How to Learn to Love Your Job
When you change your mindset, your motivation changes.
Image by Jerry Kimbrell from Pixabay
Most of us can relate to the Sunday afternoon blues and already anticipate Monday morning as the start of the work week. Even though our young interns and colleagues, who are better at work-life balance than we are, remind us that we are not paid for the Sunday stress, the tension remains. What is the key to changing the way we think about our work?
One of the first things we can do is identify Why we dread Monday morning – and how to change our mind. Is it the work we do, the people we work with, or for whom we work, or both? Research gives us some answers.
search for job satisfaction
Steven B. Prentice (2022) examined the link between job satisfaction and employee engagement, emphasizing that an environment of supportive leadership will improve both outcomes, regardless of which outcome occurs first.I He found that the positive correlation between job satisfaction and engagement impacts organizational performance, productivity, organizational reputation, and customer satisfaction.
Negative engagement can have the opposite effect. Nicole M. Steele et al. (2022) found that workplace bullying affects the mental health and well-being of victims and others working in such a toxic climate.ii
Given the importance of interpersonal dynamics in the workplace, what changes can we make to improve our 9 to 5? Here are a few suggestions.
Bonding with a bad boss
We’ve all heard you don’t quit jobs; They leave bosses. And unless you’re working for yourself, not everyone is lucky enough to choose their boss. But there are steps you can take to detox relational mismatch. The first step is to realize that a bad boss is about the boss, not you. Understanding difficult personalities takes patience and proactivity – by nurturing a positive relationship you will set yourself apart as a team player, as difficult bosses are usually perceived as irritable by everyone, not just you. Even if the goal is coexistence, crossing that bridge with confidence will make your work life easier—and you’ll be less afraid to go into the office.
The pleasure of predictability
Some employees describe their emotional experience on the job as a distressing mix of anxiety and fear. They never know what kind of job they will get and are always afraid of being unqualified. This constant uncertainty usually stems from inadequate training, a lack of supportive supervision and sanctions for substandard work. Employees who feel their best is never good enough are often unsure of what to do and don’t want to be penalized for asking.
Ideally, employees can calm this negative emotional storm by taking steps to turn uncertainty into predictability. By proactively asking questions, you’ll know what’s expected, how to do it, and where to go for support or guidance. The best employees, regardless of their job description, are proactive producers who feel comfortable, confident, and know how to get the job done.
The Sunday solution to job satisfaction
To the extent that each of these factors is within your control, proactively trying to change the dynamics of your daily routine can have a huge impact on your well-being both at work and on the weekends. Taking even small steps to improve your relationships and manage your workload cultivates confidence and creates a sense of competence and comfort. And that’s a winning combo that can change the way you look at Monday mornings and give you back your Sunday afternoons.
[i] Prentice, Stephen B. 2022. “Job Satisfaction or Employee Engagement: Whichever Comes First, Supportive Leadership Improves Both.” Advances in Human Resource Development 24(4): 275–85. doi:10.1177/15234223221112504.
[ii] Steele, Nicole M, Gerard J Fogarty, Bryan Rodgers, and Peter Butterworth. 2022. “The Effects of Working in a Bullying Climate on Psychological Distress and Job Satisfaction: A Multilevel Analysis.” Australian Journal of Psychology 74(1). doi:10.1080/00049530.2022.2125341.