Unless you happen to be on welfare, receive social security checks, get a pension, or are independently wealthy you have to go to work. For most people, this means that they have to get a job to pay the bills. While a few people manage to figure out how to make a living as an entrepreneur, this is not an easy path, either.
Most of the stories about a life of wealth, freedom, and adventure are mainly marketing stories to get people to join an MLM or a get-rich-quick scheme.
Since you have to create a living from a job, you might as well find a way to find meaning and purpose. Yes, there are many benefits of having a job, like a steady paycheck, meeting new people, learning new skills, and developing a sense of identity, but, ultimately, the human spirit craves meaning and purpose. Without it, you feel empty, bored, listless.
It’s true that many jobs treat their employees badly, with mean bosses consistently, unfair policies, favoritism, and low pay, but people are also unhappy even if they have a decent job with good salaries, numerous perks, and handsome benefits.
The only reason they don’t quit is because the alternative is even worse — scrambling for food, shelter, and the basic necessities of life.
The way to get out of feeling miserable in the working world is to create a sense of meaning and purpose with your current job. Assuming you have a job that isn’t intolerable, how can you get some joy out of the 40 hours you spend there?
Here are 5 suggestions on how to befriend your job:
1. Respect your employer’s policies
The way you respect your employer is by not doing things that could harm them. Beyond refraining from gossip, you should respect their policies. Your company will have many policies designed to protect the company and the people who work there.
One policy that is easy to be careless about are policies around computer security. This is especially true in organizations that have a BOYD policy—bring your own device. Since people prefer to use their own laptops and mobile devices, many companies let them use them at work.
You can respect this policy by doing your best to keep any company-related data on your laptop secure. Some ways of doing this include using strong password protection for your logins, using secure USB flash drives to encrypt data on your computer’s hard drive in real-time, and using anti-virus software and firewall protection to protect against malware.
2. Find a correlation between what you love to do and positions available
While you may not have found your dream job yet, it doesn’t help to gripe about the shortcomings of your current job. Instead, try to see if there is any kind of correlation between what you love to do and what your company wants you to do.
Take a strength inventory test to find out more about your personality type and the things that you do naturally well. Then see if there is a position in the company that would allow you to express your natural aptitudes.
When you do work that you’re naturally good at doing, then you’ll begin to appreciate your job much more. In fact, it will be a channel for you to express inhibited aspects of your personality.
3. Research the Founder’s story
Almost every company has an interesting Founder’s story. By tapping into the discovering the struggles and challenges of the founder, you’ll begin to have a larger appreciation for the role you are now playing in the company. Instead of seeing your job role as a waste of time, you’ll be able to write yourself into the story.
The reason only a few people rise to the C-level of a corporation is because they discovered how to treat the company as if it were their own business. They have identified with the goals of the company. They don’t feel alienated from the company, but an essential part of it. They don’t feel like cogs in a machine, but like players in a fascinating game who have the power to make a difference.
4. Stay away from gossip-mongers
In almost every company, there are employees who are deeply dissatisfied. They are conflicted about everything — their lives, their families, and their jobs. These people love to devour any gossip about any misfortune the company or its executives are experiencing and liberally spread the bad news.
They get a rush from belittling or denigrating any executives or supervisors who have erred or fallen short They get animated by bad news because it deflects the pressure of dealing with their own personal problems. Stay away from these people at all costs. They will depress and dishearten you within minutes.
5. Seek opportunities to learn and grow
Most progressive companies have career tracks for their more aspirational employees. This can range from paying for educational advancement to having an in-house program to fast-track people who appear interested in improving their knowledge and skills. Look into what programs your company offers.
There may be a way of melding your strengths with a career-growing educational program that the company either offers or sponsors.
According to a Forbes article, most Americans are unhappy at work. Using these five tips, you might be able to buck the statistics.