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Get Away From That Crappy Job!

June 5, 2009

Recipe for Misery

Ingredients:

  • A crappy job that makes you feel miserable or at least icky
  • So much fear that you don’t ever make a change

Directions:

Do you feel like you have no purpose?  Does your job drain your energy?  Do you fantasize about what you could be doing with your life instead?  Well, if you stay in the icky job, that’s the only ingredient needed for a huge bowl of misery.  Hey, hopefully your personal life is better.

But in case you’re interested…

The three best reasons to get yourself out of hell your cubicle.

1. Um, duh, you’re very unhappy 40+ hours a week

How long have you been at this job, anyways?  A year?  Three to five years? 25 years? More? I don’t care, if you do not feel fulfilled and your job leaves you lacking energy and enthusiasm for the rest of your non-work life, it’s time to make a change.

Believe it or not, you actually have the ability to do something with your life (all parts of it, not just work) that makes you happy. You may have been taught otherwise, but I’m here to tell you whomever told you that was full of it. By “it” I mean fear. And possibly doughnuts, depending on their career choice.

Why do you continue along this path?  Do you think you can’t do anything else? Do you think your family will be upset with you?  Do you truly believe that somehow this awful job will someday bring you some satisfaction?

Take a long, hard look at why you’re willing to stay in a bad situation. Then move forward. It might not be fun because…

2. Leaving an unhappy job situation will force you to face your fears, demons, and lizards.

Sure, you may have dreamed about getting away from the insurance salesperson/perfume spritzer/hog tying position you’ve had for the last three decades, but then you freeze up with fear and never make a change.  Bad move. I’m not telling you to quit your job this very second, but if you start to explore what you’d rather do, you’re going in the right direction.  The Very Scary direction. This is what will probably happen:

You’ll start dreaming about what you really want to do with your life.  You’ll get excited.  You’ll tell other people, or maybe you won’t.  Either way, someone, whether it’s a family member, friend, coworker, or your own damn brain, is going to tell you you can’t do it.  Here’s where your “lizard” comes in.

We all have a “reptile” part of our brain.  It’s been in human brains a long, long time, and it’s all reptiles have.  Lucky us, we’ve got a bunch of other brain matter, as well, that lets us learn amazing things like how to drive stick and write dissertations and juggle flaming kittens and stuff.

This reptile brain has a basic purpose: to yell at you and tell you to run and hide or attack. Unfortunately, these days we don’t generally have much to attack or run away from, so instead this part of our brain broadcasts messages like, “YOU’RE GOING TO FAIL!”, “YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A LIVING JUGGLING FLAMING KITTENS”, and “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHOLYCRAP!!!”

Noticing these messages is the first step.  The second step is to heavily medicate yourself talk to your reptile brain everytime you get one of these messages.  If you really want to have some fun, visualize the reptile and name it something like “Lazarius the Lizard” and pet it and tell it thanks for giving you the info, but it’s time to take a nap.  The third step is to call a wonderful life coach like me to help walk you through it.

Hey, I tried, didn’t I? If you don’t want to do that, then I’d suggest picking up a good book on the subject like Martha Beck’s Steering By Starlight. If you follow the steps in the book you’ll learn how to deal with all of the people telling you not to follow your dreams, especially yourself.

If you do all that, then…

3. You will have more energy for the rest of your life, because your job isn’t sucking out the very fiber of your soul.

How do you feel when you get out of work?

This is how things went for me by the end of the work day before I started pursuing my passions and instead kept a job for the benefits, pay, and ugly shoes: At 4:30 I’d start counting down to the end of the workday.  Who am I kidding? I started counting down the end of the work day about 15 minutes after I got in every morning.  But at 4:30 I’d try really, really hard to continue doing something work related, but usually ended up making grocery lists or surfing the net or calling someone on my cell phone.

At 4:57 I’d get my bag ready, my keys out, turn off my computer, and be ready to walk out the door.  The second my watch hit 5:00:00, I was gone.  I walked hurriedly to my truck and tried to decompress on the 35 minute ride home.

By the time I walked in the door all I wanted to do was change and eat dinner.  Usually I’d cook something, and by the time we ate it would be at least 6:30 or so.  In the summer it still felt like there was time to do something else, but the rest of the year it was dark and awful and I ended up plopped in front of the TV.  And then by around 8:00 pm I’d really be dreading having to go to bed in two hours, because it meant I had to go back to work soon.  So usually I’d have some cookies or something.  Those didn’t usually help.  Maybe another one would make things better?

The evenings were a blur; I never accomplished anything, I never made any art, I never smiled.  In fact, on Sunday nights around 5:00 pm my boyfriend would say, “Uh Oh. You’ve got that sad look on your face.”  And, worse than that, when I took him to the beach for his birthday I started crying in the midst of our four-day-getaway, even though we had two more days before we had to go back. I was just so damn miserable.

Now that I am doing exactly what I want to do, I feel great! I make art, cook, write, meditate, exercise, hang out with my family, have met tons of new people, and have much, much more enthusiasm for life.  My job affected much more than just the 40 hours per week I spent there.

Does any of this sound familiar? Then it’s time to make a change.

Be Joyful!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 5, 2009 10:33 am

    To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t mind ANY job right now, crappy as it is 😛

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