If you ask someone you know whether they enjoy what they do for a living, what do you think their answer will be?
It should not be a surprise if their answer is they don’t enjoy or even hate what they do. Numerous studies have revealed that up to 80% of people in the workforce are not fully engaged in what they do, with many disliking what they do for a living.
This doesn’t just apply to those who have a traditional job. It’s also applicable to business owners or entrepreneurs who may hate aspects of what they do in their business.
What we do for a living accounts for at least a third of our lives, so it’s important for our well-being that we make the most out of our working lives.
There was a time in my life where I really hated what I did for a living. I had a corporate management job and while the monetary rewards were good, there were so many things I did not enjoy about what I did. I hated the fact that almost every day, there would be a production issue, a supplier issue, or the most frustrating part was dealing with employees who liked to whine and complain daily.
On top of that, I had to ensure customer orders were produced and delivered on time, our employees were following safety rules, and I met my own performance objectives. Nothing about the job excited me.
Every year, the focus were on the same things and I felt there was nothing to look forward to. There comes a time when we must decide to follow what we think is best for us even though others may not agree with our decision. I eventually left my corporate and transitioned to what I am doing now — conducting training and coaching programs, speaking and consulting and also doing training development work.
Here are five things I did during the time when I hated what I did for a living, which can give you hope that there are always options available to consider.
- Explore options to earn additional income. Let’s face it — most people do the work they do because it meets their basic needs and supports a particular lifestyle they want. If money was not an issue, most people would choose to do something different. Therefore it makes a lot of sense to address one of the most important things, which is having alternate sources of income.
This does not mean getting a second or third job because we only have so many hours available to us each day. This is about looking for options to leverage income without a lot of personal effort, like selling affiliate products online, getting started with a network marketing opportunity, or looking for investment opportunities. The options are endless — it’ a matter of choosing one or two initially that interests you.
- Create a transition plan. As unpleasant as it may sound, we may have to put up with short term pain or inconvenience once when know what we want or where we want to be. It will be foolish to suddenly quit a job without having a plan in place for how to take care of our basic needs. Creating a plan to transition from our current work to something we’d prefer to do is extremely valuable, as it will give us a timeframe and the actions steps we need to take.
Sometimes the transition plan can be relatively short depending on our situation, and sometimes it can take a longer period of time. During the transition period, we may have to acquire new knowledge or learn new skills. My transition plan lasted fours years and I possibly could have stretched it for an extra year if I really wanted to be sure it was the right time to move on.
- Change your hours to work on your future plan. Finding the time is one of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to creating a new future. One way to find more time is to work less on what we are doing currently so we can dedicate additional time to our transition plan. Even reducing five hours per week can make a big difference.
We should not look at this as a loss or going backwards because according to the law of sacrifice, we must be prepared to give up something of a lower nature in order to receive something of a higher nature or value.
- Consider a different role in the short term. One thing to be aware of is how much mental and physical energy we use up when we are working. When we are not enjoying what we are doing for a living, chances are we use up more mental energy because our focus tends to be on current situation and what we don’t like about it.
Taking a lesser or lower role can be a good way to manage our energy so that we can give attention and focus to the things we can do as part of our transition plan. Taking a different role is something I have done in the past to help get to where I wanted to be.
- Find something that is more aligned with your calling. If the above options does not work for us, then we may have to face the reality that it’s time to find something that is more aligned with what we want to do.
It can be finding a new job, or as entrepreneurs, we may have to start delegating the things we don’t want to do and focus only on the things we’re actually good at, that also makes a big difference. We may even end up finding our perfect role but that will only be possible if actually take the step and find something different to do.
These options can be the encouragement you need to start creating a new future for yourself. If you hate what you do for a living and are not prepared to do anything different, it can have some dire consequences on your health, your relationships and the overall quality of life. The key is to realise that there are options available for you.
Question: What things have you tried that has helped you enjoy the work you do?
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