What is your attitude towards your work? The position you take just might mean the difference between fulfillment and misery! This is the sixth article in a ten-part series, based on Craig Nathanson’s trademark “Ten P” model for vocational happiness. By Craig Nathanson The Vocational Coach™ What is your attitude towards your work? This is not a trivial question. On a recent trip to teach and speak in Russia I discovered that one’s culture can influence one’s position or attitude about their work. For example, in Russia, the pairing of work and joy doesn’t compute. The general feeling there is that one’s work is something that must be done whether one likes it or not. In North America, while there is a growing trend to choose more carefully one’s work, there still are remarkable similar attitudes about work. Mid-life is the chance to re-adjust your position about your work Mid-life is the perfect time to change or even recreate a new attitude about your work. It’s time to discard old non-useful ideas of the past and replace them with more useful ideas. This is not easy I should know. Now almost 4 years removed from corporate America, I have had many days and nights wondering what am I doing. Trading a six figure income managing other people in their jobs to now spending my days typing articles like this? Trying to give people new ideas how to discover and do what they love? Spending hour after hour in my private practice discussing with clients the same fears, concerns and yet eager anticipation that I had in recreating one’s work life. This isn’t a real job I would think. What am I doing while all those OTHER people commute to their real jobs. Work and Joy do fit together
Having an attitude about your work that you must not only enjoy but love what you do is not just reserved for the privileged in our society. Sure it may be harder to get started for some but just because we all have different starting lines doesn’t mean we can’t join the race to an authentic work life Are you too comfortable in your job? Up to age 40 or so, many of us have settled into a comfortable pattern about our work. We don’t necessarily love it or even like it, but it pays the bills and helps build our egos. Mid-life is a time of attitude adjustment You can live a more authentic life by starting to change your position about your work. Is what you do JUST a job to retire from? Or do you want to do activities each and every day which you love and never have to stop until you die? The only people who retire are people who don’t love what they do. Are you one of them? You can live a more authentic life but the changes reside in you. If you don’t change your position and direction of your work, then who will? I am still waiting for the first Human resource benefits package to offer ”Authentic life” with the 401K program and two weeks vacation but I am not holding my breath! Will this be hard work?? Changing one’s position or attitude about one’s work will be the hardest thing you have ever done. You will have to defeat external attitudes about work. These attitudes will come from co-workers, bosses, spouses and mother-in laws. Second you may lack the self confidence to stand up for your new attitude. It all starts with you Can you think of someone who you have been around who has a great attitude about their work? How can you try on a similar attitude about your work? Our beliefs about work may have to go Many of us have beliefs about work which just don’t fit us any longer but we hold on to them like an old familiar coat. Sometimes we forget its hard life we are living and not our fathers or our mother’s or our wife or husband. What can you do now? Ten steps to get started NOW!!
Expect to find happiness in your work if you are prepared to search for it Delete old patterns of thoughts and attitudes which are no longer useful for your work Don’t expect anyone else to change your attitude for you Do expect lots of resistance from others Practice daily a new attitude about your work Discard as quickly as possible negative thoughts about your work. Instead, change your work! Take a new position that you will no longer settle for unfullfilling and work without meaning in your life Create an inner awareness that the second half of your life can be authentic, happier and more satisfying Smile and laugh more in mid-age! Negativity gets defeated this way Expect to discover and do what you love! Practice a daily consistent attitude which is the same in the morning and at night. You’ll feel calmer about yourself as a result More fruit on your cereal Now over forty, You may have adopted a new diet, a new exercise schedule and maybe your relationships are improving and you might even be sleeping better. What possibly can be even better then this? Well, recreating a new attitude or position about your work will be like adding fruit on your cereal in the morning. It will put a smile on your face and a bounce to your step. In mid-life, this might just be what we need the most!