If you have the good fortune to love what you do for work, you are VERY rare. And I don’t mean rare in the clichéd, vague kind of way. I mean you are LITERALLY a freak of nature as only 13% of humans WORLDWIDE actually love their job.
That means if you walk down the street and pass 100 people, only 13 of them will be smiling on any given Monday morning and this will be the same no matter what street you’re walking down, whether it’s in Barcelona, Ochos Rios, or Johannesburg.
And don’t be fooled, this isn’t just for people in certain industries or pay grades. Most people hate their jobs and that goes from the CEO, to the administrative assistant, to the customer service rep to your boss.
That is so crazy to me! We spend so much time at work! Most people are there between 8-9 hours per day, 5 days per week. That’s 1/3 of your adult life!
With all that time spent working, it sucks to wake up on the wrong side of the bed every. single. Monday. I wouldn’t wish that hopeless, anxious, depressed and demoralizing feeling on my worst enemy (actually, I would, but it’s not PC to say that).
So, why do people hate their jobs so much? If you ask 5 people, you will get 5 different answers ranging from: 1) feeling bored/ unfulfilled, 2)
hatred dislike for their boss and/ or coworkers, 3) being overworked, 4) office politics and 5) being underpaid.
Yes, these are all valid reasons to hate your job and are all things I’ve felt at some point or another in my career, but it’s not the actual reason you hate your job. These are more of the symptoms rather than the cause. The reason you hate it is because you haven’t figured out that WORK IS PART OF LIFE, NOT SEPARATE FROM IT.
Let’s revisit the fact that we spend 1/3 of our lives at work. The other 1/3 is spent sleeping and the last third is spent eating, doing hobbies, with loved ones and scrolling through Facebook. Work is a huge part of daily life, so why do we try so hard to separate it? We have work clothes and work friends and a work spouse. We take on an entirely different persona. That doesn’t make sense. Why live a double life?
The people who are happy at work have figured out the truth. They’ve all cracked the code on how to merge their work into their life. They don’t spend their time chasing “work-life balance” or developing another personality to fit in at work.
So, how can you do this for yourself? Here are 3 ways:
1. Be real with yourself. Figure out who you are and what you really want and then go toward it full speed ahead. The key here though is that you have to be real. Stop setting unrealistic expectations for yourself or forcing yourself to go after things you don’t even really want. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can move toward true fulfillment.
When it comes to professional goals, we tend to be a bit more delusional than we are with our personal goals. Wanting to get promoted to Senior Vice President is amazing, but are you willing to do what it takes to get that promotion? Better question – do you even really want that promotion?
2. Get really good at making lemonade. Ok, your boss is the worst and your coworkers are basic. You’ve got to push through. Find a way to focus on the positive things about your current job. Then, make a plan to get another gig or re-work your current one, ASAP.
When things in other areas of your life make you unhappy, you change it, right? You dump your bum boyfriend and get a new wardrobe when they don’t work for you anymore, do the same with work! Just make sure you’re doing it with your chin up and head high instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself (read: what would Beyoncé do?)
3. Accept the ebb and flow. You can’t have it all at the same time, ok? You can have different parts of it all at different times, but not simultaneously. Once you get that, I mean really get it, you will be 100x happier.
If you’re going to happy hour with your girls, it means you won’t be able to stay late and finish that presentation. If you will be traveling to Boston for that conference, then you will miss the dance recital. Look at your work and home commitments holistically and understand that there will be give and take.
For 97% of us, having a job is a fact of life. If you look at your Instagram feed long enough, it may seem like everyone is an entrepreneur living that #bosslife and gets to sleep in and work from the beach everyday, but I challenge you to ask them to show you receipts. Trust me, most of them are living that cubicle life just like you and me. #sorrynotsorry