Editor’s note: This is a guest article by Stuart Mills
“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice and need.” ~Voltaire
How many times have you been talking about work with someone, and these words (in some way) pop up: “I hate my job.”
I’d bet ‘a lot’. A lot of people openly admit that they hate their jobs and that they would quit if they could afford to. They won’t admit this to their superiors, but they’ll admit it to just about anyone else within earshot. Why are they so open? What do they hope to gain by announcing that they don’t like their jobs and their manager’s a bad piece of work? Beats me.
Everyone has to work, otherwise you wouldn’t get anywhere in life. I see people who are 43 years old and still living with their parents because they can’t find a job. Rubbish, there’s no such thing as ‘can’t find a job’, rather, they’re too lazy to get up and look for a job. They let their parents cover their needs, and let the world keep turning. This is not the way towards satisfaction in life.
I Can’t Get No Job Satisfaction
Why don’t more people enjoy their work? Satisfaction comes from spending the hours of your day in ways that truly fulfill you, and you spend a large portion of your day at work, so I’d say ‘job satisfaction’ is pretty important. Yet, a lot of people seem content in finding a job that doesn’t challenge them and doesn’t excite them, only to pick up a decent pay check at the end of each month. They act as if money is the most important thing in the world.
Well if that’s the case, why don’t they find a job with more money?
Benefits of Job Satisfaction
It’s very important that your job satisfy you in some way, due to the benefits you’ll receive. The benefits of job satisfaction are many, here are four that come to mind:
1. Promotes a healthy, balanced lifestyle, keeping stress levels to a minimum.
2. Fosters pride in your work, knowing that you’re doing something good.
3. Motivates you to get out of bed earlier, with more spring and energy.
4. Makes it easier to focus on more than just the money.
I could go on, but now we dive into the important part of this article: the ‘how-to’!
How to Find Job Satisfaction
Here are five tips that I’ve found, that will work towards greater job satisfaction for you:
1. People Need You. If you find yourself wondering why you’re even bothering to do this work when no one seems to appreciate what you do, then don’t fret. There’s always someone who relies on you, no matter what type of work you do.
The public rely on the toilet cleaners to keep the toilets fresh. The public rely on the trash-men to remove their unwanted garbage. The public rely on the fast-food trainee to provide them with easy, stress-free food. No matter what job you have, there are always people out there that rely on you to do your job right. And usually, if you don’t do your job, then they will suffer for it.
So recognize that there are those who need you to do a good job. People depend on you to deliver the goods and to be consistent about it. Please don’t let them down.
2. Plan Out Your Day. Often, we’ll find a day disappears as quickly as it arrived because we got bogged down with minor chores and emergencies that kept appearing. These minor fires mean we don’t get to tackle the much bigger fires, which would give us a lot more satisfaction.
What’s the best way to deal with this? Plan out your day. At the end of your shift, decide what ‘major fires’ need putting out tomorrow, what big things could be tackled to improve you and your company. Plan out when you’ll tackle these major issues, and then stick to that plan no matter what little embers may pop up. You need to make sure your time is your own, so that you won’t lose it by running around aimlessly.
Every day, we’re given a bucket of water. Don’t waste it on small embers, use it to put out the big fires.
3. Mix It Up. Consistency is a good thing to have at work. But what isn’t good to have is the same routine, day after day after day. It drags you down, it makes you tired early in the day, and it kills any motivation you have for the job.
Here’s a splash of cold water in the face: mix it up! Do something different! Step out of your routine and take a fresh look at things. What’s driving you to boredom? What has gone past its sell-by-date and needs to be ditched? Get rid of that which no longer works. Minor chores can be ditched, pointless re-arranging can be dumped. Inject some variety into your days, even if it’s something as simple as taking a different route to work.
Decide on three things that you could introduce to your work that would mix it up. Then do them! Don’t delay in this, the longer you put it off, the more the old routines will look tempting again. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
4. Talk With Your Colleagues. It amazes me sometimes how little some people actually know about their work colleagues. There’s ‘Dave’, and ‘Sue’ and ‘Bill’ and Jane’, but go beyond their first names, and there’s a gap. It seems that when asked, we don’t know that much at all!
Your colleagues are not robots. They’re other human beings too, breathing and talking and trying to make a living, just like you. So treat them as human beings. Get inquisitive. Get to know them a bit better each day by asking a different question, or by starting a new topic. Share experiences with them, and they’ll realize that you’re human too, and that it’s OK to talk with each other about something other than work.
The more you know about your colleagues, the more you can relate to them, and the more interesting your job becomes.
5. Take Pride. This work that you spend so many hours a day doing, there’s something personal about it that only you can claim. It was done by you.
Warren Buffett said, “There will never be a greater you, than you” and he spoke the truth. Only you can put your own stamp on the work you do. Only you can be truly satisfied with the work you do. So take pride in this work, and see that no-one else can do the job as well as you can.
Every day is a chance to do something great. So do great work, in the way that only you can.
I Want to Hear From You
I’m going to ask you a few questions now:
How do you feel about your job? Are you satisfied?
If not, then what is it specifically that you are dissatisfied with?
Share your stories in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.