Archive | 2009

Don’t Like To Work? (And What You Can Do About It) Part II

Interestingly, this phrase is one of the top search phrases that lead folks to Bailey WorkPlay. As much as it pains me to say it, I can understand why. I’ve done my fair share of work that’s sucked, but I’ve also been fortunate enough to do work that’s been exciting and rewarding.

Here’s a truth about me: I don’t like to work either when that work doesn’t challenge me, inspire me, or use the best that I have to offer. So, this issue is one that I’m curious to explore in more depth. Below is part 2 of 2 in this series covering three more reasons why we might not like to work.

Reason #3: I don’t like to work because…I dislike the people I work with/for.
I guess there are two ways of looking at this. Either you’re working with folks who you genuinely have no connection with (I’m trying to be diplomatic here…we all have worked with people who were flaming numbskulls). Or you’re the problematic person who seems to push co-workers away. If it’s the latter and you’re self-aware enough to know it, consider whether your negativity is due to your own unhappiness in your work or personal life. If that’s the case, it’s okay…you have an opportunity now to fix it.

But if it’s the former and you find yourself working around unpleasant people, that’s a level of stress that’s probably not going to go away any time soon…particularly if it’s your manager. I can’t promise any easy remedies, but I will offer this: they’re likely not going to change for you. Which means you’ll need to either learn to navigate around difficult personalities or get the heck out of there.

Reason #4: I don’t like to work because…I’m tired.
There’s no doubt about it…a job can exhaust us, sap our energy, keep us in what feels like a never-ending spiral. Taking a vacation often means coming back to more work so we don’t take the leave that is one of the top benefits an organization offers. But I will argue that’s not work, that’s a J-O-B. Work often requires an intense energy, but it’s an energy that quickly restores itself because we can’t wait to do it again and again. If your job drains you, think deeply about whether it’s work you really want to be doing.

Reason #5: I don’t like to work because…I’d rather do something else I enjoy a lot more.
There are two questions that are worth asking here: what is this activity you’d rather be doing and is there a way to turn it into an income-generating gig? While it’s not always possible, sometimes there are ways to pursue a playful passion and make it a career. It might take some imagination and bit of risk-taking, but wouldn’t you rather get up every day knowing that your work is something you absolutely love?

Here’s another question: are you ignoring a powerful signal trying to tell you something important? If play means being outside hiking and you’re stuck inside an office all day, maybe your work is better geared toward being in the open air. If you love to cook, but you’re crunching numbers for 8 hours a day, maybe it’s time to think about those culinary classes you’ve been putting off or that dream of starting a catering business.

If you come to determine that your playful activity will always just be a non-paying hobby, that’s okay. You might just keep it in your backpocket and perhaps there will come a day when your playful activity might open an opportunity to take it in a professional direction.

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