Have you ever heard anyone or yourself say, “I hate my job but I stay because I have to”? The tough truth is that it’s not entirely true. I hope that no one is truly forcing you to stay at your job. Thinking in these thoughts can put blame on other people and things instead of dealing with your true feelings. If you are down this path, negative thoughts and feelings exist around your job and potentially something else in your life and create a form of suffering. If you feel like you are ever at a job because you “have to”, take a step back and try to uncover the truth. We’ve all been there. But now it’s time to own it. You may discover that you are not obligated to stay at your job and can make a change; or you may uncover there is another area in your life that is influencing you to stay at your job and have a negative perception.
Financial reasons. Do you feel like you are performing your job strictly to bring in the cash? Isn’t that why most of us work for money? Otherwise, we’d all be spending our time much differently. This could be a good time to look at what you are using the money for. If it’s to supply fundamental needs such as food and shelter, then that is true. Whether it’s just you or a family, no one would be living without this and its very valuable work you are doing. Remember, if your environment is toxic, there are other jobs out there that will pay you and provide the same value. If you are working to get a high salary for a specific lifestyle, but sacrificing time and values for your job, can you look at your situation to assess if the money is worth it all? Are you applying your salary to a bigger dream? Then focus on that and know it will come.
Take a tally of your emotions. When you think about your dissatisfaction of your job and perceived obligation to be there, journal about it. What emotions truly come up? Many of us have fear, anger, resentment, grief or shame that may arise towards our self and others both in our personal and professional relationships. These feelings may need to be dealt with on a high level which are clouding thoughts, including your job. Work through these emotions first with your personal tools or with a trained professional. It’s hard to make any positive change, whether it’s taking action or changing perspective.
You don’t connect with the work anymore. You like your job, your coworkers and receive good treatment. Yet the work itself just isn’t meaningful anymore. That’s ok! People change. Jobs change. Life is all about change and the journey. If you’re not evolving with it, it can feel stagnant. Take this opportunity to explore your next step and strategically make the move while maintaining positive relationships.
Your core values are not being met. We all have fundamental needs as a human being. There are a variety of researchers who have come up with what we need to survive such as food, water, shelter, safety. Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs and Tony Robbins’ 6 Core Human Needs which are theories I believe in, however I agree that each of us is unique and has our own individual set of sub values. If all the above are not being met in the job or company or commute situation that you are in right now; then you will have a hard time recognizing why you are working at the job you are in. Take some time to connect to what your core values are and see if they are being met professionally.
Ask yourself some questions. Without judgement or holding back, ask yourself some honest questions. Follow the questions in order. Why do you want this job? What does this job give you? And why do you want that? What does this give you? And why do you want that? What does this give you? Any why do you want that? Repeat and repeat to uncover your meaning. The last question is- What will this job help you feel?
Create affirmations to stay positive. Now that you have gone through this exercise and really given it some thought, you should have a new perspective. It may shine a new positive light on your current situation and/or shine a stronger light on why change is necessary. If you stay or make a change, it is still important to stay positive each day to get through the change. Create an affirmation and state it each day as you enter your job. I am providing for my family. I am paying off student loans for two more years. I am learning so that I can gain experience. I have impact on other’s lives. I enjoy my job because it offers creativity. Say it loud! Whisper it inside your head. Make it a sticky on your cubicle.
We can look for external reasons as to why we are motivated or unmotivated to get up and go to work every day. We must look inside of our self as we all make choices. Whether they are serving us right now or not, is for you to intrinsically decide. If you find you are not intrinsically motivated, how can you make a change? If you are intrinsically motivated, how can you reconnect to that? Negative thinking, even about our job, is a sign that we need to deal with something. So, stop it in its track and tackle why you are really at your job.