Let me start by saying that, personally, I am happy to have employment. While people are busy complaining about whether or not our wages keep up with inflation, one thing is certain, I’d prefer 0% payrise to 100% paycut any day.
That said, there are still aspects to everyone’s job that are less than ideal. The trick is to turn them to your advantage or, if this is not possible, to look at things in a different way to make one’s situation the best it can be.
I am not into ‘schmoozing’ or ladder climbing and I will not compromise my fundamental principles in order to get ahead. What tactics I do follow are below (all easily achievable without selling your soul):
* Play on your strengths. Don’t be shy to tell your boss what you are good at and aim to get more of that type of work – it’s a win-win, you are a more efficient and happy employee, which equals productivity gains for the employer.
* Be professional at all times. Don’t be late, present yourself well, don’t use profanities. Be polite and respectful.
* Work hard. Don’t be slack and stay off your personal devices during work time.
Once you’ve got all this under control and you are Employee of the Month, then set about ensuring you are feeling the love for your job.
* Find things to like about your job – there will be something! Maybe you get to enjoy the outdoors, or you work with a great team of people. Remind yourself of these things when you need to!
Personally, I have heaps. When a colleague was moaning one day I rattled off the list below – the tide turned relatively quickly.
I work in an office, so my job loves are:
I am in a clean, dry, chemical-free, air-conditioned environment.
My job is safe – I don’t risk my life for my work (e.g. Police, Defence Forces).
I get to sit down for a large part of the day.
My work benefits others.
I am allowed to have a radio (and I sing along to it – albeit quietly!).
I am not required to wear a uniform (YAY YAY YAY!).
I work three days per week, the same three days each week.
I work set hours on those days.
My employment is stable (as far as possible these days anyway).
I live close to work and can walk to & fro every day – no horrible long commute – HUGE bonus.
I don’t have to pay for parking or train etc.
Once you start looking for things to like, you will find more than you realise.
‘What can I control?’ See previous musing ‘How to Be Happy’. This is great, because a common workplace complaint is a perceived lack of ownership of one’s job. There will be something that you can do to have things more to your liking – perhaps it’s as simple as being able to prioritise your tasks the way you want to, or running a project. At the very least, the way you think and act is totally within your control.
These are a few simple things that over my working life have helped me, I hope you find them useful.