Do you hate your job?
Well It’s Sunday morning here in the Philippines as I write this. My websites are all running well, thank the Lord, and the sun is shining. I’m a happy camper.
In about 24 hours … actually more like 36 hours, as Monday” rolls across the time zones in the US, my traffic will pick up though. Lt’s of traffic comes to PhilFAQS on Monday and then continues much higher during the US work week.
Why? Well, of course, people are surfing from work. In many cases, their ID’s show up as work-related servers as well, so I know what’s going on out there. Do I care?
Heck no, I welcome any and all visitors. But the simple facts of life on the Internet did prompt me to write this little article. It won’t apply to all of you out there, but some may want to think through what I have to say.
It will at least, perhaps, ease the pain of a number of folks who write and tell me how unhappy they are … perhaps you can build a little happiness into your own life.
You Hate Your Job — It’s Such a Waste of Time
- 1 You Hate Your Job — It’s Such a Waste of Time
- 2 You Hate Your Job — It’s Mind Numbing
Like many of my article thoughts, this one was inspired by Trent at The Simple Dollar. I really recommend those of you still stuck in one of those old-fashioned J*O*B’s give it a read. Trent makes some good points indeed:
About twelve years ago, I had a job as a computer lab monitor at the college I attended.
The job was easy. All I had to do was go to that room during designated hours, sit at a particular desk, and answer user questions, along with a few other minor tasks such as reloading printer paper and changing print cartridges. The vast majority of the questions were very basic.
This left me with quite a bit of time where I wasn’t really doing anything but filling space.
Those hours – and there were many of them – are actually one of the biggest regrets I have of my college years. …
I was underemployed, in other words. While there was a need for someone to be sitting in that seat, most of the time there wasn’t enough actual work for me to be doing….
…. wasted our underemployment. Instead of taking advantage of open time where we’re actually being paid to just sit there and use that time for some sort of self-improvement, we just wasted that time.
I would give almost anything to have all of those wasted hours back. …
How about you? Can you look back and identify many wasted hours, days, months and years? I know I sure can.
The number of people who write me and tell me how much they “Hate their job” and how “Mind numbing” their jobs and daily grinds are really surprises me.
Some of these folks are just grousing and complaining, a normal human trait.
You Hate Your Job — It’s Mind Numbing
But many of them impress me with the fact that their lack of satisfaction, interest in what they are doing with their lives, is giving them real pain. It’s interfering with their quality of life, even their relationships, finances, etc.
In my case, since I write about retiring in the Philippines, or even moving to the Philippines before retirement, many of my readers have latched on to the idea that being able to move to the Philippines is the key to removing the pain from their lives.
No of course, I write a lot about the thought that perhaps moving to the Philippines earlier rather than later is a good idea. And it is, for many people. But it certainly isn’t the right solution for everyone.
You might be only a few years from retirement. You might have kids in school that need to finish. You might have any number of other good reasons why you can’t make the move now. So, what else will you do?
You Hate Your Job — Change You Own Feelings
Maybe you think this sound a little idealistic or even naïve’, but hear me out.
Your job may be boring, your job may have many aspects that you don’t like … but there is one thing you always have control over. No matter what the issues you have, only you can make things horrible, survivable or even satisfying … while you wait out life for the time to be right.
Youy Hate Your Job — Coping Techniques
Here are four incredibly useful distinct things you can be doing if you find yourself in an underemployed situation.
Look for useful things to do
There are always things that can be cleaned or organized better. There are always procedures that can be improved a little bit. There are always things that can be documented.
Sure, one might argue that these things aren’t really your job. And you’d be right. That’s not the point of doing them, though.
The reason to do them is twofold. First, you’re being paid to do something, not just sit there. You are earning money for your time there, so you might as well do something with it. Second, doing things like this earns you positive attention at work from your supervisor, which can help a lot if you’re in an emergency situation or if you’re hoping for a raise or a promotion down the road.
Not only is this good advice just to keep yourself sane (and employed) in these troubled time … but guess what? If you’re bored, have time on your hands, why not work on the answers for something else you need to learn?
You can’t believe how many people write me and ask for help about working in the Philippines, starting a business in the Philippines or other skill-related enterprises, but when I suggest something, will reply “But I don’t know how”.
I wonder how many hours those folks who “don’t know how” spent idling away at a boring, mundane job whiling away the hours while their life just slipped away?
Improve your skills for this job
What skills are on display at this job? Communication skills with customers? Efficiency at making food or pouring drinks? Techniques for the technical field you’re involved with? Can these things be practiced or improved upon?
There are always ways to work on the skills you use in the workplace. Working on those skills when times are slow is a sure way to make sure the job goes much more smoothly when times are busy. Plus, an effective employee is one that stays around and is often in line for promotions and raises.
I don’t care what your job is, or how irrelevant you present job skills are to moving to the Philippines (or whatever else you want to do in life), improving your job-related skills can not possibly hurt, and will almost help.
Prepare for your next career step
If this job is a jumping-off point, use your idle time to prepare for whatever it is that comes next.
There are a multitude of things you can do in this regard. Put in some extra studying time for a class. Work on that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Investigate a topic area you’ve always been curious about. Polish up your resume. Find leads on new jobs. (my emphasis)
This tip is especially important for those of you who come here, as so many do, looking for “Jobs For Foreigners in the Philippines”. Along with the request for help often comes the phrase, “I don’t really have an skills”.
Hello? Knock, knock, knock, anybody home? Stop and think a minute. What corporation, in the Philippines (or elsewhere), going to pay for someone with “no skills”?
Your education didn’t stop (or shouldn’t have, anyway) stopped at grade 12, or however far you went in school. If you are currently ‘stuck” in a dead-end job … if you have “mind-numbing” time on your hands, why aren’t you building skills for tomorrow’s job market? Don’t wait for the government to do something … get the jump on things and let that current boss, whom you say you “Can’t Stand” pay you to learn?
You Hate Your Job — Improve YOURSELF — Not Your Job
If all of those fail, you can always spend the time there improving yourself. I know one person who used to take a barbell to work with him and do various exercises with it during downtime to build up his arms and shoulders. You can always take and read a challenging book – one that forces you to think deeply about the world in some way. Perhaps you can spend some time writing a handwritten letter to someone you care deeply about. The key here is to leave work a better person in some fashion than when you arrived.
Underemployment doesn’t have to mean idleness. In fact, it usually means opportunity.
There you have it. You think the old phrase, “If you must kill time, work it to death” is just a joke?
Well, I don’t. If you can’t quit that job now, then use the opportunity to get something out of it. How can you lose?
Any more thoughts on how you You Hate Your Job