Yes, your thankless job is killing you
There is a way to find the people you are meant to serve so you can stop surviving and start living.
If you are reading this, then you know the struggle. Dragging yourself to a place of business every day that no matter how hard you try just does not do it for you. You are miserable. Maybe once you loved it or there were reasons to smile but they are gone and, for one reason or another, it has been impossible to find a way to move onto something better.
There’s a hundred different reasons why that is, maybe you have good benefits, maybe the location is great, maybe you simply have no other choice. I’m telling you, you do have a choice and I’m gonna show you how to make it.
Life is not meant to wish you were making licence plates in a "gated community" over your place of employment. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to be full of love and laughter.
When you are dreading a place that you will spend half your time in, that’s not a life it’s a sentence. Life is not meant to actually wish you were making licence plates in a "gated community" over going to your place of employment. Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, to be full of love and laughter. It is too short to spend feeling miserable and alone.
For years I hated my job. I was stuck in a position where I was well paid in a secure job but for many reasons, hated every second of it. People told me I should be grateful for having such security and truly, I was. But I am someone who would rather do something of meaning for free, than be paid well for nothing.
Over time, my stress levels climbed, my commute was over an hour each way. I was always running late and rushing to get everywhere. I was always tired and always crabby.
The crap I shoveled into my body was just silly – hello emotional eater!
I spent my days at work trying not to cry at my desk or hiding in the bathroom. Most days I cried in the car to and from work. I was absolutely miserable. Something had to change but I had no idea how to go about it. I had tried looking for other jobs, but either the jobs in my pay grade were too specialized or they were only looking to staff temporarily and my manager was only allowing staff to leave on a permanent basis.
If there is a problem I search for a way to solve it and then I get it done. For the first time in my life, I believed there simply were no options.
My hands were tied. I felt so out of control. This was really hard for me because I am a doer, an action taker. If there is a problem I search for a way to solve it and then I get it done. For the first time in my life, I simply had no options. One day I decide that there absolutely had to be a way to make things better. After all, how could they possibly get worse? I drove my car down to a deserted parking lot, called our Employee Assistance Program and poured out my soul to her. Then that sweet angel said, “It’s ok to feel out of control.” Validation is priceless. Truly. It is ok. I am ok. It is going to be OK!
After that conversation, I felt worlds better but still didn’t have a plan or direction. Every day I woke up wishing I didn’t have to go in to work. I called in sick a couple times a month on top of vacation days and appointments. It was so hard to justify sitting in traffic for 2+ hours a day to sit at a thankless, soul-sucking job when there was so much at home that I could be doing and enjoying.
I was nearly physically ill with the thought of going to work, why couldn’t I figure this out and be happy? Was I just not a person who would ever be happy?
It was my daughter’s birthday, so I booked off the Monday and we went away for a long weekend. Just a little trip a few hours away for some shopping and swimming in a hotel pool, a huge deal when you are 6. Sunday night I was already dreading going into work on Tuesday, but pushed it away so I could enjoy our girls weekend to the fullest. Monday I was nearly physically ill with the thought of going to work, why couldn’t I figure this out and be happy? Was I just not a person who would ever be happy?
Tuesday morning I had a car accident. At first I thought that it was nothing and continued on my way. By the time I got to work my neck was so stiff and headed to my doctor immediately. Since I had an office job, I figured I’d be off for a few days to a week. It ended up being 7 months and a huge blessing to my life despite massive complications it caused.
How can a car accident possibly be a blessing? Here’s why: during the time I was off, I had time to relax, decompress, take care of myself. To focus solely on what I need to live not just survive. I reconnected with old friends, people I hadn’t spoken to in years, or even decades. It felt so good to talk to people by choice and not by duty. I did things I loved and hadn’t touched in years. My soul was nurtured.
Then it came time to go back to work. I was again filled with the familiar dread every night. I stopped smiling, laughing, I started to withdraw and quickly put on 30 pounds of stress. Now I was losing over 3 hours a day commuting by bus because my energy levels were such that by the end of the day I could not trust that I’d be able to navigate safely through rush hour traffic.
So now that I had tasted freedom, the freedom of loving my life vs the chains of hating it, all this did was make me more determined to find a way out.
In the past I had tried other side hustles but nothing panned out so I knew this time had to be different. This time had to be IT, the best way out and successful because once I left my job I would not be employable at the income I needed to maintain my life at the most basic level.
What did I hope to accomplish, how did I want to feel, why was that important to me? I dreamed and dreamed, let my mind wander wherever it needed to go. In the meantime, I started a journal, a simple book where I wrote three lines every day. What am I grateful for today, what do I want tomorrow to bring and what did I find value in.
So after all this I looked at what trends have carried me through good or bad. Why did I keep returning to them. Even the bad things, what was the appeal? What could I change to make them good things.
Were things really so bad, did I just need to shift my attitude, my mindset? Appreciate what I did have?
Throughout all this, Google was getting a workout. I love to research things though I do stay away from medical research ever since that time I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was about to plan my funeral only to be told by the GYN that I just needed to drink more water… yeah a story for another day, the day after never maybe.
Anyway, I let these points marinade in my head and kept a notebook of thoughts and ideas for a business. I have always been entrepreneurial and knew I would own my own business one day, just needed to figure out which business to run. Something that would be sustainable, scalable, profitable and most importantly fun.
I looked more closely at the jobs I loved and why, what feelings did they evoke for me. In retail, I got paid to shop all day. My sales were ridiculous and it was effortless. In staffing, I spent all day investigating mysteries and trouble files, it was so rewarding. In another job I designed forms and formatted documents all day, it was inspiring. I’ve always been a go-to person, if I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it and everyone knows and trusts that.
Those were feelings and attributes I wanted for my business.
I took a few courses, started subscribing to mailing lists and sucked in the knowledge. I attended more webinars/classes/workshops than I did in college. But still, I fought a few things - myself mainly. Some preconceived notions that I had. Dangerous notions that nearly cost me my business. This is until I decided that the only way to fail would be to quit, which was not happening.
There were so many things I was good at or wanted to do but had no idea on how on to narrow them down into one viable business line. So I didn’t. I found a way to roll them into one business, I made a plan knowing my business will grow organically as it needs to.
I took the business lines that appealed to me and removed the parts that didn’t. I created packages and did some freebie work to see how that would pan out. You know, to determine if I’d even like the task, how to get it done efficiently, work out pricing and packages - all that good stuff. This was a great idea because it kicked a few things out of the running immediately. Being mindful of what I was doing made me realize where my true passions lay so leaned more towards them. Then I noticed that I was paying too much attention to what everyone else was doing and gauging my beginning with their middle. Not fair!
Sure there’s some that come out of the gates charging $1000 for a package but they are extremely rare. The majority start off slowly and work their way up and once they are discovered, they’ve already put in a pile of work! Overnight success means over many, many nights not just one!