Why It's Essential To Do Your Best In A Job You Aren't Passionate About
Every one of us can say we have worked in a job that we weren’t passionate about. I’ve worked in several jobs that were just that – jobs. My first “real” job was essentially a customer service role, and if you’ve worked in customer service than you can appreciate the difficulty of this type of work.
I wasn’t passionate about the work, I didn’t have a talent for the work, but I still succeeded. Why? Because I always created work that I could be proud of.
Why bother working hard if you want to find another job?
You owe it to yourself to do your best at the job you are in – because that’s the job that is paying you – but also because you are going to need your colleagues down the road.
The people you work with will recognize that you are a go-getter, a hard worker, talented – whatever phrase you prefer. It is extremely likely that those very same people will help your career in the future, in ways you never would expect. Don’t underestimate the power of making connections, even if these connections are not in a field or at a company you want to stay in… those people might be thinking the same thing and chances are at least one of them will cross your path again!
Here are the ways I keep myself motivated to do my best work when I don’t want to:
I remind myself that having a positive attitude makes life easier.
Positivity is an essential element of success. It influences every aspect of our lives. Next time you are feeling negative about a daunting task, stop for a moment to reframe the situation. What positives do you see in completing this task? Sometimes the only positive is that it’ll be behind you… but that might be just enough to get you moving! Your mindset shapes your reality.
I do the work I don’t want to do first.
The longer you have something on your to-do list that you are ignoring, the worse it feels. When I catch myself putting something off, I take a moment and think about what it will take to get the task finished – then I go fill up my coffee and begin. More often than not the task ends up being way less painful than I expected. Check out the book The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins for help on this one!
I focus on one task at a time.
When I have a lot of work ahead of me that I’m not excited about, I chunk the work into small, manageable pieces and focus on doing my best on one “piece” at a time. Once I’ve completed one task, I get a feeling of accomplishment and relief which makes moving to the next task a little easier. It also helps to write a list and cross each task off once completed – there is something about crossing things off a list that is just so satisfying!
I always have a goal that I’m working towards.
If you are unsatisfied with your career than this one is essential. You need to decide what you want to do and make a plan for how you’ll do it. That plan may not end up how you imagined but you will certainly be making movements towards a more satisfying life.
Most importantly – I remain grateful.
Regardless of your situation, there will always be someone struggling more than you. Although it might feel good in the moment, wallowing about your misfortune is never going to make it better – it’ll just keep reminding you how unhappy you are. Find at least one reason to be thankful each day and really feel the gratitude. I was at an event recently where the speaker, Lauren Coyle, Division Vice President at a company called DaVita said something that stopped me in my tracks. She said, “We are in the 1/2 of 1% of people on this earth who get to choose what we do every day – don’t waste that gift”.
By doing your best, you are proving that you are committed to yourself. Any job or career is going to have its ups and downs and by creating work you can be proud of when you are in a “down” proves that you’ll shine even brighter when you are in an “up”.
I am living proof that this works. I was able to move on from my first job because I did my best every day and proved to my colleagues that I was capable. The relationships I built there have had a direct impact on the opportunities that followed. After I had my daughter I decided I did not want to work full time anymore and I was able to find an amazing job (that hadn’t even been defined yet, nor been advertised for) where I could do what I love and work from home part time. And how did I find this amazing job? A former colleague recommended me…
That recommendation came because I proved myself worthy – even when I wasn’t passionate.
We’ve all found ourselves in a job that we realize isn’t what we want to do for the rest of our lives… so what is your plan to find one that you do?