A few weeks ago, whilst sat outside Starbucks on a sunny afternoon reading a new book I had purchased on NLP, a young woman struck up a conversation with me. She had been thinking about studying NLP and seeing my book title, asked me a few questions.
After briefly explaining the many personal and professional benefits she could extract and use from NLP techniques and that I was an NLP Practitioner the subject matter changed to where she worked.
I listened intently as she explained to me that she, and about 90% of the other employees in her organisation, hated their work. Every day she woke up, she exclaimed, was filled with dread. Each morning was a monumental struggle to get out of bed.
She went on to say what she hated about it and reiterated her utter and complete hatred for it…and with a passion. Of course I was tempted to coach her but she hadn’t asked for such and I don’t do free sessions either. I did tell her how much I admired her tenacity and gave her 5 tips she could use to alleviate her dread (I’m getting to those very, very shortly). I couldn’t work for 3 years in a job I despised. Never.
Not long after that I read a survey somewhere that this is not an uncommon trend. In fact, it is quite the opposite. According to this extensive research, around 74% of people are dissatisfied with their job.
A whopping 74%!!! How high is that? It’s astronomical. I mean having coached a fair few disgruntled workers who felt they were walking the proverbial ‘dead-end job treadmill’ I guessed it could be quite high. But not shooting through the roof.
So if you are stuck in a job you loathe, or are managing people who you suspect despise what they do, here are 5 quick-fire tips to make Mondays more enjoyable and so you don’t have to wish your life away dreaming about Friday’s…they will also enhance your, or your team’s performance.
1) Give Yourself a Quick Reminder
By this I mean ask yourself these questions,
- “Why did I take this job in the first place?”
- “What attracted me to it?”
- “How did I manage to convince them I wanted the job at the interview?”
By asking these questions you will be remembering exactly what appealed to you originally and why you were prepared to give the job a shot in the first place. This can reignite your original passion or interest.
Changing perspective is a powerful tool to use
2) Change Your Perspective
There is a story about when JFK was touring the area where they were to launch the first ever Apollo mission into space. Whilst walking through the building, JFK stopped and asked a man who was in the corridor, what was he doing (as a job there). The man replied, “Why Mr. President, I am helping to send the first rocket to the moon!”
That man was the janitor.
You could change your perspective about what you do in the same way. If I was in a position now where I had to clean toilets temporarily I wouldn’t particularly be cartwheeling to work every day. However, my perspective would be, “I am going to make sure that these toilets are so clean and fresh nobody catches anything from dirty door handles and everyone leaves feeling great” (Or something similar).
I would also be looking for opportunities. I would be asking myself if I could improve the service and maybe start something myself.
How can you change your perspective to what you do now?
If you come across something or someone you find boring – dig deeper
3) Act as if…
In 99% of jobs I have worked in I have always been promoted. I worked in a carpet warehouse once and I was promoted to manager. I was 19. The other staff were much older and had been there longer. The exact same scenario happened to me when I worked at a petrol station; I got promoted to station manager over everyone else and I had only been there for 4 months.
The one main factor I put this down to was my attitude of acting as if. I truly believed and acted as if the company was mine. Every decision I made I used to ask what would I do if this was my company? If this was my company, how would I answer this angry customer? And so on.
This made the most mundane of jobs tons more enjoyable. And, earned me more money through promotions.
Be of the crowd but not in with the crowd
4) Stay Away from Moaners and Groaners
If you aren’t in an environment where your superiors are stamping this negativity out then you have to act alone. Stay completely away from the moaners and groaners. They will be complaining no matter what job they have.
It can be easy to get sucked into this at breaks and lunch time, and in some instances, after work too. It becomes a cultural norm if you like. So the best thing you can do is stay completely away from such people.
You won’t feel better by being around such small minds and joining in. Venting may well make you feel good in the moment. But short, medium and long term it only adds to unhappiness at work.
It will exacerbate the negativity and can even spill over into your personal and home life too.
I blogged about being mindful of who you hang around with Why you should be mindful of who you consistently hang around with
5) Learn More About Your Job
No, a gazzillion-trillion bosses have not contacted me from around the globe asking me to get more out of their employee’s; these are tactics that can make your work life happier.
By learning more about your work, adding to your skills or whatever, it makes you feel more fulfilled. Feeling fulfilled in turn can make you feel successful.
It is the digging deeper that actually adds to your interest in a topic (Like your job) or a person. This then enhances your happiness.
Apart from retaining your own sanity there are other added benefits for changing how you view your current job regardless of how tedious it may appear.
Firstly it makes you indispensable. Not to your sole employer but to career opportunities. Other will people will want to employ you. You may even get headhunted.
Secondly, it gives you a sense of personal fulfillment. It builds your work ethic. Just imagine, one day you may have your own business. Applying these 5 tips will help you ensure your workplace culture is more conducive to getting better results.
And lastly, it will help you when you go to your next job interview. You will be able to look people in the eye and tell your future employer that you loved your job and how well you worked in it. This then comes across as authentic. Which it will be because you will be telling the truth.
Now which attitude will best serve you? Which way of thinking will help you spot the abundance of opportunities that are out there? Which way will inspire you to search for another position? And which attitude will empower you to excel at your next dream job interview?
I thought so. And so did that young woman. She left as if she was about to start her first day in her dream job. Magic.