We’ve all had really bad jobs, and worse bosses. Jobs where we are overworked, undervalued, and underpaid. Jobs were we deal with difficult, or even toxic co-workers, and jobs that burned us out.
Yeah, I’ve been there, you’ve been there. Some jobs are so bad the only option is to do your best to get through each day until you find something better. You don’t need me to tell you about those jobs- you already know about them.
Most of the time, however, it’s not your job that sucks but your attitude towards your job that sucks. A bold statement, literally and figuratively, and I assure you I’m speaking from experience here.
The majority of my pain and suffering is self-inflicted- not intentionally, of course, but as the result of negative thinking and negative habits. Negative thinking and negative habits lead to stress, conflict, unhappiness, and extreme job suckage. Break out of your rut and get more out of your job and your life!
6 Reasons Your Job Sucks
01. You complain
Sometimes complaining helps resolve problems but most of the time complaining only serves to keep you, and everyone around you, focused on what isn’t working instead of what is. The more you focus on what isn’t working, the more you notice every little thing that isn’t working.
Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, try focusing on what’s right! Don’t repeat your complaints (say them only once if you absolutely have to), and do repeat your compliments!
02. You mind everyone else’s business
Keeping tabs, and scorecards, on your co-workers is an effective way to create unhappiness in your job. You want to know why?- because you have absolutely no control over what anyone else says, thinks, or does- talk about a losing battle! You’ll constantly feel like the objects of your attention has all the attention and power and they do- at the very least they certainly have yours.
Keeping your attention on your work and your professional growth will yield far better results. Do your best work, be your best, and you’ll experience a greater sense of satisfaction from your work and greater professional success!
03. You compare yourself to others
Every time you compare yourself to others you hurt yourself. You think you’re better oor worse than someone else- either way you marginalize your unique talents and skills by giving more mental power to your judgements than your work.
What if you stopped comparing and capitalized on your strengths? Take pride in your work, show and build the qualities that make you a kick-ass employee! Who cares what anyone else is doing- what are you doing?
04. You don’t say no
If you have trouble saying no you’re likely to experience frustration, anger, resentment, and burnout- yuck, no wonder your job sucks!
Say no when you’re honestly unable or unwilling to agree to a request and, believe me, your co-workers will respect you and you’ll have the resources to do your best work and enjoy work more.
05. You assume
Let’s say you think you know better than your co-workers, or worse, your boss. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but when you assume you know better you’re definitely making an ass out of “u”!
What if you think you can or can’t do something even though no one has directly said you can or can’t. When you assume you predetermine the outcome and fail to even consider the alternatives.
Every time you make assumptions you limit your opportunity to learn, to change, and grow. Don’t assume- challenge your assumptions. Ask questions! Be thoughtful and curious. Be awesome!
06. You’re waiting
You’ll finally be happy at work when…. when you get the promotion you want, when you get a raise, when your boss listens to your ideas, when you get the credit you deserve, etc., etc., etc. If you’re waiting for things to go your way before you’ll be happy, well, I’ve got bad news for you, you’ve got a lot of waiting in your future.
What if you were happy just because you are happy? What if you were confident, happy, and satisfied with yourself and doing your best work, and that was enough? What if you stopped waiting for life to get good and made the most of the good that’s already there?
What if the job have today was awesome?!
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Letting go of negative attitudes and habits is easier said than done but it is possible. Embrace the possibility! If you catch yourself repeating attitudes and behaviors that make your job suck you can, at any moment, choose to think, do, or be something positive instead. Keep it up and you may just find your job doesn’t suck. Maybe your job is pretty okay. Maybe your job is even great!
I love your comments! What other self-defeating attitudes and habits lead to unhappiness at work?Join the Conversation
It’s the season of giving and you don’t need to be rich to give generously. Some of the best gifts are random acts of kindness inspired by a paying it forward mentality. Showing kindness to others is a simple and easy way to brighten the day of those around you. As an added bonus you are likely to feel happier when you are surrounded by people who are happy, too.
Who among us doesn’t want to feel happier at work? Many of us think of work as work, and work is one place we may forget to show kindness to others. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the ever-growing list of tasks that must be accomplished and we can forgo giving at work when we have so much work to do!
Today I encourage you to start a revolution! Be the person that spreads joy and charity in your place of business. Random acts of kindness can be directed at your co-workers or customers- even yourself!
Here’s 52 ideas to show kindness in the workplace and spread a little cheer!
01. Make a fresh pot of coffee.
02. Clean the microwave (even if it isn’t your mess).
04. Say “thank you” in person.
05. Take a co-worker out to lunch.
06. Give a glowing recommendation.
07. Organize a charity drive in your workplace.
08. Organize a volunteer day.
09. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
10. Make a mental list of all the things you enjoy about your work.
11. Be grateful!
12. Be encouraging.
13. Give a compliment.
15. Ask someone how they are and really listen to the answer.
16. Introduce a colleague to a contact in your professional network.
17. Be nice to someone you dislike.
18. Be a cheerleader for someone else’s idea or project.
19. Tell your boss what you appreciate about them.
21. Ask someone for their opinion and consider their position.
22. Invite a co-worker you don’t normally socialize with to sit with you at lunch.
23. Share praise with a co-worker’s boss and their boss’s boss.
24. Let go of a grudge.
25. Take breaks.
26. Give someone else a break.
27. Donate vacation time to a co-worker in need.
28. Share your expertise.
29. Send flowers to a co-worker.
30. Be a mentor.
31. Give someone the benefit of the doubt.
32. Admit when you’re in the wrong (it helps other people feel better about their mistakes!)
33. Don’t complain.
34. Don’t gossip.
36. Share a uplifting blog post.
37. Tell a joke.
38. Bring in books you loved and pass them on.
39. Be friendly.
40. Forgive someone.
41. Respect others.
42. Say “please” and “thank you”.
43. Start and end meetings on time.
44. Learn something new about someone you work with.
45. Bring in fresh fruits or vegetables to share.
46. Give someone a ride to or from work.
47. Pass on coupons you don’t need.
48. Start a conversation with the delivery person, janitor, or handyman.
49. Congratulate someone on their accomplishments.
50. Create a custom playlist for a co-worker.
51. Share a positive thought.
52. Be responsible for the energy you bring to your workplace.
“Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” ~Anne Herbert
Sharing kindness at work makes work a little more pleasant for everyone. Be a spirit of kindness in your workplace today!Join the Conversation
Loving your work has only a little to do with what you do, and more to do with how you do it. Your attitude affects your experience far more than the details of your job.
Few of us are doing the work of our dreams, at least I’m not. Even if I did have my dream job I have no illusions that my it would be 100% enjoyable every day, or that my dream job will be perfect and challenge-free. Actually, I imagine a perfect job would be quite boring in practice as there would be little motivation or opportunity to grow.
(I admit it- I thrive on challenge which may or may not be the reason I tend to leave things to almost-the-last minute. Who ever said there are no benefits to procrastination? It keeps things interesting!)
Whether or not we’re working our dream jobs we have to contend with frustrations, limitations, challenges, and the occasional bad day or difficult person. Since I refuse to be unhappy and discontent every day I must manage my attitude towards my work. I want to enjoy life, regardless of my job, status, or challenges.
To enjoy my work to the fullest I practice attitudes of mindfulness, patience, gratitude, and plain old hard work! It’s okay if you’re reading this and thinking I’m talking crazy. It’s fun to be a little crazy. Want to join me?
The work I do in my full time job is quite far from my dream job and this truth challenges me a great deal on almost a daily basis. I don’t love the work and don’t easily connect my work to a greater purpose. It’s repetitive, dry, and boring! I struggle to find enjoyment in my work most days. And, as it turns out, my current work provides a great opportunity to master black belt level skills of attitude! Hiiii-ya!
Yeah, yeah, enough about me, you may be thinking, how does this all help you? Keep your shirt on because I’m going to share with you my secrets to getting more enjoyment from my work! If it works for me it just might work for you.
Be in the moment
Mindfulness is the state of active, open attentiveness to the present. You’re not worried about what happened yesterday, or concerned with what might happen tomorrow. You just focus on today.
Easier said than done, I know from experience. Mindfulness is not a practice that came easily to me in the beginning. My mind tended to replay past situations and worry about the future. I idealized what happened before, holding on to fond memories, and what was up coming, the promise of the weekend or upcoming event distracting me from today.
When I began to master mindfulness I found I enjoyed life more. I was able to appreciate what’s right in front of me and make the best of what I have. I accomplished more and had more fun doing it.
Patience invites you to let go of your judgments and expectations. Patience doesn’t require you to endure a difficult situation but, rather, to accept life on life’s terms and make thoughtful choices about your life.
When I feel impatient it is because I am in a hurry to get from here to there but the problem with this idea is I believe there will be better than here, but experience has taught me that “better” is relative and what I experience today is a result of my attitude, not my situation.
When I have a little patience I have a better day.
Gratitude is the key to happiness. If you don’t appreciate what you have, you won’t appreciate what you’ll get.
Gratitude has brought more joy to my life than any other habit, and yes, gratitude is a habit that must be cultivated. I trained my mind to look for the good in each day through keeping daily gratitude lists, saying “thank you”, and being grateful in action.
Sure, I have complaints, but my work isn’t all bad or all good. Nothing in life is all bad or all good. I decide what I’m going to focus on and since I don’t feel very happy focusing on complaints, I’ll focus on the good stuff instead.
Do the work
Sometimes you’ve just gotta get out of your head and get to work. There’s a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with completing a task. Start small and do the work.
A practice I’m working to turn into a habit is to start each day by simply doing the next right thing. The next right thing being the next thing I need to do. When I set aside my excuses, justifications, and distractions, I know what’s important and that’s what I do. As much as I enjoy a little procrastination, I get far greater satisfaction from doing the work in front of me.
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Annoying coworkers- everything they do is irritating. Annoying coworkers can be recognized by their laziness, over-sharing, obnoxious habits, poor communication, lack of hygiene- you name it! I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all been there.
What if you annoying coworkers aren’t really all that annoying? Not true, you may insist as you prepare a list of your coworkers annoying traits. Well I have news for you- your coworkers are not as annoying as you think they are.
I’m not talking about difficult people here- those people that create a toxic and hostile work environment. What I am talking about are those people that just irritate you, even though they’re really decent human beings, whether or not you like them.
What I experience at work and in life is largely a result of my attitudes and perceptions. What I’m trying to say is it’s not them, it’s you. The good news is there’s really nothing you can do about a truly annoying coworker but there is a lot you can do about your experience!
If you’re still with me, perhaps you’re wondering if this is the point that I offer some ideas to turn your experience from negative to positive. This most definitely is that point so do please read on for some tips to make your annoying coworkers seem downright likeable!
How to change your attitude from annoyed to enjoyed!
Try becoming friends with your annoying coworker. You may find those annoying habits seem less annoying when you really get to know someone.
Getting to know the whole person, instead of a laundry list of habits, can help you appreciate the great qualities they possess. It’s much easier to overlook the not-so-good when you see the good, too. Perspective is good for your mental health!
A great way to connect with another person is to compliment them. Find a stellar quality in the other person and tell them how much you admire that quality. In my experience it’s impossible to feel annoyed and appreciative at the same time!
The modern workplace is a melting pot. Differences in culture, values, status, and personality can lead to stress and conflict.
When you don’t see eye-to-eye with someone, use this opportunity to accept others as they are. There’s more than one way to get the job done and your way is not the right way. Everyone is different and that’s okay.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you want to be happy- stop complaining. Sure, you may have legitimate complaints, don’t we all, but repeating your complaints over and over again only makes you unreasonable and unhappy!
If you stop complaining about your so-called annoying coworkers you may soon find you don’t actually find them all that annoying after all.
Be your best
The best way to take your mind off another person’s annoying behavior is to focus on your own behavior. What’s on your to-do list? What are your goals?
Put your mind to work on your work. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction that comes from a job well done! You may even show your awesome talents leading to a raise or promotion!
Take care of you!
I am far more likely to be irritable when I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
If you’re not taking care of you it’s a good bet you’re going to be more easily annoyed. If you find yourself feeling annoyed, do something nice for you.
What you experience is up to you
It’s a basic human truth that the people around us are bound to annoy us from time-to-time, but if you want a positive experience at work it’s important to adjust your perceptions and attitudes.
The more you focus your problems and stress on those things outside you (other people, places, and things), the more likely you are to be annoyed, stressed and unhappy. If you blame other people for your experience then what you experience is at the mercy of your coworkers.
However, when you take responsibility for what you experience you can have more great days, and realize your coworkers really aren’t that annoying. Or at least they no longer annoy you!
I love your comments! Are your coworkers as annoying as you think they are? What other ways do you adjust your experience for the better?Join the Conversation
We think of work as, well, work. How often to you hear someone share the dreaded Monday lament? Work doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, it doesn’t have to be bad at all.
Having fun at work has many benefits including minimizing boredom and fatigue, relieving tension and stress, improving morale, inspiring innovation and creativity, reducing conflict, and improving mental health.
Our life experience is guided by our attitude, and finding ways to have fun at work can turn a bad day great! Fun isn’t something that happens to us- it’s something we create. To have more fun you have to be fun.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. For this article I turned to the funnest person I know- my husband, Corey. Together we came up with our best ideas for creating fun and enjoyment at work and the great thing is all these ideas create fun in every aspect of work and life.
Read on for 18 silly, spontaneous, tried-and-true ways to have fun!
1. Pick a Partner
Teaming up is a great way to have more fun in anything you do. Sharing a boring task makes it go by faster, and collaborating on interesting projects maximizes pleasure.
In addition, we humans are not truly solitary creatures, and partnering with someone else satisfies our desire to be social.
2. Lighten Up
Don’t take work or life too seriously! Your job is important, and it may even be serious, but it’s more important to keep it in perspective and have a little fun when you can. Very few of us boast jobs that are life or death, and even those that do know you have to find ways to keep it light. You can’t be serious, stressed out and happy, so embrace happiness instead!
3. Play Games
Games can add fun to your work day. You can play trivia, guess the song/band games, what would you do if you won the lottery, and so much more. Most of us can add a game to our workday from time-to-time, with co-workers in person or remotely. Get playful!
Join a professional organization or be on committee to build relationships with professionals and peers. Being part of a professional group is not only good for your career, it can help you keep perspective when you start to feel stressed. (Here’s a hint, your job is not the be-all end-all of your life.)
Participation in organizations and committees has the added benefit of adding variety to your day. No more excuses- get involved!
5. Give Props
When you see someone doing a great job, let them know! Better yet, pass the praise on to their supervisor. Sharing positive feedback is sure to improve your mood. Yes, your mood. Plus, the more you recognize others, the more likely you will be recognized.
6. Give Compliments
A really fun way to brighten your day is to compliment someone else. You can even do it anonymously by leaving a kind note for someone to find. I dare you to compliment someone else and not feel great!
“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” ~Thomas Edison
7. Take Breaks
Find more enjoyment in your day by taking regular breaks. Take a fun break to try one of the ideas on this list!
Think you’re too busy to take a break- think again. Taking breaks can improve your productivity.
8. Share a Treat
Bringing a snack to share with others is a fun way to break the ice with co-workers you don’t know well, and say thanks to those you do.
You can break from the tradition of brownies in the breakroom and bring a healthy snack to share. (You can send those brownies my way- I love them!)
9. Start a Competition
Starting a competition with your co-workers can be a great way to add a little fun to your day! You can compete for bragging rights, Happy Hour drinks, or a homemade trophy.
Your competition can be based on your work or completely non-work related. Find an interest you share with your peers and have fun with it!
10. Learn Something New
Mastering a new skill builds your resume and your confidence. Volunteer for a special project, take a class, or study on your own. Applying your new skills in your day-to-day job can make your work more enjoyable.
11. Survey Your Peers
Solicit ideas from your co-workers for ways to enliven your office. Your peers are sure to appreciate sharing ideas and you just might come up with a new idea that will shake things up (in a good way!).
12. Be Spontaneous
I’m all for planning and preparation but let’s face it, fun is often spontaneous. Try doing something unexpected and new-to-you to add a little fun to your day.
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” ~Dale Carnegie
13. Add Color
Color affects our moods and an easy way to boost your mood is add color to your work environment. Colorful office supplies, toys, and coffee cups can add more fun to your day. Adding color to my office not only helps me stay organized it cheers me up when I walk in every day.
14. Celebrate Your Accomplishments
When you do a great job or complete a project, don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment. Stop for a moment and recognize your achievement! Treat yourself in some small way and enjoy the moment.
15. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Do something nice for someone else, or yourself, and you’ll make your day great! A kind word, a small favor, or unexpected gift can really make your day fun!
16. Challenge Yourself
Doing the same thing every day is boring but you can find ways to challenge yourself to keep it interesting. If your task is measured by time or volume, try challenging yourself to beat your average productivity.
Another way to challenge yourself is to take on another aspect of a job- even if it isn’t in your job description.
Smiling is contagious! When you smile you improve your mood, and soon others will be smiling right back at you.
18. Enjoy Yourself
Decide to have fun in whatever you do. Think of the most enjoyable part of your workday and write it down every day. Keep the fun times at the top of your mind and you’re certain to have many of them!
“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” ~Dr. Seuss
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Do you believe in you?
In his excellent guest post, 4 Beliefs of Successful (and Happy) People, Farouk shared one of the four beliefs is successful people believe in themselves. This lead me to thinking about how to keep believing in yourself , especially if no one else believes in you.
An influential person in my life recently shared a harsh criticism of me. This experience prompted me to write How To Deal With Criticism. While I didn’t agree with his assessment of my abilities, I did temporarily allow his opinion to overshadow my belief in myself. The problem wasn’t that I believed he was right in his opinion, but that I feared continued criticism and for a short time I allowed this to hold me back.
Despite my fear of future criticism, I chose to believe in myself and keep doing my best. I refused to let anyone else’s opinion of my work undermine my honest efforts and the great results I know I can achieve.
Here are a few ways to believe in yourself, even if no one else believes in you:
Align your behavior with your values
Your values are the beliefs about your work and your life that guide your purpose. You may value personal health, community, honesty, development, personal wealth, or business profitability. Whatever you believe in, your core values inform your sense of self.
When you believe in what you’re doing, you believe in yourself. If, on the other hand, your actions are at odds with your core values you will loose faith in yourself at the first sign of rejection.
Align your choices with your intentions
Your intentions are the desired results of your actions; they are your goals. If your goal is to live a healthy life, it’s important to make choices that support your goals.
When your choices are aligned with your intentions, you believe in yourself because you’re clear about where you’re headed, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Discover other sources of support
If no one you know supports your ideas, you can choose to look elsewhere for support and encouragement. Find people who are working towards similar goals and build relationships with people who share your values and intentions. It’s easier to believe in yourself when you share your purpose and progress with people who are on a related path.
Tell yourself you can
The way we treat yourself has a significant impact on your belief in yourself. Be mindful of the messages you think and say about yourself.
If you tell yourself you can’t do it, it’s likely that you won’t be able to because you believe it’s true. Tell yourself you can do it. Better yet, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I believe in you!” This exercise may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first but I can tell you from personal experience that it works!
If you are too afraid to try, that is also a message to yourself. Making even one small step in the face of your fear tells yourself you believe in you!
Always do your best
When you know you tried your best, it matters less if things don’t work out the way you wanted. You know there’s nothing you could have done better, and you have the opportunity to learn from the situation to do better next time. Each setback is a building block for future success.
Celebrate your accomplishments
If you focus intently on achieving your goal you may find it harder to believe in yourself until you reach your goal. Instead, you can celebrate your accomplishments along way. Acknowledging your progress builds your confidence. You’re on your way- keep up the good work!
I love your comments! How do you nurture faith in yourself when no one else seems to believe in you? What keeps you motivated? What inspires you to stay on your path?
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