What’s in it for you at work?

guest post by Joan Elmore

***Joan and I met a few years ago and connected quickly. We’re both driven, excited about the possibilities, and TIRED of seeing people hate their jobs. Interesting how we ended up wanting to empower people to get more out of their everyday. I’m currently going through Joan’s book right now and I love it. Here’s what she has to say- LynnLee

I didn’t always like going to work.

I’d huff and sigh after hitting snooze seven times, and fly through getting ready so I wouldn’t be late again.  During the drive, I’d fantasize about turning off onto the interstate and heading out into open air and freedom.  During the day, I’d keep track of the clock and celebrate as each hour ticked by and got me closer to being back in my car.

Sunday afternoons were the worst.  It was still my weekend, and I was trying to enjoy it, but in the middle of my fun I was still dreading the next day.  Why couldn’t it be Friday evening again?  

I lived for Fridays.  And vacations.  And holidays.  And getting the flu.

And the crazy thing was, I loved some of my jobs.  They checked off a lot of things on my job wish list, I really enjoyed the work, and I loved the people I worked with and for.

But I still couldn’t help feeling let down.  And restless.  And a little resentful.  And I just couldn’t be in the mood constantly.

I wanted other things.  I had bigger goals for myself.  I felt like I could do more.  I wanted to live with this time that was supposed to be mine once I graduated high school and became a grown-up.  I wanted meaning, and purpose, and the pride and fulfillment of giving back to mankind with my work.

Is this all there is?  Is this everything my parents and teachers were prepping me for?  Thank goodness they’d made it sound exciting, or maybe nobody would stay in school.

But that was back before I figured out what was really in it for me.

Once I did, it changed everything.  Everything about waking up to go to work, and being there, and my weekends, and Sunday afternoons.  Everything about the goals I had for myself and how I could achieve them.  Everything about what was possible for me and my life.  And it changed a ton about me.

And now that I’ve finally figured out what work is really for, and what it can really do, I want to spread the happy news to everyone I can reach, and here it is for you today:

You don’t go to work for a paycheck, or to chase your boss’s goals, or for benefits, or for any of the other incentives your company might have dangled out ahead.

And there are no such things as “dead-end jobs”, and no matter how much seems to be missing from yours, there’s something amazing there for you, and you don’t have to wait around for your company to give it to you.  In fact, your company will pay you to take it.

Ready for this?

You can use your job to get what you want.

Yep!  That’s right:

You can use your current job to achieve any goal and get you what you want for your life.

Nobody told me that when I was growing up.  Nobody told me that when I graduated into adulthood and started filling out applications.  Oh, I was taught all about how important it would be to continue my education, and keep sharpening my skills, and look for ways to contribute to the world.

But nobody told me that all of those things could be found in my first job as a janitor for a telemarketing office.  Or my second job as an office assistant.  Or the job I got fired from.  Or the job after that where I was in a call center and getting yelled at over the phone all day, or any of the jobs after that.

And all those things are there for you.  All those things are there for you as an animal trainer.  Or a zookeeper.  Or a curator.  Or a vet tech.  All those things are there for the people working in the gift shop, or in admissions, or cleaning the bathrooms, or setting appointments, or feeding visitors.

Priceless education, skills, connections, opportunities, advantages, and countless ways to give back, and all of them are there waiting for you to take them and achieve your most-desired dreams and goals.

And it’s the best news!  Maybe this should be the long-lost secret that’s been buried in the earth for centuries.  And maybe this is at long-last, the answer to that pesky question of employee motivation and engagement.

You can use the job you have now to achieve your biggest, craziest, most-obnoxious goals, and have the life of your dreams.

And when you use your job, you’ll be happy there.  And fulfilled there.  And motivated, and engaged, and performing at superstar levels.  Your boss will be thrilled.  Your coworkers will love you.  Everything in your care will benefit immensely.

And you’ll come into work everyday with your own secret purpose that will make it feel like it’s Christmas Eve constantly.

If you want to make a gigantic jump-start to using your job, here’s the 90-Day Challenge:


*** This post contains affiliate links.

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