Sign Up: Writer | Buyer
Contact Us

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave, Suite 7313
New York, NY 10118
phone: (800) 704-6512

Price: $15.00
Minor modifications of this article are permitted to adjust to the available space or to the publication’s editorial style.
You Need To Enjoy Your Job
by Toni Seger
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Co-owner of a media/communications firm called ProseWorks(tm) Associates since 1992, Toni Seger has been a professional writer for four decades and since 2004, has produced a public affairs television show for the largest chamber in Maine.

Do you love what you do? It’s more important than you might realize. If the only thing holding you to your job is a pay check and you can’t wait every week for Friday afternoon, you may be throwing away the best years of your life.

A warm, friendly and supportive atmosphere is critical to enjoying what you do. All work situations are going to carry some degree of stress. If you don’t enjoy your co-workers or feel your environment is hostile, the added stress will take its toll on you, eventually.

Respect is first and foremost. Whatever it is you do for a living, however humble it might be considered, you need to feel that the people you deal with have a professional level of respect for your contribution. Today’s workplace is changing with such rapidity and there is a constant need to learn new skills. If you can’t feel good about the environment you’re working in, you’re not going to be able to clear your thoughts to take in new information. You need to do more with a job than survive. You need to feel you’re having a life.

Every job, like every gathering of people, carries with it a degree of politics. You can’t expect to like everyone. Obviously, some people are going to have more in common with your interests than others, but you need to be able to get along with everyone on a job at some level. If you’re convinced you’re being sabotaged on a job, you need to deal with that fact or seek other employment. Don’t leave your future to chance. Always have a game plan of where you’d like to be and work toward that goal. You can change anything along the way and flexibility in a changing market is essential, but you should always be working toward a goal.

Are your work expectations in line with your manager’s expectations? If you’re not on the same page, find out. Initiate a discussion of where you see yourself going and see what reaction you get. If you have differences with your co-workers or your superiors, find a way to put those aside. If they can’t be resolved, they have to be tabled in the interest of a better work environment. Don’t compete with people at work, find ways to work with them and don’t be stingy with your praise. Never try and steal undeserved credit. You may gain some small advantage in the short run, but you will always lose the respect of others in the long run. In fact, the more you succeed at gaining credit for someone else’s achievement, the greater the embarrassment and the loss if and when you’re ever found out.

Be prepared to learn new skills and always show enthusiasm when the prospect comes up. The pace of change in today’s workplace can be traumatic for some people, but you can’t win by fighting it. If you find your job is overwhelming you with change, discuss your feelings with superiors. Find out if and where you can get more support. A new job might only shield you from change for a brief period of time and, in fact, might prove to be a worse situation. Few methods of employment are completely resistant to change these days, so you always have to be ready to roll in a new direction. Besides, if you don’t keep your mind open to new possibilities and opportunities, you’ll stagnate. Stagnation is a ticket to boredom and boredom breeds unhappiness. If you need to learn something new, find someone to mentor you through the rough patches. It doesn’t have to be someone perfect, just someone who can help you learn what you need to learn.

Whatever your solution to an unhappy work environment, try not to take your job home with you. Without a break from work and an appropriate balance between your professional obligations and your personal life, there’s a danger you’ll burn out.

The best jobs always entail some fun. If no one is organizing after-hours activities with co-workers and you feel the atmosphere would benefit from it, consider taking that on. There are lots of things that can be done to relieve work related stress from sports to dinner and award events or purchasing block tickets to a concert. If there’s a way you can enjoy your co-workers when you’re not working, it will strengthen your working relationship and your productivity.

Always remember that things are going to go wrong in any situation and never think you can cover every contingency. Failure isn’t something to be ashamed about and it certainly doesn’t help if it poisons your ability to work with others. If you share in the blame for something, be honest about it. Take the burden of unsaid things away. Make it an opportunity for bonding. The most important thing to keep up front, at all times, is feeling like you enjoy what you do while you’re doing it.

When you analyze your working situation, good or bad, be honest with yourself and never try and fool or kid yourself about your problems. What is it you need to change? Who do you need to talk with about it? Can you negotiate with that person or is the situation intractable? Before you negotiate, consider the nature of the relationship you have with that person. Can it be improved? What are your common points of agreement? Remember, you don’t have to personally like each other. You just have to be able to feel a certain measure of mutual respect. Put aside your own goals for a moment and consider how you can improve this relationship. Instead of jumping into a discussion of your salary or other concerns, find ways to negotiate the issues that are damaging your relationship. Invariably, if one person feels tense about a relationship, the other one does as well. If you can clear the air between you, you’ll be able to discuss other matters much better.

Effective communications, for the long run, are what you have to deal with, first. If an apology is necessary, offer it. If an explanation about something that’s been simmering would help matters, try to be brief but explicit. Perhaps, there’s simply been a misunderstanding or a misinterpretation and by airing it, you can diffuse it. These conversations aren’t easy to start, but they can be incredibly effective at clearing the air of tension. If you are the superior, make sure you allow the other party to express their feelings as well. Don’t force the other person to accept your criticism without being prepared to take some, too. Develop a problem solving atmosphere for all work related issues including ones that have never come up by opening the door to a dialog.

If your job is burdensome because you feel flooded by endless e mails, voice mails, proposals, meetings and the like, you may be suffering from a time management problem. The ‘Information Age’ can be overwhelming with all the material it presents for us to sort through. Be sure you make technology work for you instead of being swamped by it. If you can’t afford a human assistant, purchase an electronic one and use it to organize your time, provide e mails, phone numbers and other important information when you need it. Find ways to use time spent commuting to your best advantage by carrying a laptop when you use public transportation and employing audio equipment provided you can use it safely when you’re the one who is driving. Time left empty from commuting can come back to haunt you later when you can’t finish that report before the deadline.

If your workspace is cluttered and you spend lots of time finding things, stop what you’re doing and get organized. You’ll benefit, in the long run, from the time you spend sorting through the rubble. Learn to throw things out you’re not going to need anymore and always end your day by making a list of what you plan to do the next day. Start with the easiest thing(s) to get done just to get yourself started. That way you’ll feel you’ve accomplished something right away.

Most of all, maintain a balance in your life by making time for yourself. Whether you jog before work or kick back with the newspaper in the evening, make sure you put aside some time for your own needs. Don’t let the years drift by. Enjoy every single day you have!

Published: Aug 29,2008 15:18
Bookmark and Share
You may flag this article with care.


Featured Authors
Andy Cowan
Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.
Paul M. J. Suchecki
Paul M. J. Suchecki has more than 30 years of experience as an award winning writer, producer, and cameraman. He's written numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Currently he writes, produces and shoots for LA CityView Channel 35 and his more than 250 articles for are approaching half a million readers.
Coby Kindles
Coby Kindles is a freelance journalist, screenplay writer and essayist. She has been a staff writer at Knight Ridder and a regular contributor to The Associated Press.
Debbie Milam
Debbie Milam is a syndicated columnist for United Press International, an occupational therapist, family success consultant, and motivational speaker with more than 20 years experience. Her work on stress management, spirituality, parenting, and special-needs children has been featured in over 300 media outlets including First for Women, The Miami Herald, Elle, Ladies Home Journal, The Hallmark Channel, PBS and WebMD.
Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter has covered the residential real estate industry for more than 15 years. He has contributed real estate stories to the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Business 2.0 Magazine, Home Magazine, Smart HomeOwner Magazine and many others.
Jack Nargundkar
Jack Nargundkar has been repeatedly published in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He is also an author of "The Bush Diaries" published in July 2005.