If that old nine-to-five seems a drag, that’s mostly in your mind. All it takes is a shift in perspective. Altering your outlook puts you in control, and from then on you’re ‘upwardly mobile’ in every way that matters – so if you can't change your job, change yourself!
Never mind what was said at your last review – what do you think you can do better? If you’re working at a check-out, see how many people you can make cheerful today – and next day, break your record. Stuck at a monitor? How many emails can you clear? A sense of achievement will give you a boost.
Next time a wet Monday or stroppy boss gets you down, play the ‘what if’ game. Set aside one minute to imagine – really imagine – what it’s like for so many people in the world. Concentrate, and close your eyes. ‘What if’ you were a slave in the Middle East, working without a break in temperatures approaching 50 degrees? ‘What if’ you were stuck in a refugee camp, without water, sanitation or even privacy? This is not meant to make you feel guilty, or even grateful – it just helps to restore your perspective. When you ‘come back’ to your clean, comfortable, choice-filled world, it will seem like paradise!
Today you have been blessed in so many ways – a beautiful flower, a ray of sun, a smile from a stranger. Be in the ‘now’ and aware of all the good things in your environment. When others moan, don’t up the anti – just be understanding, and move gently onwards. Remind yourself of the positives. Actually, you are quite lucky – aren’t you?
Being in a mess makes you feel you are a mess, and that spreads outwards, so everything looks unappealing and worthless. So tidy up your workstation, your handbag/pockets and your appearance. Even if this means getting up half an hour earlier, it will be worth it for the boost you get.
It may be hard to find meaning in what you do if your day is spent on spreadsheets, scrubbing or shelf-stacking, but reflect for a moment on the ways you are improving life for other people, even if the effects are remote. Someone, somewhere, is going to benefit from your number-crunching, or from the order and hygiene you generate, or from what you provide. That applies to any job – or you wouldn’t be employed! Being a force for good is what life is all about. Let your mantra be ‘Better a super shop-assistant than a sloppy brain-surgeon!’
When all is said and done, honouring and enjoying your job doesn’t mean you have to stay in it. If you want better things, they can be yours. Just for now, make the most of what you’ve got and you’ll be making the most of yourself, which is what counts.