If you hate your job you are not alone
A Gallup survey completed in 2013 for over 225000 workers world-wide, suggested that only 13 percent of workers were engaged or had a passion for their job. More than half were disengaged completely from their jobs.
Chances are you have dreamt of walking out of your job with no notice (possibly telling the boss where to go) ready to start your new life, and finally do the work that you love.
While this type of thinking can help with putting a plan in place, suddenly walking out of your job is usually not the smartest way to move into work that you love. The reason is very simple.
Most individuals do not cope with sudden change
The harsh reality is most of us do not handle drastic sudden change very well. We tend to become anxious when we are forced out of our comfort zones too quickly or with no warning.
I believe the best way to discover and to move into work you love, is to do it gradually and consistently. We need to take calculated planned risks. Before I started my first business I created an action plan to leave the job I hated to start a business.
I worked on this plan consistently every day. It took me over three years of planning before I was ready to leave the comfort of my secure job, however, had I not worked on the plan gradually and consistently I may never had started my first business.
So many horrible jobs
Since leaving school, I have been a kitchen hand, shoe salesman, bar tender, Café Cook, Café manager, waiter, delivery driver, insurance consultant, insurance manager, Charter Pilot and Flying Instructor.
Out of this long list of woe, only the last two jobs offered enjoyment.
While I am now doing work that I love, it has taken a long while to get here!
So the question society as a whole and YOU should be asking is, why there are so many bad jobs and where are all the good jobs?
The answer in many ways is quite simple.
Our market driven societies main function or purpose is to expand and consume. This can only happen with increased profits that fuel both growth and disposable income for consuming.
To obtain increase profits in a highly competitive environment businesses need to both increase productivity and decrease costs.
As human work is central to any business, it is the human element that suffers from this competitive process.
Companies are expecting more output from each worker for less cost. Meaningful work is not even a consideration in most companies or at best it is given some after thought to keep staff turnover low and therefore reduce costs.
Staff happiness in most companies is profit driven. A happy worker is more productive and will stay with the company longer.
Higher pay, bonuses and company perks are some of the techniques large organisations use to keep their employees engaged.
However these are superficial band aid approaches that don’t actually address the central core issue that most work is dull, meaningless and does not honour the individual’s talents or spirit.
You have a choice
While your work may be soul destroying it does not have to be a life- long sentence.
The good news is it has never been easier to start something new, even if you don’t have a dollar to your name.
The internet has created new ways of learning, searching for jobs and creating businesses.
However you must put a plan in place and ACT on that plan every day.
How to keep your sanity?
Firstly you need to take a long term view-but not too long!
All good things take time and that includes discovering work that you love. You have all heard the statement “Rome was not built in a day” and the same applies to our lives.
Any new course of action is going to take time. During this transition you still need to feed and put a roof over your head while you’re planning your next step.
We need to start having a long term view of our lives. When you enrol for university you don’t expect to earn your degree in a few days.
We know it will take three to seven years depending on the degree. However we tend to get frustrated when feel stuck in a dead end job, we think it is going to last for ever.
We must learn that change will eventually occur and takes time.
I know what it is like waking up in the morning and dreading going to work every day. I did it for over ten years. During this time I learnt invaluable lessons on how to keep positive and still have hope.
Acceptance and surrender
When we fight a situation and don’t accept what’s happening we create an enormous amount of stress and anxiety in our lives. Many individuals believe that to accept a situation means to give up.
Acceptance or surrendering is not giving up. Giving up is giving up. You can still work on a plan to discover more rewarding work while accepting your current situation.
We all accept sitting in an airplane for a long period of time. This is because we know the holiday or destination we are going to is worth surrendering to the present moment to get us where we need to get to.
The same goes with the job you currently hate.
Work out an action plan and accept your situation knowing that it will change.
Moving towards purpose
Having a plan to escape jail makes no sense unless the outside world offers more than the world behind the bars.
The same goes for our plan to escape the jobs we hate. Knowing your purpose energises you to act and to have the patience to see it through.
Many individuals I have met don’t have any of idea of their purpose or don’t think they can create work that inspires them.
A large majority of society simply don’t believe they can discover meaningful work or that it simply does not exist.
If this is their belief then why bother leaving the job they hate when all is there is to look forward to is another soul destroying job.
So to put it simply you need to believe that meaningful work exists and spend the time required to discover your purpose.
The main goal of the website and book I have created is to help you discover your purpose.
Discovering your purpose takes time. How do you find the time when you don’t believe you have any available spare time? I have a simple solution.
Use all your available spare time to work on or discover your purpose
This is the main ingredient that helped me get through fifteen or so years of work I hated.
I used most of my spare time to find out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
This included reading many books on self-development, spirituality and spending countless lunch breaks mediating and listening to the quiet voice of god.
You actually have more time than you realise. Stop watching television at night. During your breaks at work read as much as you can on creating a working life that is meaningful to you.
Use your current job to enhance a skill that will assist you when you discover the work you love.
About half way through my journey of soul destroying jobs I realised that if I was going to have to work in a job I hated then I would be best to learn a skill that would assist me later, when I was doing work I loved.
For instance, let’s assume you want to start your own business, how about using your soul destroying sales job to help you improve your selling skills for your future venture.
Almost any job has something to teach us! Use the time wisely while you are waiting.
I hated being an insurance manager, however I used this time to learn valuable people and negotiation skills that assisted me when I started my first business.
Put a plan in place and work daily on the plan
I don’t believe in strict timeframes when it comes to goal setting. I believe it creates too much stress and disappointment when we do not meet the deadline.
A better way I have discovered is to put a plan in place to work on your new venture every day.
Let’s say you want to start a new business. You write a detail plan about what steps to take to make this a reality. You then commit two hours every night (don’t watch TV) five days a week to work on your new business venture. Eventually all the steps will be completed and you will be able to start your new business, no timeframes or stress attached.
Don’t be too concerned if the plan changes over time, however starting is what separates those of us who succeed and those who don’t. I have used this process for all my businesses, blogs and books and it has worked very well.
I wrote the book The Three Desires while operating three businesses and helping my darling wife raise four wonderful children. How did I find the time to write a book?
It was quite simple, I put aside two hours every day to work on the book. Once completed I wrote a list on what needs to be done to be able to sell and promote the book. From creating a website to formatting the book for kindle.
I had only a rough idea on when the book might be published. I just made a mental list if what needed to be done and worked on each item on the list one at a time until it was finished.
Get another job that is not work you love but gets you closer to the work you love!
I once had a job as a Cook in a café. As much as I tried to enjoy it (the boss was crazy bad tempered and I spent eight hours per day with my head stuck in front of a grill) I knew I had to get out soon.
After praying and looking around for another job a good friend offered me a job to manage his café.
I had no real desire of managing a café but I knew it would get me out of the current job I really hated and I also knew I would learn some vital business skills I was lacking.
There are so many jobs that may be better on your physical or mental health than the job you currently have. The job you hate may be the perfect apprenticeship for a future business!
Many businesses fail because the new owner has not had enough exposure or training in that particular industry.
Know when it is time to Jump! (The dreaded comfort zone)
I used to manage a team of about seventy individuals in one of my previous jobs as a manager. What I did enjoy about this job was mentoring staff on discovering work that they love.
The most frustrating element was when individuals would put a plan in place, work on that plan and when it was finally time to jump into action the fear of the unknown would stop them.
The thought process was that it was basically better to be stuck in a job they then try something that may fail. This mentality kills countless dreams.
I’m not saying that we should recklessly jump ship, but we need to know and understand when the time is right for immediate action. I believe one of the biggest challenges of pursuing work we love is that we may not be any good at it.
The fear of not being good at something we love and have a passion for can be too much for some of us to bear, so we don’t bother.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect!
Many of us mistake perfection for the illumination of criticism or failure. We want to make sure our service or product is perfect before we release it to the world.
While aiming to create something of the highest quality is commendable we must know when it is time to release our product or service to the world. Steve Jobs had a great saying “Great Artists Ship”. This means great artists deliver their product and don’t wait until things are perfect.
I spent a year revising and editing my first book and could have spent another year doing the same thing but felt it was time to release the book. I also knew I needed to free up my creative energy to work on other projects.
Don’t wait for everything to be prefect before you start or release your great idea.
Be willing to experiment with your life!
Most of us have the heard the story about Thomas Edison failing while designing the light bulb. He failed over 1000 times before he found success. It was failure, then learning from the failure that led to his success.
If you never take calculated risks with your work then you may not fail but you will not learn anything about yourself either.
A long time ago I spent considerable amount of time and money with a friend starting an internet company. We really though the idea was great and would be very successful. The business never got off the ground, and was in a business sense an absolute failure.
However from this first venture I learnt that I loved the process of creating a new idea and a business. This failure led to eventually building my first successful business.
When you experiment you quickly discover what works and what does not work for your life. We learn by doing. If you have always for example wanted to paint, give it a go, what’s the worse that can happen?
Most business that stay alive are happy to keep experimenting with new products, new services and new ways of growing their business. Static businesses that don’t experiment and change tend to eventually wither and die.
What if failing led you to discover your purpose?
When you fail you learn something about yourself.
I failed at being a charter pilot and gave up being an airline pilot in the process. What did I learn? That I needed to do work where I was engaged with people on a daily basis.
My first dream was to become an airline pilot, if I had not pursued this dream then I would not have learnt the valuable lessons that led me to discover work that I loved.
It is quite possible that you may have to go through the process of experimenting with different careers and goals to eventually discover work you love. It is through adversity that Gods plan for our lives is often revealed.
You may be currently stuck in a job or business that you hate, but this work led you to reading this article and hopefully eventually discovering your purpose.
Build a relationship with God
This should really be at the top of the list of things to do. Pray to God regularly and ask him for guidance. Ask him to help you accept your situation and to show you the way out. You do not have to do it all on your own.
Being is more important than doing
While discovering work you love is important, what is primary is who you are as a spiritual being. No worldly success will amount to anything unless we have inner spiritual success.
Spiritual success is concerned about maintaining a relationship with God. Spiritual success is concerned with being at peace and radiating joy. The good news is this relationship with God can be fostered while you’re stuck in the job you hate. God is always willing to listen.
Relying on ourselves or other people is exhausting and unreliable, God is the only one who can guide us in discovering meaningful work.
Stop watching television every night and use this time as your creation time for discovering work that you love. Whether it’s a new job, studying a new skill or starting a business. It will not magically happen by itself.
God can work with you but he will not work for you.
Do not put it off until tomorrow.