is so often missing in the workplace today. Go for a walk at lunchtime – the fresh air and exercise will do you good and make you feel great. Have a pre-determined time for leaving the office (or wherever you work) and stick to it. Give yourself enough time in the evening to unwind and relax and to pursue your dreams.
7. Slow down and focus – do one thing at a time.
8. Write down all the aspects of your job that you are grateful for – a tough one, I know!! If you find this hard then look at it this way – it’s winter, and freezing cold, maybe it’s even snowing – you are in a nice warm office. Where would you rather be – your nice warm office or sweeping the streets in sub-zero temperatures..? Maybe think about the time you do get off work e.g. I’m grateful that I don’t work weekends. Start dwelling on the positive rather than the negative.
9. See your job as an opportunity – to develop skills that you can use in your dream business – there are many skills that we develop in the workplace, from customer service to budgeting, from writing papers to negotiating deals – guess what, all of these skills are likely to come in handy in your new business – remember that every day when you turn up for work, it will help you feel more positive about your day.
10. Trust in the Universe, and have faith – remember that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now, that the Universe knows your desires, and that all you have to do is continue to do the next right thing, and to have patience – and it will all come into being.
There are many people around the world living their dreams. It’s important to remember though that in order for them to be able to do this they rely on people working regular jobs. We need the check-in staff at the airport – if we are going to travel etc.
It’s not our jobs that make us unhappy – that comes from within. In the same way we can find happiness – simply by being authentic and by being ourselves. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to, and working towards, a lifestyle and job of your choice. Just remember to enjoy the journey – wherever it may lead – and that starts with learning tolove what is.
This is a guest post. About the author:
My name is Steve M and I write at http://www.thespartanpenguin.com
My focus is on living a simple, spiritual, life.