I’m convinced you could hate any job. Seriously, think about your dream job: video game tester, coffee cupper, music reviewer—you could hate that amazing job if you started seeing it as monotonous and routine.
And, to be honest, nearly every job becomes monotonous and routine at some point.
On the other hand, I think you could love any job that exists if you go into it with the right attitude. I once worked as a stock boy for Comp USA in the time of their most severe decline. It was a horribly monotonous job, and I had to wear a hand-me-down red shirt from a chain smoker who dressed two sizes larger than I.
But I enjoyed the job. I actually looked forward to going into work each day because I approached it like the best job in the world. In order to have that attitude, I did a few things I’ve seen others do in their jobs—people who love their jobs and can’t wait to get into the office each day.
Here’s what I did, and what you can do to make you job something you love
Innovate in Your Role
If you’re doing the job just as it has always been done before, you’re going to begin to hate your job. Humans thrive on dreams and new possibilities, so you need to bring those into your work. I love the way Martin Luther King Jr. put it:
“If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause and say, ‘Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.’”
When we do our jobs like we’re working directly for God, of course we would want to be the best.
How can a barista come up with a better way to brew a shot of espresso? How can an accountant find a better way to file information? How can a social media manager make the process better?
I don’t know. But I bet you could figure it out. And I guarantee your job would be more exciting if you did. Look for ways to innovate in your role.
Become the Go-To in an Area
Almost every workplace has that one guy who knows how to fix the copy machine when it breaks. Or the one person who gets tax law unlike anyone else. Or the one girl who knows how to set up the bagel toaster perfectly.
This sort of thing is what Joseph did throughout his life that ultimately led him to the right-hand spot by Pharaoh—the equivalent of second-in-command for a whole country. He was trustworthy and well organized, and he learned how to interpret dreams for his bosses. He became the go-to expert in every job he held, and that ultimately led to promotions.
Figure out something that seems to always be a problem at your job, and become the expert at fixing that problem. You’ll find renewed purpose and value. Not to mention, you’ll become invaluable to your boss when he or she knows you’re the one who can always solve the problem.
Look for Ways to Encourage Others
Believe it or not, your career is a ministry. It doesn’t matter if you work at a church or not, your job is to be a light to those around you (as Matthew 5:14 says). No matter what you do from nine to five Monday through Friday, your calling from God as a worker is to minister.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to share verses with people or hold public Bible studies. That might get you fired. But you could be the one who always encourages your co-workers. You could help illuminate possibilities and hope when things seem dark. When you start doing that, people won’t be able to help but ask you about the reason for the hope that’s inside you (1 Peter 3:15).
Make Your Boss Look Awesome
When I worked for an employer, I tried to make my boss look awesome. That meant doing my job with excellence. But it also meant saying good things about my boss and giving him or her credit even when I did most of the heavy lifting. That’s what it took to make my boss look great.
I’ll be honest; this doesn’t feel good when you first start doing it. And if you come from a place where your boss is always taking credit for your awesomeness, you might be hesitant to try this. But pre-emptively making your boss look awesome will keep them from trying to steal the credit, since it’s already theirs. Then, as you make them feel confident about their role as your boss, they will start wanting you to look awesome too.
It’s really just the principle of sowing and reaping applied to your workplace. Galatians 6:7 says that whatever someone plants comes back to them multiplied. If you’re planting seeds of “looking awesome” in your boss, that crop will grow back to you.
Plus, the craziest thing about all of these tips is that they usually result in raises and promotions. Management loves rewarding these types of behaviors. But even if not, this type of enjoyment and fulfillment in your role at work is reward enough.
I truly believe any job has the potential to be hated or loved. And those possibilities are mostly under your own control.