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If Your Job Sucks, It Might Be Your Fault; Let’s Fix That

It’s inevitable. After enough time at any job, you have a day that really sucks. Then, eventually, maybe another. And another. Suddenly the job you loved starts to feel like, well, work. And bad work at that. It doesn’t have to be that way.

The Problem

We’ve all dealt with bad bosses or smaller paycheck than we’d like, but that doesn’t mean the cure for your ills involves quitting your job and finding another. Every job is still a job, and every job comes with downsides. They call it “work” for a reason, and even if you’re lucky and do what you love, you’ll have bad days, and it can still suck sometimes. You’ll still have to deal with bossy managers, know-it-all coworkers, and, on occasion, frustrating busywork. Even so, many of us jump between jobs with only a matter of time after our first day until we inevitably conclude “this job sucks!” and start looking for the next one.

So how do you beat back that creeping feeling that your job is going to eventually wind up sucking? Sure, many circumstances warrant quitting your job. If it really is time to walk, you should do that. This post is for the rest of us. Here, we’ll walk you through some tips to stay focused, upbeat, and happy with your work—especially if it’s the work that attracted you to a job in the first place.

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The Bad Habits You Learn in School | HBR.org

It can be tough to help new college graduates adjust to the real world. Joey, a 22-year-old, Ivy League graduate who joined one of my consulting teams, was a great example. He was bright, hardworking, and motivated. But he had bad habits that were hard to break. Joey would become so focused on the perfect answer to a problem, he wouldn’t consider implementation. He feared failure so much that he would hide his mistakes until they grew worse. He was only interested in getting his own work right — rarely helping the rest of the team proactively. And he saw the world in terms of hierarchy: I was his “boss,” and no one else’s opinion really mattered.

Joey isn’t real — more of a composite of many young people I’ve worked with. But his flaws are undeniable. The traits above are ones I’ve seen time and again out of many recent graduates ill-prepared to handle true leadership in an organization.

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True Secret to Success (It’s Not What You Think)

If you’re not exercising this emotional muscle, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.

I’m utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.

People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.

By contrast, people who lack gratitude are never truly happy. If they succeed at a task, they don’t enjoy it. For them, a string of successes is like trying to fill a bucket with a huge leak in the bottom. And failure invariably makes them bitter, angry, and discouraged.

Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

Practice Nightly

The best time to exercise gratitude is just before bed. Take out your tablet (electronic or otherwise) and record the events of the day that created positive emotions, either in you or in those around you.

Did you help somebody solve a problem? Write it down. Did you connect with a colleague or friend? Write it down. Did you make somebody smile? Write it down.

What you’re doing is “programming your brain” to view your day more positively. You’re throwing mental focus on what worked well, and shrugging off what didn’t. As a result, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll wake up more refreshed.

Reprogramming Your Brain

More important, you’re also programming your brain to notice even more reasons to feel gratitude. You’ll quickly discover that even a “bad day” is full of moments that are worthy of gratitude. Success becomes sweeter; failure, less sour.

The more regularly you practice this exercise, the stronger its effects.

Over time, your “gratitude muscle” will become so strong that you’ll attract more success into your life, not to mention greater numbers of successful (i.e., grateful) people. You’ll also find yourself thanking people more often. That’s good for you and for them, too.

This method works. If you don’t believe me, try it for at least a week. You’ll be amazed at what a huge difference it makes.

 

VIA


Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning

by Peter Bregman

I was late for my meeting with the CEO of a technology company and I was emailing him from my iPhone as I walked onto the elevator in his company’s office building. I stayed focused on the screen as I rode to the sixth floor. I was still typing with my thumbs when the elevator doors opened and I walked out without looking up. Then I heard a voice behind me, “Wrong floor.” I looked back at the man who was holding the door open for me to get back in; it was the CEO, a big smile on his face. He had been in the elevator with me the whole time. “Busted,” he said.

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Start Your Workday with a Ritual

Many people constantly feel starved for time, hurrying through the day while fighting countless distractions and struggling to stay focused. One way to remain calm and centered is by bringing rituals into your workday. Rituals are about paying attention. If you take a moment to notice what you are about to do, you remind yourself to appreciate and focus on the task, rather than rush through it.

For example, when you sit down at your desk in the morning, pause before your turn on your computer or pick up the phone. Take a deep breath and give thought to what you are about to do. You may find this focus helps you accomplish tasks more carefully and productively.

 

VIA


Feeling ‘Trapped,’ Obligated Raises Odds of Job Burnout: Study

MONDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) — People who stay with an employer out of a sense of obligation or because they feel they don’t have a choice are at increased risk for job burnout, a new study says.

“When employees stay with their organization because they feel that they have no other options, they are more likely to experience emotional exhaustion. This feeling, in turn, may lead them to leave the organization,” study co-author Alexandra Panaccio, an assistant professor in the business school at Concordia University in Montreal, said in a university news release.

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Give and You Shall Receive

It’s well known that reciprocation is an important motivator for people. You are more likely to invite someone to your party if you’ve been invited to his.

People are often persuaded to make donations when charities send them gifts. Understanding this principle can help you effectively network, build trusting relationships, and develop your ability to influence others. The first step is to give. Don’t provide help with an expectation of an immediate return. Instead, highlight your assistance.

Say “Happy to help — I know you would do the same for me.” By positioning your help as a natural and equitable process of give and take, you increase the chances it will be reciprocated in the future.

 

VIA