It was around this time one year ago that I had my annual review for 2015. My manager ranted and raved over my work and contributions to the team, then gave me just one area of opportunity to focus on for 2016.
I left the review feeling pumped and motivated to transform that area of opportunity into my next greatest success. I charged into 2016 determined to break the mold. And break the mold I did. Literally. I out-performed my metrics, broke historical records, and earned a raise and a promotion.
Then everything started to fall apart. My department restructured and my new position was eliminated. My old position was already back-filled, so I found myself in a new role with a new team, new rules, new processes, and brand new performance metrics.
By the end of 2016 I was back to square one, except with the added pressure to out-perform the incredibly high standard I created for myself earlier in the year.
Unfortunately, my start in this new role was nothing short of the nightmare I was afraid it would be. I was missing deadlines, forgetting meetings, falling behind on e-mails… pretty much failing at everything every single day.
All eyes were on me to enter this role kicking butt – to be the Lyneè they hired me to be. Instead, I was drowning, and everyone could see it.
It was watching everyone lose faith in my abilities that caused me to hit rock bottom. I lost all motivation to even wake up in the mornings let alone go to work everyday. I was miserable, doing the bare minimum, flying just beneath the radar, and living for the weekends.
Let me pause here to declare that this was unacceptable to me. It was shortly after receiving my promotion that I started Operation Fix My Life, and committed myself to becoming the very best version of myself possible. So allowing myself to fall and wallow in this sunken place was the equivalent of me reneging on my vow to transform my life from ordinary to extraordinary.
I was self-aware enough to know I had to pull myself out of this place, to find the motivation to excel in this new role. The breakthrough finally came a couple months ago, during my performance review for 2016. My manger and I spent 90 minutes reflecting on all I had accomplished last year, and I walked away renewed and inspired to kick butt in this new role.
If you’re struggling to find the will to keep going to work everyday, then here are my top three tips for staying motivated at a job that you hate.
strive for excellence & document your accomplishments
2017 in this new role started off as an epic failure, but reviewing my performance for 2016 reminded me of who I am and what I’m capable of. So my first tip is not to wait until a performance review to recap your accomplishments. Remind yourself everyday who you are, what you’re capable of, and why your employer is incredibly fortunate to have you on his/her team.
Step 1: Once a day at work, seek out at least one opportunity to go above and beyond what your manager, your co-workers, or even you think you’re capable of. Figure out ways to flex your intellectual muscles and exceed everyone’s expectations.
Step 2: Start a journal documenting your efforts, and at the end the week, go back and read everything you accomplished. No matter how much you hate your job, striving for excellence and reminding yourself how awesome you are is a sure-fire way to keep you motivated.
don’t get paid to work, get paid to learn
Staying motivated at a job that you hate requires a shift in mindset. When we apply, interview, and accept a position, we are hired to fulfill a specific function. And perhaps one of the main reasons we hate our jobs is because we are capable of contributing so much more than we were hired for.
Instead of going to work everyday expecting to fulfill your function, start going to work seeking personal and professional development opportunities. Once you’ve fulfilled the duties within your job description, start networking with folks in different departments and teams.
Ask them questions about their functions and the skills required to be successful in their roles. Volunteer some of your down time to help colleagues outside of your department, and use it as an opportunity to expand your own skill set.
Your job can actually be viewed as a university you’re being paid to attend. Start looking at it as if you are being paid to learn, grow, and make yourself more marketable for future employment.
Pursue your passions
What do we typically do after spending 40 hours a week at a job that we hate? We disconnect from reality by spending hours on social media and/or binging on Netflix.
Brothers and sisters, this is not a way to live.
Instead of using non-working hours to destroy brain cells, use them to pursue your passions instead.
If the sky were the limit and money were no object, what would you spend the rest of your life doing? What are your natural, God-given gifts, talents, and abilities? What skills do you have that are being completely under-utilized in your everyday life?
Meditate on these questions, and when you find the answers, commit your non-working hours to crafting, honing, and enhancing your gifts.
Are you an excellent cook? Spend your free time creating a cookbook or start a cooking channel on YouTube.
Are you a great singer or musician? Spend your free time learning how to write, record, and produce your own music.
Do you love to write, take photographs, paint, sketch, design? Get out into nature settings and seek inspiration to create.
The most effective way to stay motivated at a job that you hate is to spend your free time pursing your purpose.
If you don’t know what your purpose is, then don’t worry! In my next post I will share my top tips on how to find your passion and pursue your purpose!
Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any tips for staying motivated at a job that you hate?