Let’s be honest – how many of us can say we love our job? The lucky few who follow their passion or their vocation every day and get paid for it are the people we often watch and admire and wish we could be like.
Even if like me, you’re working on getting there (I’m trying to build The Mindful Hub into something that I can create to bring so much good mindful stuff to you all – but it’s a slow process whilst still working full time), it can feel like an uphill struggle and meanwhile you need to pay the bills. But what if even if you’re not in your dream job, you could still learn to love the job you’re in? Well using a little bit of mindful magic you can. Here’s how…
1. Even if you think you don’t like your job overall, there are probably bits you do like. Are you passionate about writing copy, or engaging in meetings? Do you love your co-workers? Do you enjoy analysing and finding patterns? Are you interested in the strategic bits? Do you love looking at the finished project being created? Are you excited when you close a sale? Work out the bits of the job you do love, and aim to do more of them. Can you take on a specific project. Can you use your initiative to swap bits of your jobs with people who do the same? For example if you have two people doing a similar job on different projects, or a different part of the same organisation, can you suggest a job swap?
2. Try being kinder – one of the biggest problems people have in jobs is either a difficult boss, bitchy co-workers, or those moody people we work with that we all know are having a difficult day because they don’t stop taking it out on everyone else. Often a job would be a lot better if the people we worked with behaved differently. What if you sent compassion and kindness to your difficult boss? What would that look like? What if you bring cakes in for all your co-workers, and ask them how they’re day is going, then actually listen? Try being extra kind to the moody one. Being kind is not only nice for other people, but it’s actually good for both your physical and mental health.
3. Set yourself a goal of what you want to do or achieve – Even if you’re not in the place you want to be career/job wise right now. If you know where you want to get to, create a plan, set it in place and then set yourself milestones, so you can see the progress you’re making. Maybe you’re not ambitious, and just want a happy work environment or find it hard to work with a particular person. Maybe you’re in a time of change within the organisation and find that hard. Take some time to reflect on what you want out of work, what that could look like and what contribution you can make to put it place. By taking control you can help yourself make small changes that can make you feel very differently.
4. Meditate – This is a key one. I have a stressful job in a crisis driven sector. The one thing that helps me manage my calmness and stress is meditating every morning. Meditating is as simple as sitting quietly and concentrating on your breath, or it can be listening to music and clearing your thoughts, trying a guided meditation or listening to sounds of rain or nature. It’s essentially making time for space in your head – space without thoughts. Thoughts will come and go, that’s natural. Let them go like clouds, don’t open them up and look into them, or examine them. Let them slide by, and go back to the breath. This small practice every day, for as little as 5-10 minutes will help you manage your workday better.
5. When you’re in the bits of the day you don’t like, be curious. Explore them with open wonder, like a child would with a new toy. What is it you don’t like about this task or moment? Is it a difficult report? A stressful situation? A repetitive task? Then drop back into your body. What I mean by this is feel the weight of your self in your seat, feel your feet on the floor, bring your attention to your breath. Ask yourself is there anything wrong with this moment? Or this one? Or this one? Moment to moment it’s actually the the thoughts we think that cause us the stress and unhappiness, not necessarily the tasks we do .Tasks are just tasks – it’s our preference whether we like or dislike them. Each time you feel a thought coming that you are not happy, bring yourself back to feeling the weight of yourself sitting or standing, back to the breath and to the present. Allow yourself to examine what you are doing; what does the noise of your fingers on the keyboard sound like? How does the sound of the environment you’re working in play out? What sights can you see around you? What can you feel in your hands, under your feet as you work? By anchoring yourself in the present you are removing the thought process that tells you you’re not happy, or that you dislike your job.
Let me know if this sounds like you, and if you try and of these tips, or whether you have any of your own? I’d be really interested to hear from you.