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How To Make Sure Work Doesn't Suck In 2008

Jan 20, 2008
In 1987, 61% of workers said they were satisfied with their jobs. In 2006 that number declined to 47% (Conference Board). Do you notice a trend?

Have you decided if you'll be satisfied with your job in 2008?

What's Your Default Setting?

It's crazy - and true: countless people have already decided they won't like their job in 2008. Like a computer that has a default setting, these people have programmed themselves with a "work sucks" attitude.

And because their vision creates their perspective, and perspective is reality, work sucks for these people.

Do you enjoy throwing away 250 days each year - before they happen?

What's your default setting? When the alarm goes off, do you sit up with a desire to make the most of the day ahead? Or do you bury your face in the pillow and lament that you are you - and you have a job to do?

Consider the possibility that some people around you have created a habit of not liking their job. They've trained themselves to be unhappy. Perhaps somewhere, sometime, a mentor or friend stated, "it pays the bills" or "another day, another dollar," or "work sucks" ... and they decided to agree.

And in that decision, these people forfeited satisfaction. They chose to be unhappy.

Crazy, isn't it?

Make A Decision - And Create A New Habit

If you find yourself in the "work sucks" camp, your first decision is this: are you going to keep you job or find a new one?

There are people reading this who know that it doesn't matter what job some people have, they'll always be in the same "work sucks" camp. (But that's a topic for a different article.) If you're deciding - for whatever reason - to keep the job you have, then your next decision is this: do you want to be happy or miserable at work?

If you choose to be happy, then it's time to create a new habit. Follow the three-point "habit action plan" below and find yourself with a bonus - like you've never received - at the end of the year.

Habit Action #1: Build Your Awareness

How often are you happy? Use a notepad to check "miserable" or "happy" next to the day's date. Complete this assessment at the conclusion of each workday through the year. Then regularly compute your score.

Like the individual who's serious about losing weight and therefore steps on the scale to measure their results, so must those of us who are serious about living a higher quality life measure our results. Measuring results builds awareness - and awareness changes behavior.

Habit Action #2: Leverage Your Job

The majority of people see their job as just that: a job. They have created a belief that the only place where they can 1) learn anything new, 2) serve others, and 3) have fun is outside their job. Such people often resort to clubs, churches, overseas travel, or community projects to fulfill the natural human urge to do something significant with their lives.

This group completely misses a crucial point - and a significant portion of their life. 1, 2 and 3 can all be done at work. In fact, because we spend the majority of our hours working, our job - any job - is the ideal place to add value to our lives.

* Got an ignoramus for a boss? What are YOU learning about your level of enlightenment and how will you evolve and grow?

* Bored with the responsibilities of your job? How can YOU challenge yourself and grow new skills to deliver greater results?

* Does your job seem unfulfilling and pointless? How will YOUR future actions make a difference in the lives of those around you? How will you inspire others?

* Does your workplace seem toxic? How will YOU use your sense of humor to lift people up - without bringing some people down?

Time is no less valuable because we're at work. How you spend it is up to you.

Habit Action #3: Celebrate Often

Question: what is the most common inventory kept in business? Answer: there are two actually, and they're both made on the way home. The first is achieved when people list all the things they didn't accomplish during the day; the second is even more destructive: a list of all the things they don't like about their job.

With inventories such as these, is it any wonder people grunt a response when their spouse asks, "How was your day?"

Equally remarkable is how easy it is to reverse this habit - and the difference it makes when we do. On your drive home celebrate these three things: 1) The things you learned that will be valuable, 2) What you did well during the day, and 3) The greatest blessings in your life. Then be ready to walk into your home in a powerful state of mind.

The Greater You

Spread the word: work doesn't have to suck. Deliver on the three habit actions above and be assured of this: you will become more effective at EVERYTHING you do. Which means 2008 will be the year you discover your greater self.

And when that happens, guess how you'll begin to think of your work.
About the Author
Stomp the Elephant in the Office employs the programs and concepts successfully implemented by Pathways to Leadership, Inc., formed by Steven Vannoy and Craig Ross. To find out how big the elephant in YOUR office is, visit Stomp the Elephant
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