I was raised not to “hate”, but to dislike.
It was always: “don’t say hate, say dislike. You don’t hate it, you dislike it.” Even today: my mother, when she’s visiting, will correct my children / her grandchildren: Hate. Dislike. Hate. Dislike. No, hate. No, dislike.
And it’s useful. Because hate is such a strong emotion, it can really inhibit the thinking.
Even when (especially when!) it feels like hate is the only feeling that’ll do, reframing that hate as dislike can really get us back to quality thinking. Can get us back to resourcefulness, ingenuity, energy, focus and direction.
So if you find yourself in a job you hate (I mean, dislike), try writing these 2 lists – to reintroduce a quality of thought and provide a springboard from which to take positive, career-changing action.
List #1: Gratitudes
However crappy things have become, they were unlikely always like that. And even right now, this job you hate so much is giving you some important facilities.
So, what are you grateful to this job for? This job that’s supporting you. That’s providing you money enough to enjoy a certain standard of living. This job that’s offering you useful and hard-earned experience, in whatever direction that may be. This job that’s making it crystal-clear to you the things you demand, deserve and want from your next role. This job that’s providing the stepping stone to your dream job.
Make a list now of all the things – and people – for which you’re especially grateful.
List #2: Tolerations
From the very big (illegal or integrity-threatening) to the very small (we’re out of fresh milk. Again.), what are you tolerating in your current role? Tolerations can become so common place, we hardly notice. But the reality is that they come at significant personal cost.
So, what are you tolerating? What are you putting-up with? What frustrations and irritations are you letting ebb at your energy and vitality? What toxic relationships are you perpetuating? What basic needs do you have that are not being met? What business is being left unfinished? What compromises that were once unacceptable have crept back into work? What elements of the working environment?
And now: make the staunch commitment to get to work addressing – and as far as possible, eradicating – those tolerations. Some can be zapped in an instant or with minimal effort; others will need a plan over time. But all such efforts will be steps towards reclaiming control over your working life. And that will energise you.
The 2 sides to career shifting
It’s always been my firm belief that when we’re shifting or accelerating our careers, it’s important to work on BOTH creating the new future that we want AND improving the current reality.
We make better career decisions when we’re in a good place. But more than that, it’s just not acceptable to be miserable in something we invest so much of ourselves and our time in.
So make your 2 lists. Get to work improving the current reality. And know that it’s contributing to you moving onwards and upwards.