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?!
Image via moonlightbulb
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
Are you feeling worn out? Burned out? Beat down? Let’s face it, sometimes life is tough. When times get tough it’s especially important to take care of ourselves.
I’ve been dealing with a particularly difficult work situation the past few months. The intellectual and situational stress of my job have taken a toll on me. I’m doing my best to take care of me but, I’ll be honest, it’s not enough. I’m suffering from job burnout. I’ve taken steps to improve my situation and in the meantime it’s more important than ever to be kind to myself.
An added benefit of being kind to myself is an increased and natural capacity to be kind to others. Don’t we all deserve a little kindness? Yes, we do!
33 Ways To Be Kind To Yourself
01. Adjust your expectations
Sometimes I need to adjust my expectations. I enjoy life more when I am mindful of what I do, not what I get. One leads to happiness and the other, more often than not, leads to frustration. I control what I do, I don’t control what happens next.
02. Let one thing go
I admit it, I care. I care about all kinds of things. Sometimes I care so much I cause myself a little bit of pain. But for all the cares I pick up throughout the day, I can always put one thing down.
03. Set boundaries
I get in trouble every time I fail to set boundaries. Without boundaries I am stressed out, burned out, and unhappy- that’s no way to live! Boundaries are the ultimate form of self-kindness. I can set boundaries any time, any day.
04. Get a good night’s sleep
I don’t know about you but I barely function without a good night’s sleep. When times are tough I need sleep more than ever! Yeah, I’ve been known to go to bed at 9pm every night. What? Girl loves her sleep!
05. Listen to music
I choose music to suit my mood- mellow, happy, relaxing, energetic- whatever I’m feeling I have a favorite track that imbues good feelings.
06. Be happy
I don’t need everything to go my way to be happy, all I need is to celebrate whatever happiness exists in this moment. I can cultivate habits of happiness that carry through to difficult days. Happiness is always there, whenever I choose to embrace it.
07. Be silly
A little silliness is the best medicine when I’m taking life too seriously. I might make run around in circles, wave my arms, do a funny dance. I can be spontaneous, be ridiculous, and just plain silly!
08. Take a nap
You already know I like my sleep, and some days being well-rested takes more than a good night’s sleep. Some days a nap is in order to get me through the day. When I nap I wake up refreshed and clear-headed.
I hold my stress in my body. My jaw clenches and my shoulders tense. Moving my body regularly breaks up the tension and provides and outlet for my stress.
I can ride my bicycle, take a walk, or dance along to a favorite tune. Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym- just moving my body!
10. Know yourself
A little self-reflection goes a long way. Before I can decide what I want, what I need, or what needs to be done I must first know myself. Even just a few minutes of thoughtful mediation or journaling can give me insight into myself.
I love to read! Curling up with a good book is a wonderful reprieve from the stress of the day. Reading a favorite blog can motivate and inspire me. Not a bad way to spend a few minutes of my day.
12. Catch up with a friend
There’s nothing like catching up with a good friend- it’s good for my soul! Isolation, on the other hand, is undoubtedly bad for me.
13. Take a break
Taking a break is not only rejuvenating- I actually get more done when I take breaks than when I don’t. Plus, taking breaks is a really nice way to be nice to me!
14. Ask for what you need
I’m not a mind reader and I have to assume no else in my life is, either. Whatever I need, I have to ask for it.
I love to write! Obviously, I write this blog, right? Before I wrote this blog I kept a journal. My journal was actually my inspiration to start blogging.
It doesn’t really matter what I write, only that I get my thoughts down on paper instead of keeping them churning about in my mind.
Every day I stretch my smile, stretch my body, stretch my heart, and stretch my mind.
17. Get inspired
I try to get a little inspiration every day. Sometimes I inspire myself by writing my blog post. Other days I read something inspiring, collect inspiring quotes on Pinterest, or get out there an be inspiring.
18. Do more of what you’re good at
I do something I’m good at every day. Maybe it’s sharing a smile, helping another person, crafting, planning, organizing, giving hugs, or writing a blog post. I get energized when I do more of what I’m good at.
I’ve got to have my “me” time. I might catch up on a favorite show, re-watch an old favorite, snuggle with my dogs, snuggle with my cats, or simply do nothing at all!
20. Say no
Kindness is saying no when I want to, when I need to, and when I mean it.
Laughter is life’s best medicine for whatever ails me. When all else fails me, there’s always Grumpy Cat.
22. Eat good food
When I eat well, I feel well. Eating good food is kind to my body!
23. Accept and love yourself exactly as you are
Right here, right now, I love me just as I am today. I’m not perfect and I never will be. I’m doing the best I can in this moment and that’s enough.
24. Be gentle with yourself
I can be hard on myself but, really, that gets me nowhere good. On the other hand I make more progress when I am gentle and caring with myself.
25. Celebrate your success
Every day I muster all my awesome in whatever I do. Even better, I celebrate each day’s success- from small to big. (By the way, today I won 2nd place in my Toastmasters club International Speech Contest. Woo hoo!)
26. Say yes
Sometimes I need to say no, and sometimes I need to say yes.
27. Have fun
There’s a little fun in every day! All I have to do is enjoy it!
28. Eat ice cream
There’s nothing wrong with a little self indulgence, is there? Like the ice cream sundae I enjoyed just now. mmmmmm…!
29. Do what’s right
All I really have to do is the right thing. What’s the right thing? Well, that depends on the moment. When I take a deep breath and quiet my mind I usually know what’s right. When I focus on simply doing what’s right, everything else seems to fall into place.
30. Adjust your attitude
What I experience is up to me. When I’m struggling I can often find relief by simply adjusting my attitude. I don’t have to be stuck in negative thinking, I can choose to think positive instead.
31. Express yourself
Failing to express myself will undoubtedly cause me frustration and pain. It’s important that I’m honest about what I’m thinking and feeling.
Even though I don’t have to believe everything I think or everything I feel, it’s important to recognize those thoughts and feelings exist.
I don’t necessarily have to take action- just acknowledging and expressing myself is enough. I don’t even have to tell someone else what I’m thinking and feeling- I can write it down and put it away until later.
32. Respect yourself
I used to put other people’s opinions, needs, and expectations before my own and that way of living was quite unkind. I have to believe in myself and trust myself to live a happy life. I have to respect myself so I can be someone I’m proud of, someone I admire.
33. Try again tomorrow
Some days are difficult and it’s all I can do to somehow muddle through- that’s okay, I can try again tomorrow.Join the Conversation
Most situations in life are neutral and it is only our perception that is good or bad. There’s power in perception and you can decide what kind of day you’ll have by looking at your day the right way.
I almost had a bad day
Earlier this week I had a day that was not going smoothly. I was tired and groggy in the morning and had trouble getting going. I headed out to work a few minutes late after having to change the outfit I laid out the night before due to unexpected cold weather. A blanket of fresh snow slowed traffic considerably and I was getting later and later by the second.
When I arrived at work late, I might have qualified it as a bad day but I didn’t. I wasn’t about to have a bad day on account of a few small setbacks.
Then I really almost had a bad day
I arrived home that evening to a burst pipe and a flooded family room. Okay, now I was having a bad day- but I wasn’t, really. We were really fortunate the flooding happened in the middle of a remodel and our furniture and valuables were out of the room. The sopping carpet was the old carpet we intended to replace anyway.
I admit I felt a little bit of stress over dealing with the cleanup but the damage was really minimal. The important thing was this was a situation I could handle. It was a much bigger setback than I experienced in the morning, but it was still manageable. By putting my situation in perspective I was able to deal with the inconveniences and still have an okay day!
Image courtesy of That Girl Crystal
Is it actually a bad day or just an inconvenience
Do you get worked up over the little things like waking up late, heavy traffic, spilling coffee on your shirt? No doubt these experiences are inconvenient but are they bad? Does your entire day have to be bad because of an inconvenience? What if, instead, you saw these situations for what they are- inconveniences and just that.
When you experience inconveniences your life isn’t greatly affected- you still have your family, your job, your home. You have all the things that you have on a good day. When you change your focus from the immediate inconvenience and consider your life as a whole you may find those things that cause you to have a bad day aren’t really so bad.
Okay, but sometimes it really is a bad day
Sure, sometimes you just have a bad day and you just can’t find your perspective. It happens to me, too. When I find myself in a funk I make an effort to shake off a bad day.
When I’m really having a bad day, I love to listen to the song Bad Day by Fierce Bad Rabbit and I usually end up with a smile on my face.
“So it’s a sign today you won’t fly, your beautiful wings clipped by this life. Another day, another way, spread those wings and you’re gonna fly high. Everything will be fine. Just wait and see.” ~Fierce Bad Rabbit
The point is you don’t have to be victim of circumstance. You don’t have to buy in to the “Monday” cliche.
The kind of life you experience is up to you. You don’t have to have a bad day just because things aren’t going your way. And when you do have a bad day, because sometimes that happens, you can wake up tomorrow and have a better day.
It’s not too late to set yourself up for a great day
Why wait for a few setbacks to do damage control? I also have some tips for making every day a great day! Why not start the day right? Even if it’s the middle of the day, you can restart your day.Join the Conversation
I read an article listing the top things never to say to your boss. It was a ridiculous article that focused on the boss’s needs and made employees sound like whiny self-centered complainers, which in my professional experience this is very rarely the case.
The vast majority of people I’ve worked with throughout my career have been hard-working and dedicated employees with frustrations, struggles, and occasionally negative phrasing that is the result of bad habits not a bad attitude.
For most of us, staying on good terms at work is important, but viewing work as work and putting your boss’s needs in front of your own is not the way to live a balanced, happy, and healthy life.
Instead, I take care of myself first and do no harm to others. When I focus on me instead of everyone else, I am a better employee and a better person. When I manage my mental, emotional, and physical health I am successful in just about anything I do!
I’m going to take the focus off what your boss wants to hear and consider common phrases that don’t show you at your best. It’s not about your boss- it’s about you. This is your life, don’t you want to rock it?! Hell yeah!
6 phrases to avoid in the workplace
Assuming you’re a conscientious employee with a few bad habits, let’s take a look at some phrases that don’t show you for the awesome employee you really are!
Saying no can be a good thing, but saying “I can’t” to imply you’re not capable is unfair and untrue. (You can!)
Many years ago I would often say “I can’t” and then go on to do the thing I said I couldn’t possibly do. Unfortunately even proving myself wrong wasn’t enough to give me confidence- I had to believe in myself first.
Believe you can do anything you decide to you- you may not do it expertly, you may not even do it well, but you CAN do it!
This may be a stupid question…
Don’t call yourself stupid and you won’t appear less intelligent than you really are. When you make self-deprecating statements other people may start to see you that way. Worse yet, you may start to see you that way!
I’m here to tell you you are not stupid! No matter who you are, you’ve got smarts! You’ve got skills! You’ve got talents! Don’t sell yourself short.
I’m sorry to bother you…
You are important and so is anything you have to say. Starting off a conversation by suggesting your presence is an annoyance is undervalues your contributions in your workplace and can set a negative tone for the conversation that follows.
If you approach a co-worker and you truly feel you need to justify the interruption try, “please excuse the interruption”. Simple, effective, and respectful to you and the person you’re talking to.
Did you hear…
Anything you’ve got to say that starts with “did you hear” is usually just gossip. Maintain your good reputation with customers and co-workers by sharing your news, not anyone else’s. If it’s not about you, don’t talk about it. You’ll be more successful focusing on making the best of your day instead of focusing on what happened to someone else.
Don’t tell anyone, but…
This goes right along with “did you hear” and “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this”. Just don’t go there! You’re too awesome for gossip and any topic that is confidential needs to be kept that way. Keep the focus on yourself and your work and you’ll make great contributions to your workplace!
Complaining focusing on everything that’s wrong in your workplace and sets a negative tone to your workday. Sure, there are frustrations and annoyances at work but that’s what you talk about, that’s what you’ll keep getting. Stop complaining and you’ll enjoy work more!
3 awesome phrases to use often in the workplace
You’re awesome and you know it! Here’s some positive phrases that will boost your professional satisfaction and enhance your career success!
Gratitude can make every day a great day. Being thankful benefits you as much as it others. Gratitude helps you gain perspective and reminds you there’s something good in every day.
If someone did great, tell them! Everyone appreciates having their hard work acknowledged and it’s a great way to create a supportive, positive, and friendly workplace!
How can I help?
Being of service to others benefits you in more ways than one! When you help others you have the opportunity to share your expertise and become known as an authority on that topic. You also become part of a community that will no doubt help you some time in the future. Helping others is also a great way to expand your experience and grow by applying your expertise to new areas.
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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