Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Work doesn't have to be work.

Cyberdaughter from Tampa posted an interesting article on Facebook, entitled, "10 Little Habits that Steal Your Happiness".

It is a nifty little article, which doesn't go into a lot of boring details, but keeps it sweet and simple.  I'd tell you that everything talked about there is good to know.

I'd say a bit more about Number 3, "Working for nothing more than a paycheck".  In over 40 years of working at several different jobs at several different employers, some private, some government, just about the worst thing I've seen people do is to stick with a job they hate.  I had one for a while, and I got away as quickly as I could find a way.  My current job is one that I love to do and frankly, were I retired, I could do it for free!  (Just don't tell my boss!)

Forget the article's advice about, "When you design a lifestyle in which your work is something you suffer through daily strictly to pay your bills, you end up spending your entire life wishing you had someone else’s."  That's wishy washy.  Weak sauce, limp dishwater.

Instead, look at it this way, the fastest way to ruin your entire life, every relationship you've got and poison your professional reputation forever is to take a job, find out you hate it, and stay.  I've seen people who have stayed in such jobs for a decade or more, and they often see their marriages ruined, families alienated, friends run off, and to make things worse, their job performance is often so bad and their professional relationships so tainted that they couldn't move to another employer if their lives depended on it.  They remain only because they keep their performance just good enough to not get fired.  They end up hating their jobs, their boss, their coworkers, the people they ride the bus with and often the folks they see in the same restaurant every day at lunch!

To talk with such folks is poison to the rest of us.  They are cynical, unpleasant, and often have little good to say about anyone, and you end up walking away wondering what they will say about you to the next unfortunate soul who stops by and gets caught by that same rant.

My advice to you is that if you find out that you've taken a job you hate, GET OUT IMMEDIATELY.  Don't wait until your budget is so dependent on the salary that you can't afford to move.  That is suicide, and will doom you to a life of despair and unhappiness.  Go back to the last few companies that  you applied to and try again.  If you have to spend a few weeks out of a job, unless you are about to get thrown out of your living space, go ahead and quit.

Believe me, finding a job you either like a lot or just simply love is worth real, cold hard cash.  You will be happier, healthier and your professional reputation will reflect the improvement in your circumstances.  Your family will appreciate it, your marriage will not suffer (unless you turn out to be a workaholic, but that's a whole 'nuther conversation) and your health will be better and stay that way far longer.  You'll probably live longer, too, since stress is a proven killer.

But again, a word of warning, do pay attention to the folks who say not to allow your job to define who you are.  Even if you love it, IT IS JUST A JOB.  It is a means to an end, to get the money that allows you to live decently, provide for a family and have at least a reasonably pleasant lifestyle.  Letting it define you is a recipe for disaster, mentally, if your company has to downsize and you end up getting laid off.  Don't let your job get intwined with your ego!

But, if you happen to find one you love, that's a bonus worth holding on to, and something to work hard to find.  Believe me, you won't regret the extra time and trouble you had to go to in order to find it.

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