For All The Job Haters Out There

Written by on 04/16/2012 in Money, Success - 4 Comments
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Job satisfaction is a tricky subject. Since over a third of your life is spent working, it’s essential to do what you love. One of my greatest fears is waking up one day and regretting a third of my life because I chose an unfulfilling career. That fear has become a reality, but only when my mindset is unrealistic. I discovered this after years of waking up at 6 am and promptly cursing my existence.

Eighty seven percent of Americans aren’t happy with their jobs. So even though my only consistent life achievement is to hate my job, I’m in good company. If you feel the same way, you are too. There are so many reasons to hate your job: 1) your job doesn’t suit you, 2) your friends are happy with their jobs, 3) your job situation isn’t improving; it’s actually getting worse, 4) the daily grind is mind-numbing, 5) you don’t like the people you work with, etc.

But one day, a mindset transformation occurred when I read the following from a well-known psychologist:

“If he keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working-day, he may safely leave the final result to itself. He can with perfect certainty count on waking up some fine morning, to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out. Silently, between all the details of his business, the power of judging in all that class of matter will have built itself up within him as a possession that will never pass away. Young people should know this truth in advance. The ignorance of it has probably engendered more discouragement and faint-heartedness in youths embarking on arduous careers than all other causes put together.” – William James, Principles of Psychology, 1890

You need to read that again and again and again until you finally get it. If you don’t, you might regret a third of your life. Let’s break down this life-changing quote into bite-sized chunks:

“If he keeps faithfully busy each hour of the working-day, he may safely leave the final result to itself.”

The “final result” is waking up at the end of your life in either blessed fulfillment or deep regret. I remember asking my Grandpa shortly before he died,

“Do you ever just get bored with life?”

He replied, “Oh no! Absolutely not. Everyday, I wake up and strictly focus on what I need to do, no matter how menial it is.”

If you become “faithfully busy”, that means you’ve developed a habit of working hard; you have no time to think that the grass is greener on the other side. You’ll also discover that true fulfillment comes through engaging in your pursuits. This happens when you faithfully work hard.

“He can with perfect certainty count on waking up some fine morning, to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.”

If you focus on what you have to do each day, you will with “perfect certainty” achieve fulfillment. Part of this fulfillment is being a competent member of society. Notice that you can do this “in whatever pursuit” you desire. The right job does not exist and even if it did, that’s not what matters; the means you employ to accomplish it matter.

“Silently, between all the details of his business, the power of judging in all that class of matter will have built itself up within him as a possession that will never pass away.”

This is the crux of the quote: “the power of judging”. That’s your wisdom and your character. This is exactly why money screws up the lives of some trust fund babies. They haven’t had to endure the hardship of employment. They haven’t had to work hard, but we shouldn’t be envious of them! We should rejoice and thank God, or whatever it is you believe in, for the opportunity to work and develop the intangible qualities of wisdom and character that “will never pass away.”

“Young people should know this truth in advance. The ignorance of it has probably engendered more discouragement and faint-heartedness in youths embarking on arduous careers than all other causes put together.”

That’s why I’m writing this article. I want to spare you the “discouragement and faith-heartedness” of hating your job. Life is fantastic and youre blessed beyond measure.

Evan Loomis, a successful entrepreneur, said, “I think people in the marketplace really need to understand that it matters to God and that he is pleased…He has placed you with this job to work out your own sanctification before him…He has given this to you as a gift to shape your character, to form virtue and to really work out the kinks in your own character.”

Even if you don’t believe in God, this is invaluable advice. No matter how badly you hate your job, if you focus on doing it well, you are becoming a better person. If you’re struggling with this and you want to read more about how to love your job, check out this book.

Challenge

Think about 3 ways your job is helping you develop character. Here’s my 3:

1. Makes me more patient

2. Teaches me to work with people I dislike

3. Helps me enjoy the weekends more

 

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4 Comments on "For All The Job Haters Out There"

  1. Hassan 04/17/2012 at 12:14 am · Reply

    It’s awesome that your grandpa was able to find the ability to work hard every day. I find it difficult when I am surrounded but so many different temptations. It becomes a major distraction. Instead of focusing on what I want, I start looking at what I don’t have.

    You ever come across this?

    • Victor
      Victor 04/17/2012 at 12:23 pm · Reply

      Hassan, that’s a great question! Yes, It’s easy for me to be distracted by what I lack, and never be content with what I have, and more importantly, what I need. The only way to fight this is by continually refocusing on what matters. It’s a struggle for me, and that’s why I shared James’ quote. It helped me refocus, and hopefully, it’ll help others too.

  2. Emily 04/17/2012 at 12:39 am · Reply

    Hey there, Mr. Mancredible!

    Thanks for the great reminder in #1 and #2 that work doesn’t just exist to make me happy but helps to make me *better*. #3 is, on a broader scale, really about being grateful, I suppose….grateful for time we don’t have to be at work and grateful for a job!

    • Victor
      Victor 04/17/2012 at 12:42 pm · Reply

      Emily, thank you for the insightful comment! You’re right. Being grateful or content for what you have is what I meant by writing, “helps me enjoy the weekends more.”

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