How to Love Your Job (10 tips on how to make it easy)!

Love your job with these 10 tips.

Dear Aimee,

I really need to learn how to love my job.  What advice do you have for me today?

Dear reader,

I used to be in your shoes.  I remember feeling very exhausted, under-appreciated and having zero balance on my personal time and my work schedule.  I felt I had no say at work and nothing changed.  I felt back-stabbed by co-workers who constantly gossiped and I wondered for the thousandth time…why oh why did I become…a teacher.  Then one day something changed.

I decided to love my job.  Here’s how:

  1. I started posting morning mantras << on my personal page for everyone, including the co-workers who followed me.
  2. I took a more active role in meetings and volunteered to head up committees.  As a chair, they had to listen to my ideas.
  3. I did not do 5 things at once.  << This one took some time as I thought I worked better that way, but I really didn’t.
  4. I made sure I was clear on what was in my job description and what time constraints looked like and where my job ended.  Seriously.  I didn’t want to be taken advantage of over and over.
  5. I did not stay late anymore…where I once worked so hard I made myself ill.
  6. I gave myself breaks.  There was actually time to go to the bathroom in my damn and I made sure everyone was aware that breaks were important.
  7. I created a “let’s not talk shop” lunch policy with my close friends.  Let’s talk life.
  8. I started doing brain techniques, meditation << and mini-yoga breaks at work…with my tiny people.
  9. I had everything picked out the night before down to my shoes and didn’t rush in the morning.
  10. I decided to have a great day and give it my all, and when that appeared to not be good enough after doing all of this, I would leave if need be or change schools.

That was the year was one of my best years ever.  I really put everything I had into loving my job dear reader.  Was the job the thing I had romanticized in my head?  No, it was not.  Was the job harder than I thought?  Yes.  Yes it was.  I just knew that I had made a commitment and I was going to do my best to change my way of thinking and see what followed.

If you are interested in learning more about what we are covering in the Club << this month (by the way, it will help you with your feelings around your job as well as life), here is my video.

>>> We would love to have you in the Club this month for our theme of Letting Go with Peace.  <<< Learn more here!

3 Lessons Rejection Teaches You

Admit it.  We’ve all faced some sort of rejection in our lives.  Sometimes, it feels a lot like failure, but in reality, it can be a blessing in disguise.

I never really liked paying attention in school.  I tried…I really did.  Honestly, there were just too many distractions.  But by the time I got to college, I knew I had to buckle down and so, I decided to graduate at the top of my class.

However, the truth is, none of that stuff matters if you get a degree, go out into the work place, and decide after doing this job for x amount of years, that underneath it all, it was definitely not what you thought it’d be. 

No one ever tells you about all the red tape associated with being a teacher.  There really should be classes on handling policy changes, curriculum changes, then going back to the old way you taught, then handling the parents, and, well you get my drift.  It wasn’t the teaching that I didn’t like.  I loved the learning and the beautiful children I taught.  It was the fact that I had absolutely no creative control what so ever.  Period.

It didn’t matter if I got on the curriculum planning committees, which I did, if I went to all the meetings on “brainstorming” new ways to teach this material, which I did, if I became a chair of a few teams, again, did that.  Nothing seemed to change.  Year, after year, after year.

So the same thinking was yielding the same results and it really was very difficult to live in this situation.  I decided to take a year off, and by that time, I was already dealing with health issues, so it really seemed a good time to think about what was happening in my career.

3 Lessons I Learned:

  1. Sometimes, rejection is a new lesson in what you don’t want.  I decided that I wanted to help a non-profit in some sort of form…at least I really thought I did.  As I looked at tons of job listings, I found one that looked “too good to be true” as it appeared made for me.  After applying, I thought to myself, why did I just do that??  I panicked.  I wasn’t ready for this big job.  I was actually called by a head hunter and had about 3 interviews, before the 2.5 hours interview in person.  The head hunter loved me…and at least one of the ladies in the panel seemed to love me.  The two who I would be working with; however, did not.  My ideas were too radical, except for the part where they were taking notes and saying “I’ve never thought about it that way.” I got a gut sensation that for whatever reason, the head lady instantly didn’t like me.  I was much better off as this job was actually 40 minutes from my home.
  2. Trust your gut feeling.  So I wish I had just turned around and walked out upon shaking the CEO’s hand, but I was actually invited to a lunch after…when I knew that I would never want to work there even if they offered me the job.  Energy never lies to me.  I stuck it out to make a good impression, and because honestly, I have manners.  Just because she was a prickly witch didn’t mean that one day I wouldn’t run into one of those people…somewhere down the line.  I knew it wasn’t right for me, but I stayed for my peace of mind.  Not theirs.
  3. Turn the lesson into a positive one.  Do NOT think about what you could have done differently.  That is what you are doing, isn’t it?  Instead, think about the ways in which this has taught you something.  For me, it taught me that I was actually one of the top three with almost zero experience for this really high-powered job, because I believed I could do it.  I had some of the qualifications and a true passion for what the organization was about.  That didn’t actually turn out, but to be a top three, the head hunter, who does this type of thing all the time, said my answers were the best.  I was still proud of myself.  And ermmm to be honest, I was proud of myself for not answering snarkily to the really dumb questions that I was being asked.  I could tell they were trying to catch me off guard, but I just kept on answering.  Two and half hours.  <<< I can’t get that back, but it taught me to stay cool.

I hope whatever your rejection is, that in the end, you see it really is pointing you in a better direction!

Rejection Note:  You might like this post on using gratitude to move forward.

Save

3 Things That Kill Your Dreams (And How To Handle Them)

Dream KillersPeople always told me, “Don’t quit your day job”.  No matter how many times I said, this is not what I went to school for.  I didn’t think it was going to be like this…I am miserable and the stress makes me ill (side note, it literally did make me ill, but probably the black mold and asbestos tiles didn’t help either).  I was a classroom teacher who only ever dreamed of being a writer.

I actually loved the thought of teaching without strings attached and the children if that makes sense…I did not love lots of other things.  So I started thinking to myself, if people don’t 100% love what they are doing every single day, then why not dream bigger?

So what happened when I finally decided to leave teaching and started secretly planning my escape?

3 Dream Killers…and how to handle them:

  1. Everyone will give you constructive criticism, but it’s not really constructive.  It’s what they would do.  People talk from their place of fear.  I did not have another job lined up.  Had no idea how I was going to make it if we dropped my salary.  I did not have a large savings.  There was no safety net.  I am a kind of jump person think later…soooo.  I get told how others would have done x,y,z.  The only thing that mattered to me was am I currently happy in my job?  No.  That was all I needed to know.  So people tried to break down my dream, or give me safety net options…like just take leave for a while.  So I told people that’s what I was doing finally.  But I honestly was not coming back because I believed that strongly in my dream.
  2. Losing friends, status, or ending up an outcast.  I didn’t worry so much about this the first year, because they all thought I might be taking a year off on one of those awesome things called a “sabbatical”.  If you tell people using special jargon, they are okay with it for some reason.  Ohh, hmm.  Okay, it’s a sabbatical.  However, eventually people started saying things like “Are you ever coming back?” or “Are you really making money?”  See, I had been teaching long enough to get a pin for being there a while, and then I left.  I sacrificed the next level of pin.  I was totally okay with this.  We sacrificed a few things that were wants not needs at home.  My family was okay with this.  And if I lost friends because of this, then they really weren’t my friends to begin with and I was equally okay with this as well.  I made new friends and forged new relationships in this new world of writing.
  3. Fear of failure, being laughed at or making mistakes.  I left 3 years ago, and the first year was the most exciting; however, it was also the year I had to remember to calm down and not go overboard with trying to fit everything I wanted to accomplish in 1 year.  Overnight success might seem like a thing, but I knew it was not the case.  I had to get more established and build trust.  I wasn’t going to find the next viral blog post in a year.  Or year two either…it took year three, but I was learning and I was growing.  I was teaching myself how to think like a business woman and to stop treating my dream like a hobby.  There was no other option in my mind by this point except to succeed at what I was doing.

What helped me turn the dream into a reality?

It was not a hobby.  It was a job.  I finally learned that lesson and took back my old office instead of writing on the sofa with my laptop.  I set up appointments, collaborations, and meetings internationally on Skype.  I said yes to things that scared the hell out of me…like meeting some of my new friends face-to-face overseas by accepting the offer of speaking internationally.  I created workshops with my local friend who really treated her business like a business, and I was grateful to be able to watch her say yes only to things that would propel her in the direction she wanted to go (P.S. she made the free meditation for you guys on my newsletter).  I read books from women I admired who did scary things…like Danielle LaPorte, and I breathed in her style.

I did not create the safety net for myself because I didn’t want to fall back on it.  I wanted to keep going and try new paths should the one I was on not work out.  Some way, some how, I was going to make this new business work.  I could actually be a writer, yoga teacher, wellness advocate, entrepreneur mom and follow my heart.  Start thinking of your dream daily and journal how it would feel to make it a reality.

sparkling

Save

Motivational Monday…stress

When they tell you not to bite off more than you can chew…you need to listen.  The problem is, maybe “they” have never been broke.  Maybe “they” have never been in debt.  And I’m definitely thinking “they” don’t know what it’s like to worry and/or stress over whether or not you will have enough to pay for groceries.  Sometimes, people have to do what they must in order to survive.  Even if this means adding to their stress.

Ways to survive this type of stress are to take breaks during your work day.  I read recently that you should set a timer.  Every 50 minutes or so.  Ha.  But I think that would help me out with my current craziness because then I would realize I have not eaten lunch…that e-mail can really wait.

Go to yoga.  I say this quite frequently.  But seriously.  Either that or learn to meditate…unless having some type of wine port attached is legal.  I don’t think it is yet.

If I was the boss, wait I am the boss of myself, sort of, I would make mandatory no work after 5 p.m. ever.  No work on weekends, ever.  And that sort of thing rules.  I really wish I could do that to myself.  Why is it people who work from home end up working more???  Someone forgot to mention that to me. 

Someone smart in your company needs to streamline the processes for other people.  I really liked to make things easier on other teachers when I was a teacher.  I liked group planning because IF it ran the way it was supposed to, oh yeah it didn’t, but if and when it did on rare occasions, you would really come out with like a version of the easy button.  EVERY company needs this.  I can’t stand it when there is no version of something that everyone needs to use.  I end up creating my own documents for future reference.

So that’s my motivational tips for today.  If there is an easy button, use it folks.  Just use it.

accountable

Save

Leap before you look…

leap

I know that’s not how the saying goes, but if you looked, would you take that leap?  Probably not.  Sometimes it is better to go ahead and make that jump…just don’t forget to attach bungee cords to yourself.  In life, your bungee cords can be your friends and family.  A few of my friends made some life changing decisions lately, and now we are all wondering how that will work.

It is highly possible that we second guess ourselves at every turn and wonder if we made the right decision.  We might even, oh say lie awake at night and then when we fall asleep, have very strange dreams about going back to college and Dumbledore being your professor.  I mean, I don’t know anyone who has done this, but if I did, I would tell them to stop drinking coffee late at night and go to bed.  It sounds like this dream was telling someone to go back to school and get a master’s degree, but I can’t be sure.

If you have changed jobs this year, consider yourself lucky.  Don’t fret about the new job (yes I know that’s easier said than done, this is me you’re listening to),  embrace it as best you can and be positive.  Positive thoughts help us overcome the negative that threatens to overpower us.  Once again, I know this is not easy, but with practice, you can do this.  I recently had to remove someone who was being very negative on my social networking site.  I rarely ever have to do this, but we are grown people and sometimes you need to act that way.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it.

Make a list of some things you want to try, but haven’t had the courage to do.  Put your bungee cord on, and go for it.  Right now, before you talk yourself out of it.  The worst thing that can happen is you’ll bounce back.  Seriously.

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”  ~John F. Kennedy