Admit it, every Sunday around 7pm, you get a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You get a little more tired, a little more irritable, and you’ve completely forgotten the euphoric feeling of emancipation you felt just 48 hours earlier. You either go to bed early to store up enough sleep to get you through tomorrow, or you stay up late to savor your last fleeting moments of freedom for the next five days. No matter your ritual, you eventually and begrudgingly call it a night.
You awake to find it is now Monday mourning, and you have five more days of drudgery awaiting you until Friday. Its a vicious cycle.
You’re not alone. Let’s face it, most people don’t like their job. No matter what role you hold in your organization, understand that most of your colleagues, managers, and subordinates are looking for a better opportunity. According to Careerbuilder, 75% of full time employees are considering or actively seeking another job. Because like you, they hate Monday’s too. Here a just a few of the top reasons you hate your job:
- You are settling for a job that doesn’t fit your skill set or passion.
- You don’t feel valued by your organization or direct supervisor.
- You don’t feel challenged or have not been given a chance to grow in your role.
- Your workload is unmanagable.
- The people advancing ahead of you appear to be better at politics than their job.
- You don’t make enough money.
These are all very valid reasons to look for a new job, but I’d like to offer a different perspective. Our microwave, instant gratification culture is also to blame for our unhappiness at our job. Culture tells us that we are supposed to get bored quickly, move to the next shiny fun thing, or blame others for our situation. We seemed to have to have lost the ability to tough it out anymore.
The ground has shifted under our collective feet and many haven’t felt it. This new reality has emerged unnoticed by the masses; hustle is the new currency.
I have screened, interviewed, hired, trained, supervised and evaluated thousands of people across 6 industries thus far in my career. One of the skills I’ve developed is the ability to recognize hustle. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that most people nowadays don’t possess it. People do not know how to grind it out to get what they say they want. Many people are profoundly inefficient in their work process, they lack grit, and don’t work as hard as they give themselves credit for. I’ve also observed that many people with years of “experience” in a job have only actually gained 1-3 years of experience but have repeated that experience over and over again for a period of years or decades. They have in effect stopped learning and growing.
If you do hate your job and want out, here are 6 questions to ask yourself before you mentally check out at your job that will also help you to transition with a good conscience.
- Am I taking full ownership of my roles and responsibilities? Are you taking your position description, accountabilities, and KPI’s (key performance indicators) seriously?
- Am I doing my absolute best work? Even if you’d rather be doing something else, don’t steal from your employer by not giving your best. Manage your attitude. Pull your own weight. It is your ethical responsibility.
- Am I taking initiative to go above and beyond? Production in any workplace is expected. You were hired to produce. The execution of going above and beyond however, is worshipped. When your salary is based on time (the time your butt is supposed to be in your chair) and not the results you produce, this is actually pretty easy. Find 3 ways to go above and beyond. Do one above and beyond task on Monday (while everyone else is complaining), another on Wednesday (while everyone is distracted by celebrating humpday and wishing for Friday), and Friday afternoon (since everyone else has been checked out since lunch). Do this and you will stand out.
- What new trends have I noticed in my workplace or industry? What industry books, publications, blogs and other content have you read? Do you know what challenges face your industry generally, and your organization specifically? What have you noticed that nobody else seems to be paying attention to?
- What personal growth have I achieved and what connections have I made that will add value to my organization? Are you actively seeking opportunities to grow your skill set and mindset? Are you networking to expand your circle of influence? If not, start. The networking could also set you up for your next move.
- What is the quality of your communication? How are you perceived by your peers? Are you associating with the best and most productive people at your job? Are you managing up?
If you improve at your job, your job will improve. This will gain you more influence, and this influence will net you more opportunity. Grow where you’re planted but also recognize if and when the soil is bad. If you’ve done all you can and your situation is not improving, then perhaps its time to move on. You have 2080 Monday mornings in the 40 years of your working life; you owe it to yourself realize that you can choose to enjoy or dread them.
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