As an INFP, I have had the biggest struggle with loving my day job. Forget loving it. I’ve struggled with moderately liking the jobs that I’ve held.
Even in workplaces that were overall nice to be in, I’ve had to fight to get myself to like my job.
Part of it is that I am always thinking about how I could have a better job, or how my job could be better. Mentally, I was always working anywhere and everywhere except where I currently was.
In earlier posts, I’ve shared that from now until August, I’m going to be writing about the INFP entrepreneur. Writing about the day job may seem off-topic, but it is important when it comes to spreading your wings on your entrepreneurial journey.
Entrepreneurship is Not a Golden Ticket
The idea of entrepreneurship has some exciting folklore surrounding it. It involves people quitting their job, striking out on their own, and making a living. Some people have been able to make this work, but honestly going this route is extremely stressful. I know because I tried it.
And having tried it, I strongly feel that if you can start your own business while working your day job, keep your job.
Quitting your day job to chase after entrepreneurship is emotionally and creatively draining. All you think about is making the next dollar, and as a result, you do a disservice to your audience or customers. How to get money becomes more important than how to genuinely help people, and that hurts the authenticity and the heart of what you’re trying to do.
Keeping your job allows for experimentation, thinking, and cross-application of skills. Staying at my job gave me time to think deeply about what I want and didn’t want from working for myself. Plus, I got used to working on my business in less than ideal circumstances.
So, I strongly encourage you to keep your day job or at least have some money saved up before you leap. Entrepreneurship is not a magic ticket out. It takes patience and time to start seeing the point where your business can start paying for the bills.
In the meantime, it’s important to learn to appreciate your day job and use what you learn there to be a better entrepreneur. So, how can you stay content with your current job? Here are some tips I’ve found helpful.
Stay mindful of how meaningful your job is.
The job itself may not feel meaningful to you. But, is your job helping to support your family? Is your job the reason why you were able to pay for a fantastic meal the other week? Think about how your job makes your life better, even in small ways. The job itself may not be that inspiring, but the results of it can be.
If your boss is disagreeable, take a moment to observe them more closely, and imagine what it’s like to be them.
When I was working in retail, there were two managers who I didn’t like. Not only were they shift managers, but they were store managers as well. I found them to be harsh and patronizing.
But the longer I worked there, I noticed how they were treated by corporate. Corporate treated them like dirt. It was so sad, and I couldn’t think negatively of them anymore. If I was treated like that for as long as they were, I would be crazy angry too. When you have a mean boss, work hard to understand their mental mindset. Doing so will build your empathy, and it can help you to deal more kindly with them.
Being kind will take you far.
In the online business sphere, there is a lot of emphasis on being kind to those with who you interact. That’s because those connections you make with others can come to your rescue when you least expect it. Plus, being kind is good for your reputation, and it simply makes you happier. The same goes for when you’re an employee.
Being kind and reasonable gives you a good reputation, and not only could that lead to better work, but if you do decide to start your own business, you may have some new resources that you didn’t expect hiding in your former workmates and employer.
Respect that others may love the job that you can’t stand.
The job I had working in an office doing in-house tech support and reception was the best job I’ve had working for someone else. I liked my job well enough, and I would have no problems with working there again, but I didn’t consider it a “dream job.” It wasn’t something that I loved, exactly. But one day, one of my co-workers was like, “I love this job! It makes me so happy!”
“Really? That’s…nice,” I said, plastering on a smile, and trying to wrap my brain around what about this job is even remotely lovable.
At that moment I realized that my “okay” job or even my “nightmare” job could be a job that is deeply loved by someone else. In the past, I had the habit of being a bit vocal about aspects of specific jobs that I didn’t like, especially if I found it boring or pointless, etc…
Looking back though, I realize that with my words, I may have been hurting those who truly enjoyed that method of employment, and as a result, I was hurting the overall work environment and morale.
Workplaces need people who love what they do. If someone loves a job that you don’t, don’t tear them down. Their enthusiasm is important and can make your job a better place to work.
(As a side note, I’m not talking about complaining about unsafe work conditions. I’m referring to complaints based on personal preferences.)
Make the most of lunch break.
Lunch breaks have been key for me when it comes to plotting my escape. I think ever since I’ve started working, I’ve typically used lunch breaks either to work on a project, read about business, or plot and plan my escape from working for someone else.
Even if you’re not a schemer like me, if your workplace is stressful, make sure to use your break time in a way that refreshes you. Make plans to read fiction or engage in some other form of escapism, instead of scrolling through social media or reading the news, which can add more stress to your day.
Make your commute a time to explore and relax.
In the morning or on your way back home, have your favorite tea, coffee, or smoothie in hand. Take time to enjoy your favorite music or podcast.
In the morning, this can give you a positive start to the day. In the evening, this can help you to leave work behind and think about enjoying being back at home.
Have self-care ready after work.
Once you get home, be ready to take that bath, put on some music, read a book, or whatever it is that de-stresses you. You may have other things that need to be done before you can fully relax, but regardless, make sure to get a break in there.
Taking a moment for some self-care after work instead of flipping on the TV or Netflix, can give you more energy at the end of the day. And that is the energy you can use to catch up with your loved ones or do something creative.
Do something creative after work.
When you get home from work, be ready to do what is important to you.
When you work a lot, it’s hard to make time for creativity. However, it is amazing how much you can get done in 10 minutes. Even if you don’t accomplish much, taking 10 minutes to think about a creative project can remind you that you have more meaningful things to work on–things that you care about–outside of work.
If you’re too tired at the end of the workday, see if you can set aside time on the weekends to engage in what you care about.
Prepare for the next day.
Something as basic as laying out your clothes for work the night before can make the next day less stressful. If you have enough energy to make your lunch for the next day, go for it!
Make sure to do things that will help you to be more relaxed during your workday. At the same time though, keep in touch with what you want to do. Remember, that your job doesn’t define who you are. It’s what you love to do that defines you.
So that’s my list for learning to love your day job. Hopefully, this can help with growing a little respect for your job. It’s not easy to do, but having a better mindset can make a difference.
Does anything in this article resonate with you? If so, feel free to reach out via Twitter or Email. I would love to know what you think!