Why Do You Go to Work?

I can’t tell you the last time I heard someone tell me that they loved their job. Fewer still share that they like what they do. In fact it seems that most people consider it normal to be unhappy at work. Writer and Speaker Luc Reid observes, “The idea seems to be that you have to put in your time during the week, suffer through having to do tasks you don’t feel like doing, then get in some fun over the weekend if you can.“ This is definitely NOT a prescription for success. If this is you then something is DEFINITELY missing in your success equation!

Not liking your job has many consequences. According to science and recently shared by Alexander Kjerulf in a Huffington blog post, there are at least 3 ways hating your job can harm your health:

1: Hating your job can make you gain weight.
If you dislike your job and see the pounds piling on, the two could well be related. Studies have shown that an unhappy work life robs you of the energy you need to exercise and make good dietary choices. Or to put it another way: After a long frustrating day at work, you are more likely to go for a tub of ice cream and less likely to go for a run.

2: Hating your job can lower your immune system.
It’s commonly thought that workplace stress comes from being too busy at work or working too many hours, but stress researchers are starting to rethink that assumption. They now say instead that workplace stress comes from being in a near-constant state of negative-affect, i.e., feeling bad most of the time at the office.

If you work really hard, but feel appreciated at work and see your efforts paying off, you’re not as likely to become stressed. On the other hand, if you’re being treated badly, or if nothing you do at work is ever recognized and you spend your work days in a more or less permanent state of frustration, worry and depression, you can become stressed even if you only work 30 hours a week. And studies have shown that workplace stress harms the immune system and increases the risk of depression.

3: Hating your job can rob you of sleep.
It’s common knowledge that consistently sleeping a full night does wonders for the human body. The restorative work done while bodies are at rest cannot be underestimated. People who are miserable at work often find it harder to fall asleep or they don’t sleep as well. You’ve probably been there: laying awake, staring at the ceiling of the ticking clock on the nightstand as visions of your to-do list or frustrating co-worker dance through your head. This is bad for your health because sleep restores the body and strengthens the immune system.

If you hate your job, why are you still getting up and going to it every day?  In her Time blog post, author Martha C. White might have your answer. “We’re only in it for the money.” Your main motivation for getting up and going to work every day is probably your pay.

But, as White points out, money doesn’t buy happiness. “Relatively well-paid samples of individuals are only trivially more satisfied than relatively poorly paid samples,” researcher reveals. Even getting a raise only gives us a temporary boost in happiness, and our bosses aren’t much happier than us even though they earn more. Chasing cold, hard cash instead of professional fulfillment and satisfaction has a domino effect on our health and happiness.

So what are you going to do?

You have two options really… to either figure out how to improve your current work situation or you have to find another job where you can be happy. The only option you don’t have is to do nothing.

Jim Bird, CEO of Work Life Balance shares an interesting perspective. “So if your boss doesn’t appreciate you, you’re underpaid, your company isn’t ideal…that can be OK, for now. They aren’t the key evaluators in your life. You are. Do your job well for YOU. Even if you don’t like your specific work, or the work environment you are in, you can love the way you do it. Be able to pat yourself on the back at the end of every day. By doing so, you also set yourself up for finding, within your company or somewhere else, a job you will enjoy more. And you may discover, as you focus on doing it better, that some of the irritants of your job become more rewarding, or at least less lousy.”

Don’t be afraid of being stuck in the same job for life.  Don’t focus your energies there, nor worry and obsess. Individuals, Jim says, who emphasize the positive and rewarding aspects of their job, don’t stay in unpleasant jobs that long. They get promoted or use their positive record to get a more fulfilling job.

So, paraphrasing a verse Stephen Stills penned in his song “Love The One You’re With”,

If you can’t be in the job you love…
Love the job you’re in (or the way you do it)

It will make EVERY JOB much more enjoyable and rewarding!


It’s the little things you either do or don’t do on a daily basis that make ALL the difference in your life and your business. However you can’t change what you DON’T SEE! Get your FREE E-Guide– Discover what’s Missing in Your Success Equation.

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