How to Love Your Sucky Job

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by Melody Fletcher on August 18, 2011

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I was talking to someone the other day, who was complaining to me about how much she hated her job. She worked in an office – one of those cubicle farms, which allow companies to herd employees into big, windowless rooms like cattle under the guise of fostering “open communication” and the like. She truly believed that working there every day was stealing her soul, but she felt trapped. Finding another job in this economy seemed like an impossibility. And because she wasn’t a senior manager, she didn’t think that she had any influence on the working environment itself. There was nothing she could do but grit her teeth, nurse her ulcer, and accept the fact that things were never going to change.

The irony is that even if she were not living in this economy, she might change jobs, and then proceed to create the exact same hellish environment that she’s currently living in. Has that ever happened to you? Have you changed employers only to realize after a few weeks or months that the new boss is just as much of a jerk as the old one, that you still want to slap your coworkers, and that the work, which you thought would be more interesting, makes you want to hang yourself with a noose made of paperclips?

You’ve most likely been raised to think that if you can just find the perfect job, with a great boss and awesome colleagues, in a career that you’re truly passionate about, you’ll be happy. You respond to whatever you see. If you get a new contract, you’re happy. If your stupid colleague who has, on several occasions, confused the fax machine and the shredder, gets the promotion you wanted, you fantasize about spiking his coffee with Colon Blow. Perhaps you think that this is just the way it has to be. People aren’t supposed to be happy at work. Happiness is something you have to reserve for the weekends, vacations or retirement. It’s something other people, privileged people, or people born under a lucky star may experience. But not you. You’re stuck in this hellhole with no way out. You might as well just accept it. You can always lessen the pain by stealing office supplies and sneering “What the hell are YOU so happy about?!”, at anyone who doesn’t seem to be as intensely miserable as you.

It’s not them, it’s you

Your job, just like everything else in your reality, is a direct result of your vibration. That’s why, if you don’t change your beliefs, you can change companies all you like. You’ll just create the same mess over and over again. The world isn’t filled with horrible bosses, colleagues and clients. The world is filled with whatever matches your energy.

So, in theory, if you change your vibration, you’ll change your reality; meaning that your boss, colleagues and clients will all magically morph into awesomeness or you’ll easily find a new and much better job. Easy peasy, right? Well, actually, in this case, it’s MUCH easier said than done. Most people have an incredibly hard time changing their vibration around work. They’ve invested a great deal of time focusing on, bitching about, commiserating with others about, blogging and reading about how horrible their jobs are. It’s almost a point of pride – who has the most to complain about? You have a story about your boss on PMS? I can top that. Your client made you do what, now? That’s nothing! Wait until you hear what I have to put up with every day! If we can’t be happy, we might as well win the game of “Who’s suffering the most?”

You have to be willing to feel better

When you spend a lot of time focusing on something that makes you feel negative emotion, it can be really hard to start thinking thoughts that feel better. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to even imagine that it’s possible to feel better. Never mind actually making the changes that will get you there. In this post, which is Part 1 of 2 on manifesting an awesome, passionate and positive work environment, I’m going to do my best to convince you that it is possible to love your job, no matter what it is. Only then will we tackle the issue of how to actually go about achieving that scenario, as well as how to manifest something even better. Before we can move on, you have to be willing to acknowledge that it’s possible to feel better about your job.

You determine how you feel about your job

The truth is, every job can suck. It’s all in how you look at it. Being a teacher can suck. Being a police officer can suck. Being the cashier at a supermarket can suck. Being an executive can suck. Being a doctor can suck. Being a blogger can suck. Or not. There are people out there right now performing those jobs and hating them with a passion. And there are also people out there right now who love those jobs with a passion. What determines their reaction? Did the happy people just get lucky and find that one, elusive career that actually made them happy? No.

They love their jobs because they look at their work in a way that makes them happy. They choose to enjoy their jobs. That’s it.

Have you ever gone to a supermarket and been served by a cashier who was super friendly, smiley and enthusiastic? I don’t mean that fake, cocaine induced, manic enthusiasm that some companies seem to be instilling in their employees (you know the type, where they scream “Welcome to Happy Mart!! How may I infuse your day with specialness?!!” at you while they try to control the twitching). I’m talking about someone who is genuinely having fun. Aren’t they just infectious? They make those few minutes you spend at the checkout counter much more pleasant. You know their name. You’re actually disappointed when you can’t get into their lane. You might even choose to shop at that particular store just because they make it such a pleasure.

The job itself doesn’t really matter

Being a cashier at a supermarket is not a dream job. There aren’t a lot of elementary school kids writing reports about how they want to work the cash register one day when they grow up. No one would blame the cashier for being a bit bitter. And yet, there are those individuals out there that find a way to genuinely love scanning your groceries and take pride in giving you the correct change. They make eye contact with their customers. They remember people’s names. They seem genuinely happy to see you again. They connect with people, and care if you’re having a good experience. They are having a good time, not because they’ve always dreamed of checking out groceries, and not because some corporate yahoo wrote a mission statement about it, but because they choose to look at their job in a way that allows them to feel good.

People who love their jobs:

  • Focus only on the aspects of the job that they actually love. (The cashier may love connecting with people, for example).
  • Find a way to look at the parts of the job that they don’t like in a way that feels better. (The cashier may hate standing up all day, but has decided that if she wears comfortable shoes and dances around in place a little, it’s actually great for her circulation and her feet no longer hurt. Plus, the dancing energizes her and puts her in an even better mood.)
  • Bring their own style and personality to the job (the cashier may wear a cute pin on her uniform that catches people’s eyes, joke around with the customers, develop her own catch phrase, etc.)
  • Don’t complain about their jobs. They talk about the things they love and shut up about everything else.
  • Infect everyone around them with their enthusiastic attitude (customers leave feeling a little better. She puts a smile on their face.)

But this isn’t a story about some fictional cashier. Let’s look at a real life example of someone who’s in a job that could totally suck by anyone’s standards, and has made it fun not just for himself, but for anyone that he comes in contact with.

Meet Tony, the dancing traffic cop in Rhode Island:

If watching Tony didn’t at least make you crack a smile, you may be dead. Not just inside. I mean you may be a zombie. Check for a heartbeat and stay away from brains.

What if?

The fact is, your job is not supposed to be horrible. You can love what you do, make the money you deserve and have a wonderful time with your colleagues. But this nirvana isn’t waiting for you at some mystical company somewhere out there, it’s right here, where you are, right now. You just aren’t seeing it. You can be happy where you are right now, no matter what you do. The first step is acknowledging that it’s possible – not just for other people, but for you. Don’t worry about the how, right now. Just ask yourself “What if I could find a way to actually like this place (or if that’s too far of a reach, what if I could find a way to not hate this place so much?)” Just pondering this question for a bit will already shift your vibration a little.

In Part 2 of this series, I’ll explain what you can actually do to feel better about your job, as well as attract a better work situation – either in your current company, or through a new job.

{ 36 comments }

pea August 18, 2011 at 14:23

Excellent, excellent post. It is so true about the vibrations isn’t it? I cannot remember a job I did that I didn’t like. And I was shocked to hear that someone worked in a trade for decades but never enjoyed it. They did it to pay the rent. As they had trained to be a chef I thought they really enjoyed it, but they had totally compartmentalized joy and work. I was genuinely floored by this.

Interesting. I was going to ask your take on someone I know who had complained about the politics of their work place and how they don’t get on with their boss and they are being forced out by all the nastiness and gossip…etc

My question was one must acknowledge that there are indeed places where this degree of horribleness and poison has been left to run rampant and the office and morale suffers as a result. Bearing in mind your post what advice would you have?
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 15:47

Hi Pea,

Thanks for adding your excellent perspective. You’re so stable in your vibration, it’s hard for you to even imagine someone staying in a job they hate… :)

The thing is, the environment, no matter how horrible it may be, truly doesn’t matter. It’s all up to our own vibration and experience. How? Well, that’s going to be explained in detail in Part 2, which will come out on Sunday. :) I know… I’m a tease…

Hugs!
Melody
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pea August 18, 2011 at 14:30

…How much do I love Tony the dancing cop?? I love how the locals aren’t even looking anymore, ‘Oh yeah…that’s just Tony, hold the mayo on my bagel George…’
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 15:48

Ahahaha! Wouldn’t it be great if passion and happiness were normal everywhere?

Dia August 18, 2011 at 15:10

Hi Melody,
Nice post! If people keep getting a boss who is negative and cranky in every job they meet, then it is because of what they keep focusing on and what they feel inside. To attract better boss, job etc…we have to make harmony and peace with everything. When we do that internally, it will reflect in our outer world. We have got to assign a positive purpose for everything we do. Thanks for sharing :)
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 15:49

Thanks Dia. We really are the creators of our own experience…

Hugs,
Melody
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Frank August 18, 2011 at 16:18

Melody,

What a powerful title! It grabbed my attention and made me think, how can I love something I hate? lol! It is the ultimate paradox. I guess we are both on the same wavelength because I wrote a post just like this that you commented on. I think yours is better. I am just going to take my post down and put up a direct link to yours. lol! I guess my readers won’t like not getting the opportunity to read my incoherent thoughts. Thanks for putting this together.
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 16:43

Frank! It’s not the same post at all! Sure, the core truth is the same, but we say it in very different ways. So people will hear very different things. :) I mean, everything I say can essentially be boiled down to: Let go of your crap and be happy already. But gosh, people seem to need a bit more than that. And every time we read an explanation in different words, we pick up a bit more. That’s why I never have just one book on any given topic, but TONS. I want to come at each subject from every possible angle. So, we may be talking about the same thing, but from different angles. Capish?

Love your work, my man.

Hugs,
Melody
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Justin | Mazzastick August 18, 2011 at 17:58

Great post Melody.I love the traffic cop video. That’s having fun at out jobs or taking a crappy experience and turning it into fun one.

I decided several years ago to go the route of self-employment and it so much better suites who I am. I am much happier and have a lot more control of my life.

I believe that many are afraid to go or try a new direction in life so yes they just create the same situation some where else.
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 21:23

Hi Justin,

Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Self-employment is definitely the way to go for many of us. But it is possible to bay happily employed. :)

Hugs,
Melody
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Baker August 18, 2011 at 20:01

Hey Melody,
Great post! There is always something to “love” regardless how small in any job. It really is a matter of perspective and consciously being aware what to love about that particular thing in that job.

Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 21:25

That’s so true, Baker. It’s a conscious decision, or can be at least. Some people do it naturally. I think the assumption is, though, that if you’re not naturally happy, then you’re stuck being miserable. I was hoping to dispel that a little with this post.

Hugs,
Melody
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Fred Tracy August 18, 2011 at 20:03

Hey! I actually did want to be a cashier as a kid. I was thought the “checkout ladies” were so cool back in the day.

Right now I’m trying to become a mailman. Good pay, good hours, and from what I understand, it’s almost like working for yourself. You’re alone much of the day doing your own thing. It’s hard to get in though, I still haven’t been called back.

You know, maybe I’ve been missing my calling all this time. Maybe I’ll go apply for a cashier position. I’m definitely staying away from : blow though, lol.

(haha, my speech software put an actual colon.. I decided to leave it) :-)
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Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 21:27

I love your speech recognition software. It has the BEST sense of humor!!! I think we may be kindred spirits…

Now that they have the scanners, you wouldn’t have to worry about your carpal tunnel. It’s like this job is made for you! :) Stop denying the cashiering world your talents!

Hugs,
Melody
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Riley Harrison August 18, 2011 at 21:15

Melody,
Another wonderful post. “You have to be willing to feel better” is the highlight of the post for me. Many seem to be almost committed to feeling poor. Change isn’t always easy but what’s the alternative.
Riley

Melody Fletcher August 18, 2011 at 21:29

Hi Riley,

yeah, that’s why I decided to make this a two-parter. I think work is especially difficult for many to shift their perception on. Thanks for validating that feeling. :)

Hugs,
Melody
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Vishnu August 18, 2011 at 21:50

Great post Melody – looking forward to part 2 – is it a video post and are you going to be the dancing blogger in it? lol And oh yeah, another tip is to love the aspects of the job you like (like you said) but also love the skills that you can take away from that job. As a dentist, one may hate teeth and people. But you learn skills like how to floss other people’s teeth and how to bill insurance companies – and that you can take to other jobs. Totally kidding but you get the idea:)

Melody Fletcher August 19, 2011 at 08:33

Ahahaha Vishnu. Believe it or not, I don’t even have to dance. I love what I do with such a passion. But it’s an idea I’ll keep in mind. :)

What an excellent insight! You’re absolutely right. I’ve always focused on what I could take away from a job, what I could learn. Thank you so much for adding this missing piece!!

Extra hugs for you!
Melody
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Joe Bill Schirtzinger August 18, 2011 at 23:32

If you are in a sucky job, you probably fell out of touch with yourself–unless of course economics dictated you had to take the sucky job no matter what in order to live. In that case, it’s better to think about how you aren’t going to be in the sucky job forever which will, of course, make it suck less.
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Melody Fletcher August 19, 2011 at 08:35

Ah yes, Joe Bill, but even if you were “forced” to take a sucky job, you still attracted that situation with your energy, AND you can change it. But first, you have to be willing to feel better, even while in that sucky job. Realizing that you control how you feel, not the circumstances around you, is one of the most empowering lessons you can teach yourself. :)

Hugs,
Melody
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Antonia August 19, 2011 at 03:32

Hi Melody,
Great post, and reminders to watch how we’re creating the external through the internal, and how attitude dictates so much. Your title also grabbed my attention, and had me doing a double take. lol Thanks for sharing.
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Melody Fletcher August 19, 2011 at 08:37

Hey Antonia,

Glad you liked the title! I’ve gotten some good feedback on it. I think it’s the word “sucky”. People just naturally respond to that. Makes them feel all warm and fuzzy. LOL.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hugs,
Melody

marc van der Linden August 19, 2011 at 08:34

Hey Melody,

Since I start applying “Love what you do and you will do what you love”, my professional life has changed in a profound way. I started noticing the parts of my job I truly loved, linked them to my life purpose and learnt to put more attention on that parts and noticed that parts gradually increasing on a daily base.

Loving your job – or not – is as you say – a choice. I cannot agree more with that.

Thanks for sharing!
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Melody Fletcher August 19, 2011 at 08:38

Hey Marc!

What a wonderful and succinct summary of my post. You said it in a nutshell. And I love that quote!

Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs,
Melody

Bryce Christiansen August 19, 2011 at 18:03

Thanks Melody,

I came from a sucky job and you are right. I was responsible for some of that suckiness. For some reason some people enjoy cold calling all day, but I didn’t.

I’m much happier now and although I can still have sucky days, I find I can have a profound effect on my day just by being positive and following the advice you’ve already shared so eloquently here.

I just have to end by asking how you found that picture. It almost made me cry ;)
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Melody Fletcher August 19, 2011 at 18:37

Hey Bryce,

Ugh. Cold calling. Wouldn’t be my favorite gig, either. I used to manage a call center (inbound, technical support) and I had such positive employees. I sometimes really wondered how they kept such great attitudes. I’m not sure I could’ve, to be completely honest. But it really proves my point.

Erm, not sure. I always add an image credit when I can, but sometimes I pull images off of jokey sites (they don’t accredit and the image does not originate with them) and add my own caption. I hope you cried from laughter and not because you felt sorry for the little dude… ;)

Hugs,
Melody

Ken Wert August 21, 2011 at 02:58

Excellent post, Melody!

So many people feel so trapped and stuck in a deadend job. And then you meet someone like Tony, the dancing traffic cop, and you realize there is not much in life that we can’t have some fun doing.

That was awesome! I’ve found a “Tony” just about everywhere I’ve worked. I suspect most places have one or two. I guess we can all learn from his basic attitude and apply it to what we do as well, even if we already like our work!

I totally agree with you that one way we can learn to love a sucky job is to choose to find meaning in what we do. We can see the larger picture and take satisfaction in the role we play too.

To paraphrase a biblical passage, it would be silly for the kneecap to complain it’s not the eyes or the hands or some other major body part. It is still an important part of the overall functioning of the body. We can choose to see ourselves similarly at work.

Thanks for the wonderful insight into improving how we fell about what we do for a living!

Melody Fletcher August 24, 2011 at 16:17

Hi Ken,

You’ve actually brought up a really great management point: When I used to manage a ton of people and train other managers to do so, one of my key mindset techniques was to have the managers figure out why each position in the company was important. How does the data input guy fit into the picture of the whole company? Why is his position, especially if done well, valuable to the company? If they couldn’t figure it out, chances were that the employee couldn’t either. The idea was to tie each position into the bigger picture and then communicate that to the employees so that they could feel part of the whole. That’s not always easy in a corporation, but we did what we could and it made a huge difference.

But we don’t have to wait for management to do this for us. We can decide for ourselves why we are significant, why what we do matters and why it’s awesome. :)

Hugs,
Melody
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Walter August 24, 2011 at 02:05

Great words of wisdom you have shared here Melody. I do confess that most of the time I hate my job. Later on however I realize that my job is a blessing and I need to be thankful for having one. Such always makes me change my attitude about my job. :-)
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Melody Fletcher August 24, 2011 at 16:18

Hi Walter,

That’s a good start: this job is better than no job… But I’ll bet that if you spend a little time on it, you’ll figure out a whole host of other reasons why you’re job is great. I’ll give you one: your bosses are obviously smart: They had to be to hire you! :)

Hugs,
Melody

genna February 13, 2012 at 07:08

Question what if you spend at least 3 hours a day filled with happy thoughts about ppl and the universe and life still takes a steaming shit on you? because i have spent the last 3 yrs of my life thinking magical happy fluffy bunny thoughts and i am still unemployed miserable and living in a long string of flats where flatmates treat me like a fucking housemaid. forgive me for being a skeptic on positive vibrations, but so far my life hasnt changed and i know i deserve better and i do try . so why does the universe like to fuck with me ??

Melody Fletcher February 13, 2012 at 20:49

Hey Genna,

First of all, welcome to Deliberate Receiving!
Second, I understand the frustration you’re feeling. You think you’re doing everything right, and yet, your reality isn’t yet mirroring your new vibration back to you.
A couple of thoughts: You are clearly VERY frustrated. You may well still have some limiting thoughts going on that you’re not aware of. They’re insidious like that. I know that I do my best to explain all of this stuff in a simple way, but the truth is that it’s not easy, particularly when you don’t like where you are right now.

My guess is that you’re trying to shoot for too much. You’re frustrated and unhappy and you’re going for happy fluffy bunny and I’m sure that you’re thinking those thoughts but you’re not vibrating at that frequency. Because it’s possible (and quite usual) to think positive thoughts (like doing affirmations) and actually be triggering much more negative thoughts underneath. And THEY are the ones that are creating.

The Universe doesn’t like to fuck with you. The Universe is like a computer (although, ok, some people swear that their computer is fucking with them on purpose…). It simply gives back what you put out.

Focus on how you feel, not so much on thinking perfect thoughts. Go do something that makes you feel better, not because it will bring about different manifestations (which will keep you focused on all the stuff in your life that doesn’t yet match your visions and will therefore keep you stuck there), but simply because it feels better.

I hope this was helpful.

Huge hugs!
Melody
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Kat October 29, 2012 at 00:06

Brilliant post, Melody! As Abe says, get happy and then _____. This post describes this aspect of LOA so well and it is true! Things take time though, but eventually you get there.

I wonder how these bad jobs and bad bosses came into play in the first place. “Your job, just like everything else in your reality, is a direct result of your vibration”, you state. I wonder if the fear of people in general, concerning money, created jobs that provide a paycheck, yet they did not think of the other things that come about that go with this. How did the cubicle farm come into being? It is obviously a reflection of some belief people have, perhaps like we are like animals and can be herded like that? I find that outrageous, but the fact that these office settings exist is an indicator to me that there are low vibrations out there put out by desperate people who get screwed over in those scenarios. The boomerang effect- you get what you put out.

In my last job, every single person in that office suffered from some kind of chronic disease they did not have prior to their employment there. You name it, someone had it. The vibe was so low there, though, that I kept getting sick myself and no rainbows I could spread can change anything there because I obviously did not belong there. Still those people stayed there for most their lives and retired from there with the little life they had left. Was it their fear that may have attracted them to that job in the first place? I know you cannot speak for them, but just generally speaking, according to LOA principles, what would you make of it?

My desperation for a job led me to that horrible job. Once I focused on my own happiness and my goals, etc, I got out of it.

Melody Fletcher October 30, 2012 at 03:16

Hey Kat,

Everyone will attract jobs like that for different reasons. Much of it is a belief that work = unhappiness and people just sort of accept that this is true and there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s also beliefs of powerlessness, suffering = virtue/benefit down the line, fears of being trapped, lack of control, etc. and then, those kinds of environments perpetuate the problem. I had a job when I was 17 where the after work activity was to have breakfast together and bitch about the job. Relentlessly. Everyone was unhappy. It was almost a matter of pride to be the unhappiest one. Ick.

Aren’t we glad to be happy shiny puppies now? :)

Huge hugs,
Melody
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Kat October 30, 2012 at 03:28

OMG, I sure am! My heart stopped when you described that job situation! It was like a badge of honor, to bitch! No way, man. That must change! Here’s to spreading more happy shiny puppiness!

Rose August 22, 2013 at 00:12

Wow, I have a lot to learning to do from Tony! What an amazing guy! He made it seem like his job was the best on earth and actually inspired me to try out his job! But i know that it is only because of his enthusiasm. If I were to enjoy his job, I would have to bring in my own enthusiasm and energy. Anyway, I have a lot to learn from him! And you, as always — thank you Melody!

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