Curated Leadership for Today's World

I Hate My Job

Posted on 11 February 2013

hate-my-job1Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
― Kent M. Keith

So you hate your job. Of course you do! How do I know? It’s the nature of the beast. There’s a reason for it. My father, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, said “God never made a job that would make a man, but he made any man who could make a job.” This is a scary statement because it puts the burden squarely on the shoulders of the individual and not on the company, boss, or co-workers. Was my father saying that if I hate my job what I’m really saying is that I hate myself??

No job is worthy of anything. It’s just a title, a line on a P&L sheet, a job description, but what makes it come alive and have value is you. So if you hate your job, let’s be honest. It’s simply that you just don’t care enough to make it come alive. The workforce is filled to the brim with employees billing 40 hours of bitching and cyberloafing. The cost of disengagement is staggering.

How do I know this? I’ve worked alongside—and even worked for—many people who hated their jobs. I knew this because of the way they sloughed off dealing with problems, trying to build succession plans, and spending most of their time building silos to protect their turf and friends or family members. If they loved their job, they would have been man or woman enough to actually make it.

Growing up in various career fields, I remember asking my father why I continually found that the harder I worked the more people within the organization seemed to work against me. He said, “You can either work for someone else, or you can work for yourself. But as long as you work for someone else, this will always happen.”  Oh no!!! Again with putting the responsibility for my professional happiness squarely on me!!

Your job has nothing to do with your idiotic boss, or the lame process-improvement team you just got assigned to. You can’t get anything out of any job. You can only put things into it. It’s all about what you can bring to it. There will never be a job or a boss or a title that truly credits, sees, and reflects all that you do. Work is about growing and giving back, not about what you can get out of it. It’s meant for you to grow, and take risks, and be thrown under the bus, and get back up! Man, that’s tough! No wonder we hate it!

In some countries, workers don’t get the choice to decide where they want to work. In America, we do. This Right to Work comes with the rejection of victimization, and the embracing of the personal responsibility for one’s own state in life, and that goes for professional, not just personal. My father also said, “The best way to get a better job is to do a better job.” If we are serious about growing and giving back, we will always strive to do a better job because it’s the right thing to do. And if you get to the point where you are not able to do, or actually get penalized for doing, the right thing, it’s essential that you move on to a job where you can.

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2 comments

  • Mark Armstrong: February 20, 2016

    I’m so late getting to this post, Tracey, and it was one of your very best. Those last two paragraphs contain some of the most profound truths I’ve ever seen in print. Since I can’t come close to adding anything, I shall quote my two favorite passages:

    “You can’t get anything out of any job. You can only put things into it. It’s all about what you can bring to it.”

    “This Right to Work comes with the rejection of victimization, and the embracing of the personal responsibility for one’s own state in life, and that goes for professional, not just personal.”

    I wish I’d had those insights when I was younger. Sad to say, I had it backwards for a long time, thinking it was up to the job to somehow serve me, rather than vice versa. Thanks for tirelessly preaching good sense! : )

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    You are most welcome Mark, and thank you for your never ending supporter!

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