Do you know anyone who hates their job? It’s true what they say: Mondays are fine, it’s your life that sucks. But another truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way.
This past January, I was on my annual “retreat” in the Bahamas, when I met Jay – one of the local beach vendors. For the sake of his privacy, I’ve changed his name in this post. Jay has worked the beach for 27 years (and counting), trying to sell tours and excursions to the tourists. Truth be told, I never bought into his deal. I didn’t see the point of paying any amount of money to someone taking me from one beautiful beach to another equally beautiful beach, even though the boat ride in between might have been fun. I told Jay this outright, and he looked me straight in the eye, and said “I like you. In 27 years, no one has given me that straight up answer”.
Watching Jay work the beach for a few days, I noticed he gets to deal with a lot of negativity – even rudeness a few times. Some of the tourists don’t dignify his lively greeting with a response. They just ignore him. Every time he gets one of tho “no’s”, he walks away and mumbles (or yells, depending on the time of day), “I’m sick of this shit”. After 27 years of working the beaches in Paradise, a position many office workers may envy, Jay is sick of it. I’m sure I’ll see him next year again.
Two Tonnes of Mined Coal
Does your job allow you to make a difference? Everyone starting out with their career seems to be looking for “real jobs” and that’s cool. However, that shouldn’t affect you from making a difference – making a positive impact on your community through the work you do. Most companies use their employees for that they can do right now. As long as you do your job well, nobody really cares about your goals and ambitions. That kind of workforce is expendable – it’s sad but it’s the reality. The motto these companies live by is simple:
On average it takes two tons of mined coal before you get a good diamond.
That means, unfortunately, some industries burn through a lot of coal looking for diamonds that are already there – maybe just a bit undeveloped.
Real success lies in the connecting of goals. If a company can successfully align their business goals with the personal goals of their employees, they can almost manage their staff on auto-pilot. All of a sudden, people don’t need external motivators (whether a carrot [reward] or punishment [stick]) to come to work. They just show up because they want to be there. If that sounds like a utopia, you may want to revise your management style or hiring approach.
Reality, as I’ve experienced in North America, is different. I saw a post on LinkedIn the other day, where someone I considered very successful mentioned he was looking for a job. I didn’t know any better or he was working successfully as a small entrepreneur, helping other business owners. In reality, he hadn’t been doing as well as social media appearances suggested – to the point where, this one day, he requested his network to support him in finding a full time position somewhere. I was shocked at first, and then connected him with some local recruiters I know.
Why do companies pretend to care about their employees with a “work / life balance” – and why do we sustain that imbalance through perfect appearances on social media? Social media experts now advocate to not look at your social media posts first thing in the morning because the “perfect appearances” of other people’s lives on your timeline may have a depressing effect – thus negatively impacting your day from the start. The motto of my social media class is to share what matters – especially as an independent entrepreneur. People aren’t looking to connect with picture perfect stories of your world, but they’re looking for the raw, real image of what you actually care about.
Maybe you were recently laid off – or otherwise looking for your next opportunity? In my Happiness book I share my unusual approach to finding happiness at or in the work you’re doing. Contrary to popular (irresponsible) advice, I don’t recommend you quit your job to follow the dream. Instead, do something now that you’re passionate about – whether at work, or at home: it’s about adding, not removing, streams of income to your life. It’s a mindset that has eventually become the foundation for my Financial Freedom masterclass. The mindset boils down to three key ingredients:
- You have to be willing to help people
- You have to be coachable
- You have to be a hard worker.
Curious to learn more?
The Freedom Project Happiness is really a book about work. Which for a lot of people doesn’t equate to happiness. That’s why this book is an unusual book about work. And that’s why you’ll want a copy of it – because in the end, everybody wants happiness.Get Happiness
“I absolutely love this book. It’s rare to find such honest advice in such an easily readable and accessible format. This book, which is full of wisdom on what really matters to be truly happy is destined to become a classic.”
Jack Canfield – coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series and The Success Principles™