In this episode you will learn
- how to know if you should quit your job – immediately!
- what to do if you are feeling bored at work
- what to do if you aren’t planning to stay in your job long-term
- four reasons to give your best at work, regardless of what you are being paid!
Mentioned in this podcast
In this podcast I mention my father, Peter. Dad was a professional landscape artist for 25 years. These are two of his paintings:
Links mentioned in this podcast
Join me on Facebook! Andrew Matthews – Author
The Being Happy Podcast #2
Enjoying Your Work
This is The Being Happy! Podcast number 2: And the topic: Enjoying Your Work.
And to those of you who have already posted comments about this podcast in iTunes, thank you for that.
And a big “Hello” to everyone in the Philippines – “Hi” to everyone that came to hear me speak when I was in Manila recently. You guys have been joining my Facebook page in thousands. Thank you.
And if you haven’t seen my Facebook page, it is Andrew Matthews – Author. I post happiness tips and I post my cartoons.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I stay in this job I’m in or should I look for something else?”
Or have you asked yourself, “How do you enjoy a job that is boring or repetitive?” or the really big question, “What should I do with my life?”
Perhaps you feel stuck where you are – right now – and maybe you are wondering, “Should I move. Should I quit?” Should I just toss in my office job and join a rock band?”
Let’s start with the extreme situation. What if you absolutely hate your job? Here’s a clue if you need to quit your job today …If you are being bullied or abused at work and you see no way to change things, you need to get out. Now.
Every day that you spend in a toxic workplace is sabotaging your happiness and sabotaging your future.
Some workplaces are unacceptable.
If your boss is asking you to cheat people – if you are selling used cars that are dangerous or miracle cures that don’t work or apartments that don’t exist, you need to get out.
You say, “But I need to pay my bills.”
If the workplace is poisonous, it is destroying you, Get out.
Better to work anywhere else – clean windows or scrub floors for half the money. When you respect yourself, other people respect you. When you make a stand, life gets better.
People treat you as you treat you.
The more common situation is that our workplace is terrible – but we are just dissatisfied – a bit bored – feeling stuck.
If you feel frustrated or unhappy at work – whether you’re a chicken plucker or a brain surgeon, your best strategy is … GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT. That’s my first tip.
The key to enjoying your work is to DO IT THE BEST YOU CAN. You say, “But my colleagues don’t do their best!” That’s not your problem.
You say, “But I’m underpaid.” That is irrelevant.
You say, “My boss never notices my good work.” That’s not uncommon.
You say, “Well, this job is only temporary. I am planning to leave here in 6 months.” It doesn’t matter if you are planning to leave on Friday.
The only way to feel good about yourself today is to give it all you’ve got today. You know that already.
Remember back to when you were at school – you were nine years old – remember how good you felt walking to school when you had done all your homework and done it the best you could and it was there in your little bag.
How good you felt just because you had done your best. You had an extra spring in your step. It is the same today. It doesn’t matter whether you are nine or whether you are sixty-nine.
So the first reason to do your best at work is because it makes YOU HAPPIER. It’s about self-respect.
You say, “But my job is just so repetitious!” It’s boring. Almost every job is repetitious.
If you’re a doctor, you study maybe eight – or ten years and eventually one day you get to hang up your little sign that says, “Doctor.”
In comes your first patient, and you say:
“How are you this morning?”
They say, “I’m sick.”
Next patient. “How are you this morning?”
Next patient. “How are you this morning?”
You say to yourself, “Wah, how long does this go on?!”
Forever. You’re a doctor.
If you’re Novak Djokovic, you hit tennis balls, they come back, five hours a day.
You hit balls, they come back. You say what is this? It’s tennis. It is repetition.
All jobs are about repetition. Life equals repetition. And there really is only one way that you will ever deal with it. And that is that you get up every day and say, “Today, I am going find a way to be more effective, more creative, more caring, better than I was yesterday – and I’m going to enjoy it.
You’re not always successful, but it’s your aim.
People who love their work are simply trying to be better at it every day. It doesn’t matter whether you are a taxi driver a taxidermist … or a dermatologist.
Very often, we don’t need a change of job. What we need is a change of philosophy – or we can call it a change of attitude.
Happiness comes from doing your best at whatever is in front of you.
Teachers, parents, bosses tell us to do our best—but we don’t do our best for them, we do it for us.
Miserable people do as little as possible – as if conserving their energy will somehow make them happier. It doesn’t work.
People who enjoy their work wake up every day saying: “Today, I am going to be better today than I was yesterday.” They don’t always hit the bulls-eye but that’s their aim.”
So when you do your best, you are happier.
Three more reasons to give your best.
#2 It’s how you develop your skills, it’s how you become more useful.
So long as you are showing up for work, you might as well get good at what you do.
Be the best bricklayer, be the best banker, be the best pastry chef … be the safest airline pilot – that’s useful.
You say, “But they are only paying me for an average performance.” That’s not the point. You feel the reward of a job well done. The money is a bonus.
#3: Reason three to give your best.
You develop a reputation.
Maybe you are only planning to stay in your job for another week. But while you are there, develop a reputation where other people say, “This guy is an expert. This lady is amazing.”
You say, “But I’m underpaid.” That’s irrelevant.
Here’s the thing about developing a reputation: John McCormack said: “Do more than you are paid for now … and one day you’ll be paid for more than you do.” My wife Julie and I have been employing people in our business for 30 years. We’ve seen all the wonderful resumes.
When Julie and I want a personal secretary or assistant, we start calling our friends,
“Can you recommend anyone? Who do you know that might want to work for us?” We employ by reputation, not by resumes. When you have a reputation, someone, sometime, will notice you and offer you a better position.
Here’s what people who are looking for work sometimes forget. Bosses employ you for one reason: to solve their problems. Every boss has problems: he needs someone to sell cars or serve coffee, he needs someone to teach kids or to fly aeroplanes or dig holes.
Bosses don’t employ you because you have been out of work and they feel sorry for you. Companies don’t employ you so that you can feed your kids.
They employ you because they need something fixed, solved, handled and if you have a reputation for fixing more problems than you create they will grab you. If you have a reputation for creating more problems than you fix – then you will need a very good resume!
Reason #4 to do your very best when working for someone else:
When you are skilled and you have a reputation … you can go off and do your own thing – if you want to, you can work for yourself, be your own boss.
Now, you can’t do that in every case – if you are a banker, it’s not easy to start your own bank or your own airline.
But in many professions, you can develop your skills and your reputation while working for someone else – and then go work for yourself – and that’s an exciting prospect.
And much better to be brilliant at what you do before you start your own business – for obvious reasons.
I love the story of Nick the immigrant – and how he got his first job in America.
True story – I tell it in my book Follow Your Heart.
Nick had no money and spoke no English, and he applied for a dishwashing job in an Italian restaurant, in Manhattan.
Before his interview with the boss, Nick went into the restaurant’s bathroom and scrubbed it clean.
He then took a toothbrush and cleaned between every tile until the bathroom was completely spotless.
By the time Nick had his interview, the boss was trying to figure out: “What’s happened to the toilets?”
Nick was already solving the boss’s problems. It was Nick’s way of saying: “I’m serious about washing dishes.”
Nick got the job. A week later, the salad maker quit and Nick was on his way to becoming a chef.
Nick ultimately became a multi-millionaire, owned restaurants and real estate all over Manhattan.
I think of Nick and his toothbrush when people say to me: “There are no jobs out there!”
Start anywhere you can.
Give your best shot to whatever is in front of you, and opportunity will begin to find you.
It’s called developing a reputation.
It’s called “one thing leads to another.”
Sometimes we make the mistake of being too selective. We might reject a job offer, reasoning: “It’s not quite the job I want.”
If it’s all you’ve got for the moment, and you need to feed yourself grab it, master it, and watch it lead you from one thing to another.
If you have nothing big going for you, start small. Jump in the water.
Fred says, “If I had a great job, I would really work hard – but if I’ve got this lousy job so I just sleep all day!” No, Fred!
When we continually give our best, life naturally leads us toward new opportunities.
Sometimes it takes a while, but it happens.
One more thing … opportunities, job offers – and romance – usually arrive in unexpected situations with unexpected people.
It’s life’s way of reminding us to keep an open mind and pay attention!
Here’s how life works. When we wait for things, nothing happens.
The way to meet the love of your life is to be so happy living your life as a single person
that you don’t care whether you have a partner or not.
The way to find the job of your dreams – or the career of your dreams – is to be so happy every day, improving your skills, doing your best, that you don’t care whether you get offered a new position.
That’s when you are a magnet for new opportunities.
We are talking here about the principle of “unattachment” – and we will cover that in detail in another podcast.
My Dad was different to most fathers. You know how people talk about following your passion. My Dad never talked about that. He did it. He spent 25 years of his life as a successful landscape artist, creating oil paintings of the Australian outback – the mountains and the rivers and the deserts. I have put some photos of his paintings on my website: you can see them at andrewmatthews.com under Podcast #2.
At the same time as being an artist, he was a farmer. Dad didn’t farm because he had to, he raised cattle and sheep and grew crops because he loved it. 7
I grew up believing that that your career was about following your heart.
After high school I went off to law school because I thought that it would be fun. And when I discovered that law wasn’t for me, I studied classical drawing and painting – I became an artist.
And eventually that led me to writing and illustrating books about happiness – and now lots of speaking at conferences. I get to draw cartoons throughout my presentations. For me, that’s part of following my heart.
And I know that it is not always easy to land the perfect job or to find the job that you love. But until you can do what you love, do your best to love what you do. Or at least like what you do.
Enjoying your work is so important, I wrote a book about it, called Follow Your Heart.
And here’s a point that I made in the book.
That regardless of your career – or the label that you give it – it’s the people connections that matter.
You’ll notice something about good nurses – they like people even more than medicine.
There is a clue here about finding meaning in your career. THE JOB ISN’T IT!
Whatever you do for a living is simply a vehicle to connect with people.
Whether or not you are fulfilled depends on how you serve the people.
Unfortunately, “serving people” sounds like slavery or sacrifice.
It’s not. It is simply knowing that there’s joy in giving something of yourself
that is uniquely yours.
“Serving” can be teaching or nursing people. It can be selling them beautiful flowers, or repairing their radiators with a smile.
It’s not about your job description. It’s about your philosophy.
Society often evaluates careers in terms of PhDs and masters degrees, and we are in danger of missing the point. It’s the people connections.
Let’s say that you are coaching a soccer team of twelve year olds. You might love soccer, and that’s fine. But as soon as you understand that it’s not about soccer at all, then you can really do something for those kids.
You might say: “Soccer coaches don’t change the lives of twelve year olds.” 8
Wrong! Some coaches do – and they are the coaches who understand that they are teaching kids about life, and soccer is just the excuse.
Meanwhile, too many teachers tell themselves: “What do I matter? The kids don’t care about algebra.”
Of course they don’t!
If you are teaching sixth grade, your mission isn’t algebra. It is children.
If you are a sales manager, your mission isn’t profits, it’s people.
You can download the transcript for this podcast at andrewmatthews.com/podcasts
Why is it that some people always fall on their feet?
In the next podcast, Podcast # 3, we will look at the 5 Things That Successful People Do. Join me.
This Podcast is about spreading happiness. And I need your help.
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Until next time, I wish you success and happiness.
Author: Andrew Matthews
Andrew Matthews empowers audiences in 25 countries to enjoy their life and work. Andrew’s books, including “Being Happy!” and “Follow Your Heart”, have sold over 7 million copies in 43 languages.