I tried to be stealthy as I slid into my rolling chair and turned on the computer. So far so good; maybe no one’s noticed. I was silently placing my purse in the desk drawer when a voice in front of me made my heart fly to my throat.
“Why did you think you could stroll in here fifteen minutes late without calling?”
I reflexively slammed the drawer closed – onto the hand I was still using to hold my purse. Cursing wouldn’t help anything. I tried to ignore the pain.
“Oh sorry – my ah, stupid alarm. It wasn’t loud enough today.”
Was he waiting around the corner for me to walk in? That’s not fair.
“You could have called,” he was saying. “You’ve been late several times this month. We open at 8AM and you’re expected to be here at that time."
My boss marched away.
Why try at work?
Why put in the extra effort to give it your best?
What if you hate your job; what if you’re in a slump; what if it’s a Monday?
Maybe your boss is a jerk. Maybe your work is getting a little stale. Maybe you don’t make enough money to warrant one more ounce of your time and energy.
Maybe your car broke down yesterday. Or you’re thinking about that degree you don’t get to use here. Your fast-food dinner from last night might be coming back to haunt you. Or maybe your mother-in-law is moving in.
How do you try when you’ve got bigger things to worry about?
How do you try when you don’t really… care?
Whether it’s just how you feel today or how you’ve felt since your first day, what reason do you have to do your best – every day?
Advice I’ve read or listened to in the past, has often assumed that I either loved the job I had at the time, and wanted to advance there, or it told me that, well, we all have to make a living in this world, and if I get myself fired from my job, my income will stop, and… wouldn’t that suck.
But I didn’t want to stick it out for long in a lot of my jobs; I didn’t want to advance. I knew how to do just enough to not get fired (in most places, anyway), so I didn’t feel like I had to worry about my income stopping.
And even when I later found work I loved, the thought of either getting a promotion or keeping myself from getting fired, wasn’t enough to really pump me up a lot of days.
What about you? Does your job’s ladder keep you constantly turned on? Or does saving your job keep you constantly on fire?
Maybe your job is amazing, and maybe it holds nothing for you at all.
In either of those cases, or any in between, what reason would you have to really give it your best – every day?
It took me years to figure it out, and when I did, it changed everything for me.
Ready? It’s one little sentence. Your reason to do well at work is this:
You can use this job to get what you want.
Gosh, I feel like I’ll never get tired of saying it! Just one more time:
You can use, this job, to get what you want.
And that means: It doesn’t matter what “this job” is.
And that means: It doesn’t matter whether you like it, or whether you hate it, or whether it pays enough, or whether it has any application to your degree, or whether you’ll be there for the next six months or the next two weeks.
You can use it to get what you personally want out of life, for your personal life. You can use it to get what you want.
Think about that. It sounds like complete BS. I’m sure plenty of people will think of plenty of reasons and situations where it’s not true.
But want to know what your job has to be, in order for this to work? (The way I’m going to show you, anyway, which is how to do it and have real happiness and fulfillment.)
It has to be legal, it has to be moral, and it has to be ethical. It can’t be breaking any laws, and it can’t be hurting you or anyone or anything else. That’s it.
Maybe you want to be a fashion designer and you’re making fast food. Maybe you want to travel the world and you work in a cubicle. Maybe you want to be a millionaire and you make minimum wage.
You. Can. Use it.
This will take work, and that’s why it’s your why. To use this job to get what you want, you have to excel.
You might not get any awards or recognition. You might not even get a “thanks” from your boss.
But it won’t matter, because you don’t need it for this to work.
You’ll just have to know for yourself that every day you’re giving it your best. That you’re doing certain things (which we’ll go over); that you’re learning certain things (which we’ll go over); that every day you’re a little better than the day before.
This will take deliberate, planned, action. It’s going to be a lot of work.
But you don’t have to love it. You don’t have to give up your life for it. You don’t even have to stay at it.
And you can use it to get what you want.
Start letting that marinate! When you want to knock your boss into tomorrow, tell that client how you really feel, or throw two fingers at the assignment you got stuck with, this is why you’ll be able to push on.
You can use this job to get what you want.
I’ll show you how.