It’s been a few years since I’ve had a job that really leaves me feeling as though I’ve both accomplished and learned something at the end of the day. For my first job out of college I was lucky enough to work with a supportive and inspiring team of people, many of which I’m still in touch with today. I loved the work and my co-workers even more. But being my first entre into the working world I was mistakenly under the impression that most offices operated under a similar philosophy with the open,warm and close-knit environment I had become accustomed to. I could not have been more wrong.
As I moved and bounced around to a few different companies, I slowly found myself jaded by the burned out, overworked and underappreciated co-workers around me. I am someone, for better or worse, that is hugely impacted by the energy and mood of those around me. While I almost always try to perform to the best of my abilities and rarely turn in work that is not up to par, it’s so difficult to stay motivated and positive when those around you look miserable and spend the day talking about how much they hate their work.
At my last job, work really started to feel like
torture work, in fact just getting out of the bed and making it to the office every day felt like a job in itself. While the decision to leave wasn’t exactly a tough choice, the decision to move into my current role was. I was intimidated, insecure and most of all petrified to fail.
Admittedly, the learning curve was pretty high, and I still have a lot to learn, but for the first time in a long time, I really like what I do. I have pride in my work and most of all feel proud to work for my company. While I can already sense the tidal wave of work that’s heading my way I’m excited, feel up to the challenge and know I have colleagues and supervisors who truly want me to succeed.
The thing is, I never realized how much an impact having a job that I really
hated didn’t like was having on my life. Although I invest 10 times more energy into my current position, and feel a lot more pressure to perform, at the end of the day I’m left feeling surprisingly energetic. My last job left me feeling drained, exhausted, unmotivated and worst of all disposable. I didn’t feel any a sense of ownership for my work and felt little support or commandery from co-workers.
Now, not only do I feel professionally and intellectually satisfied at the end of the day, but I feel happy. I’m happy that I enjoy what I do, I’m happy that I work for a company I believe in and I’m happy that I go to work everyday with people I enjoy spending time with, inspire me raise the bar and push me to consistently give more.
The thing is, I didn’t realize how unhappy I was until I decided to stop going through the motions and make some changes in my life. No, things aren’t perfect and again they probably never will be. I still get stressed and anxious at work, I’m sure I will discover things that I find less than perfect about my job down the road, and some days I still may want to kick off my heels, pour myself a glass of wine and sit on the couch all evening but that’s OK because all in all, I actually enjoy what I do.
So like myself, you may have heard it a million times and may want to roll your eyes at the mere mention of it, but work doesn’t always have to feel like work. We spend too many hours of our lives working to hate what we do or who we do it with. If you’re not happy do something else. Even if it takes months to make the change, make it. It’s worth it. It’s worth the fear, uncertainty and insecurity you may feel because when it comes down to it, if you have the opportunity to do what you love, do it.