I was talking to someone the other day, who was complaining to me about how much she hated her job. She worked in an office – one of those cubicle farms, which allow companies to herd employees into big, windowless rooms like cattle under the guise of fostering “open communication” and the like. She truly believed that working there every day was stealing her soul, but she felt trapped. Finding another job in this economy seemed like an impossibility. And because she wasn’t a senior manager, she didn’t think that she had any influence on the working environment itself. There was nothing she could do but grit her teeth, nurse her ulcer, and accept the fact that things were never going to change.
The irony is that even if she were not living in this economy, she might change jobs, and then proceed to create the exact same hellish environment that she’s currently living in. Has that ever happened to you? Have you changed employers only to realize after a few weeks or months that the new boss is just as much of a jerk as the old one, that you still want to slap your coworkers, and that the work, which you thought would be more interesting, makes you want to hang yourself with a noose made of paperclips?
You’ve most likely been raised to think that if you can just find the perfect job, with a great boss and awesome colleagues, in a career that you’re truly passionate about, you’ll be happy. You respond to whatever you see. If you get a new contract, you’re happy. If your stupid colleague who has, on several occasions, confused the fax machine and the shredder, gets the promotion you wanted, you fantasize about spiking his coffee with Colon Blow. Perhaps you think that this is just the way it has to be. People aren’t supposed to be happy at work. Happiness is something you have to reserve for the weekends, vacations or retirement. It’s something other people, privileged people, or people born under a lucky star may experience. But not you. You’re stuck in this hellhole with no way out. You might as well just accept it. You can always lessen the pain by stealing office supplies and sneering “What the hell are YOU so happy about?!”, at anyone who doesn’t seem to be as intensely miserable as you.
It’s not them, it’s you
Your job, just like everything else in your reality, is a direct result of your vibration. That’s why, if you don’t change your beliefs, you can change companies all you like. You’ll just create the same mess over and over again. The world isn’t filled with horrible bosses, colleagues and clients. The world is filled with whatever matches your energy.
So, in theory, if you change your vibration, you’ll change your reality; meaning that your boss, colleagues and clients will all magically morph into awesomeness or you’ll easily find a new and much better job. Easy peasy, right? Well, actually, in this case, it’s MUCH easier said than done. Most people have an incredibly hard time changing their vibration around work. They’ve invested a great deal of time focusing on, bitching about, commiserating with others about, blogging and reading about how horrible their jobs are. It’s almost a point of pride – who has the most to complain about? You have a story about your boss on PMS? I can top that. Your client made you do what, now? That’s nothing! Wait until you hear what I have to put up with every day! If we can’t be happy, we might as well win the game of “Who’s suffering the most?”
You have to be willing to feel better
When you spend a lot of time focusing on something that makes you feel negative emotion, it can be really hard to start thinking thoughts that feel better. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to even imagine that it’s possible to feel better. Never mind actually making the changes that will get you there. In this post, which is Part 1 of 2 on manifesting an awesome, passionate and positive work environment, I’m going to do my best to convince you that it is possible to love your job, no matter what it is. Only then will we tackle the issue of how to actually go about achieving that scenario, as well as how to manifest something even better. Before we can move on, you have to be willing to acknowledge that it’s possible to feel better about your job.
You determine how you feel about your job
The truth is, every job can suck. It’s all in how you look at it. Being a teacher can suck. Being a police officer can suck. Being the cashier at a supermarket can suck. Being an executive can suck. Being a doctor can suck. Being a blogger can suck. Or not. There are people out there right now performing those jobs and hating them with a passion. And there are also people out there right now who love those jobs with a passion. What determines their reaction? Did the happy people just get lucky and find that one, elusive career that actually made them happy? No.
They love their jobs because they look at their work in a way that makes them happy. They choose to enjoy their jobs. That’s it.
Have you ever gone to a supermarket and been served by a cashier who was super friendly, smiley and enthusiastic? I don’t mean that fake, cocaine induced, manic enthusiasm that some companies seem to be instilling in their employees (you know the type, where they scream “Welcome to Happy Mart!! How may I infuse your day with specialness?!!” at you while they try to control the twitching). I’m talking about someone who is genuinely having fun. Aren’t they just infectious? They make those few minutes you spend at the checkout counter much more pleasant. You know their name. You’re actually disappointed when you can’t get into their lane. You might even choose to shop at that particular store just because they make it such a pleasure.
The job itself doesn’t really matter
Being a cashier at a supermarket is not a dream job. There aren’t a lot of elementary school kids writing reports about how they want to work the cash register one day when they grow up. No one would blame the cashier for being a bit bitter. And yet, there are those individuals out there that find a way to genuinely love scanning your groceries and take pride in giving you the correct change. They make eye contact with their customers. They remember people’s names. They seem genuinely happy to see you again. They connect with people, and care if you’re having a good experience. They are having a good time, not because they’ve always dreamed of checking out groceries, and not because some corporate yahoo wrote a mission statement about it, but because they choose to look at their job in a way that allows them to feel good.
People who love their jobs:
- Focus only on the aspects of the job that they actually love. (The cashier may love connecting with people, for example).
- Find a way to look at the parts of the job that they don’t like in a way that feels better. (The cashier may hate standing up all day, but has decided that if she wears comfortable shoes and dances around in place a little, it’s actually great for her circulation and her feet no longer hurt. Plus, the dancing energizes her and puts her in an even better mood.)
- Bring their own style and personality to the job (the cashier may wear a cute pin on her uniform that catches people’s eyes, joke around with the customers, develop her own catch phrase, etc.)
- Don’t complain about their jobs. They talk about the things they love and shut up about everything else.
- Infect everyone around them with their enthusiastic attitude (customers leave feeling a little better. She puts a smile on their face.)
But this isn’t a story about some fictional cashier. Let’s look at a real life example of someone who’s in a job that could totally suck by anyone’s standards, and has made it fun not just for himself, but for anyone that he comes in contact with.
Meet Tony, the dancing traffic cop in Rhode Island:
If watching Tony didn’t at least make you crack a smile, you may be dead. Not just inside. I mean you may be a zombie. Check for a heartbeat and stay away from brains.
The fact is, your job is not supposed to be horrible. You can love what you do, make the money you deserve and have a wonderful time with your colleagues. But this nirvana isn’t waiting for you at some mystical company somewhere out there, it’s right here, where you are, right now. You just aren’t seeing it. You can be happy where you are right now, no matter what you do. The first step is acknowledging that it’s possible – not just for other people, but for you. Don’t worry about the how, right now. Just ask yourself “What if I could find a way to actually like this place (or if that’s too far of a reach, what if I could find a way to not hate this place so much?)” Just pondering this question for a bit will already shift your vibration a little.
In Part 2 of this series, I’ll explain what you can actually do to feel better about your job, as well as attract a better work situation – either in your current company, or through a new job.