You know, I’ve never been a huge fan of going to work. Granted, most of my employment history has been taken up with numerous go-nowhere admin jobs, or a stint in a hierarchical, military-like organisation, so I’ve questioned the point of a job, and why some people are so damned happy about working. Hubster thinks (and probably quite rightly, though I’ll never admit it to him) that I’ve never found a role that suited me, or fit with my skills and intellect. So, there’s been many times when I’ve spoken, tongue-slightly-in-cheek, about how I hate work.
But that’s so negative, so full of regret. I can see how whingeing about going to work is, in a sense, wasting a part of your life. If you really loathe what you do, find something else, but if you’re just being a grumpy-negative-Nelly-pants (like me) I think a bit of positive re-framing could be in order.
Let’s look at some of my top reasons for hating work, and how to change, or re-frame our thinking and start to enjoy all the aspects of life, including working.
- You have to be there, be present
Yes, that’s right. Most of the time, work is in a different space than your own home. It involves leaving your lovely house and the people within it and heading off, sometimes in dreadful weather, sometimes on a gorgeous day, sometimes in the middle of the night, in heavy traffic or on public transport (neither are exciting or stimulating) and spending a full eight hours ‘working for the man’. Get over it.
- You can’t do your own thing
Yes, that’s right. Again. You’ve been employed to do a job. Your skills are well-suited to this job otherwise you wouldn’t have been offered the job. You’re paid to get a job done, so do it and stop whingeing about it. Sure you can have a chat, go outside to clear your head, have a ciggie (is anyone still smoking these days?) or coffee, but in reality, there’s a job to be done and you’re the person who has to do it. And, if you ignore it, most of the time the work just piles up in the work tray. Do what you’re paid to do and get over it.
- Sometimes, it’s boring
Yes, that’s right. Again. Sometimes it can be god-awful boring. What are you? A toddler who expects to be entertained 24/7? Life is not always exciting (something I tell my children all the time) and there’s always work to be done that is not, in the least, inspiring. Grow up, for goodness sake and get over it.
- Some of the people are strange or rude or f!@&tards
You’re never going to be friends with everyone in the world. And true, in the workplace you’re often sitting next to, or having a meeting with a person who you consider to be a total douchebag. You know what? Chances are that very same person thinks you’re a douchebag too, and possibly, doesn’t like to spend time with you. Idiots—or people who you deem idiots— are everywhere, even at an Under 9s indoor soccer match (a post for another day). Accept people for who they are, be kind, and get over it.
- Your boss is a ballbreaker
Your boss probably has to be a ballbreaker as he or she has had to deal with your whingeing, need for constant entertainment, and taking work time to carry out personal conversations, check your Facebook account, or even design your friend’s hen’s party invitations (yes, I have actually done this). Be kind, be sensible, be reasonable, do your job and you might find that the ballbreaker stops breaking your balls and is a really nice person.
- There’s too much work
The juggling can get too much for all of us, I know. Sometimes that work tray has grown to something beyond monstrous, and not due to point 2, as noted above. You’re doing the right thing, you’re working hard, and it still keeps coming at you. If you legitimately feel that you’re pulling your weight and working to your capacity, speak to your boss or immediate line manager to see if a temp or a part-time employee can be brought in to assist you. Make sure you go in prepared, serious and professional, not whiney. If they can see you’re doing your job and working hard, they’ll do what they can to help you. Pretty sure that no employers want to see their best workers leave the business.
- There’s too much work because others aren’t working
Unfortunately, point 6 and point 2 can be connected. It can be frustrating to see two or three colleagues head out of the office for a coffee or lunch break, leaving you to madly finish a project to its deadline. You’re the one who’s reliable and hard-working and you watch every day as others faff about. Additionally, nearly every office, certainly every one I’ve worked in, has at least one person who whinges and duckshoves their workload into someone else’s work tray. Usually yours. See point 6 about going to speak to your boss or manager, not to blab about how Betty-Sue is secretly shoving her work into your tray—you won’t sound the least bit professional (trust me, I’ve done the research), but to speak about how you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work. Perhaps your manager might even take out some of the work in your tray and put it back into Betty-Sue’s. Those higher up the chain probably know exactly what’s going on, so trust yourself and be professional.
It never hurts to re-frame your thinking, especially when there’s so much at stake. Working takes up a great deal of our life, so you might as well try to enjoy it.