Last night I was doing dishes and dropped my Scrub Daddy (freaking awesome, btw) to pick up another dish. This is how it landed:
I thought this was funny because the Scrub Daddy is trying to smile but clearly so worn out. I immediately thought of the time when I could have easily admitted “I hate my job!” It was years ago when I worked for someone who had a different level of integrity and value system than I had. I was worn down. I was mentally exhausted. I went to work knowing I might get yelled at. I spent too much of my time acting as a barrier between the boss and my team, just to protect my team. The last thing I needed was “I hate my job” to echo through my team.
My team was awesome.
When they started to leave I would tell them, “You have to do what’s best for you and your family. I totally respect that, and I support you in leaving this company.” It was hard but that’s how I honestly felt. Even if we had a great company, if they found something that was that much better, and better for where they were at, then I supported them. I wasn’t selfish enough to think they had to stay just for me, or the company.
But I was so worn down.
I wouldn’t leave because, well, I’m not sure why. I wasn’t mature enough in my profession to realize that I needed to leave because that was what was best for me and my family! I was too loyal, to hopeful, and felt a sense of responsibility to my team. I stayed for them. I stayed for my customers. I stayed for the future of what we were working on. I don’t think I ever really said “I hate my job” but I certainly had a hard time with my boss.
I stayed because I was loyal.
Eventually, things changed. They were supposed to be great changes but due to a few twists and turns things just got worse. Relationships I had created before my boss came along started to get tainted. Actually, the taint wasn’t a gradual thing. It literally happened overnight. The bad brand my boss had were somehow imposed on me, and people I had good relationships with treated me the way the should have treated him (with distrust, dislike, etc.). And then I’m sure I looked, or at least felt, like this:
These pictures, by the way, are from doing dishes last night. I thought it was so funny how the Scrub Daddy landed, but then immediately thought about all the people who go to a job they dislike and put on a good face… but we can see through it, can’t we?
“I Hate My Job”
If you can admit that, and it’s a chronic problem (not just one time when you are having a bad day), that’s a big step. I’m not talking about whining about it, or the natural tendency to say what everyone else seems to be saying. I’m talking about having an honest conversation with yourself.
Hate is a strong word. If you really hate your job you need to look at making some changes. Maybe you change your skillset to change your role (better pay, better work environment?). Maybe you change teams to get a different boss. Maybe you change companies or industries to get a change of scenery.
If things aren’t changing around you then things need to change within you.
“I hate my job” isn’t the only sign that things need to change. Have you ever said or thought this:
“I’ll Be Happy When…”
“I’ll be happy when” is perhaps as dangerous as “I hate my job.” I’ll be happy when I get this project done. I’ll be happy when I get a raise. I’ll be happy when that jerk leaves our team. I’ll be happy when, when, when.
I’ve played this game. It’s a dangerous game. What I’ve found is one of two things happen:
The changes don’t ever happen. I was going to be happy when some significant event happened, but years passed and the event never happened. I kept moving my happiness goal posts out…. I’d just wait it out. But “when” became “later” and “later” became “never” and that meant I was never going to be happy.
I should not have let “when” determine when I could be happy.
The other thing I’ve seen happen is the event actually does happen… but you aren’t happy! You haven’t been practicing having happiness, joy, contentment, or satisfaction, and so when the thing happens you don’t know how to be happy, joyful, content, or satisfied!
I learned from a wise person that if you want to be happy when that thing happens, you really need to practice being happy now. Either as you go without, or as you anticipate the change, or whatever.
I think that is one of the most important life lessons I’ve ever learned.
“That’s Not My Job!”
This is so cliche but I swear I heard just last week. Few phrases make me want to vomit like this one does. The reason I include it here, along with “I hate my job” and “I’ll be happy when” is that this phrase is usually uttered by people who are unhappy in their job.
“That’s not my job” can be a legitimate response, for sure. Sometimes there are systems, processes, and rules in place to protect people from harm, injury, liability, etc. If something is not your job and you get involved, without the proper training or equipment, someone could die.
But most of the time when I’ve heard “That’s not my job” it’s been from someone who is apathetic, doesn’t care, and knows doing something will not benefit them at all. They couldn’t care less about their own job, really. Just show up, get a paycheck, go home.
Hey, if that’s you, and how you choose to do this adulting thing, more power to you.
But if this is attitude is sifting into your life and you are overall just unhappy, I invite you to step up and move on. Leave your job if you hate it. There are other opportunities, other bosses out there.
Life might feel super long but it’s too short to go to a job you dread.
If your face looks like either of the scrubbies I posted above, fix your situation.
I didn’t fix my situation by myself. I hung in there, I tried, I fought for my team.
And then I was let go and forced to fix it. #painful