The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
You can jump ship from your job, but if you do so without mastering this step you will miss out on the best opportunity to practice the skills needed to find happiness in your next venture.
Change Your Approach
How fortunate are you to have a job? What can you be grateful for? A steady paycheck, the ability to pay your bills, and going out to eat every so often are luxuries that many lack.
If you can develop a habit of gratitude that permeates each and every day, you will perform better, create stronger and more valuable relationships, and experience greater happiness.
Whether you are hoping to secure a different job, negotiate a remote work arrangement, start your own business, or simply retire early, if you are a miserable person now you will still be a miserable person after.
Part 1 of this series was about being excellent and defining your goal. This next step is not about throwing in the towel on that goal, it’s about developing the skills to make life work for you, regardless of your conditions so that you can weather the challenges to come.
Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
– John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach
- Practice gratitude. Grab a scrap paper and write down everything you appreciate about your job and what it affords you.
- Communicate appreciation. This is what cements gratitude in place, the reinforcement that comes from sharing it. Thank your boss for the opportunity to take on that next project. Thank your colleague for being a sounding board.
- Identify your strengths. What do you do well in your job? What do you do better than anyone else at the company? What parts of your job do you enjoy doing well?
- Flex your muscle. Force yourself to stretch and produce even better results at what you enjoy doing well in your job. Stand out. Experience the pride and growth.
- Practice negotiation. As you begin to stand out in your strengths, start negotiating for small concessions. Perhaps you can become so valuable in these areas that your boss will shift your boring or tedious assignments to somebody else.
These steps can be applied in any work situation, even if you are a freelancer, work off-site, or work for yourself. They also don’t need to be a step within a grand plan of escaping 9-5. These are the steps that 1% of the workforce applies everyday in order to create meaningful careers while their colleagues grumble and aim for mediocre.
By putting these steps into action, you focus your energy toward positive growth and change, rather than action triggered by self-pity or entitlement. You will also learn to adapt to any situation life throws your way.
In what ways can your purpose, as defined in part 1, be fulfilled within your current job?