Everybody loves appreciation and positive feedback. Everybody wants to have a purpose in life, therefore we are also looking for a deeper meaning in our job, since we spend quite a lot of time in it. We want to see where we are going and have a feeling like the time we spend is time spend well. Basically we want to do something purposeful and meaningful in our life. Something we can be proud of. And if our job does not offer us such an outlet for our desire for expression, we suffer pain.
According to a section in Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles every year a management consulting firm conducts a survey with 200 companies on the subject of what motivates employees. Employees are instructed to give them a list of ten possible things that would motivate them the most. Appreciation is always number one on the list. Giving the same task to the supervisors results in appreciation ranking the 8th spot. This is a huge difference and also the reason you probably don’t get a feeling of being appreciated in your working environment very often. Get yourself his book The Success Principles. I can deeply recommend it to you since it changed my life.
However “strong” and self-motivated you are, sooner or later you will not be able to sustain your enthusiasm if your work environment does not support you in any way. You can bring acceptance towards it, but you might not enjoy it as much as in the beginning. If you will never get any acknowledgment or appreciation for the stuff that you offer you will run dry on motivation. A lot of supervisors seem to “get this” consciously, but how often do they really give you a warm “thank you, well done!” for the service you render. It could be so much easier this way. Actually most of the people WANT to do good work. They love the fact to be in on something and contribute something for the bigger picture, who doesn’t? But if you never get anything out of it or feel like you could be replaced anytime because your supervisors give you the impression that you are replaceable, things change.
When you find yourself in such a scenario, see it as a learning lesson (just like everything else in life). Use it to practice acceptance and train yourself a long-term perspective. If you feel unhappy about the work you do right now, use this to train yourself resilience. It is one of the most essential attributes of a successful person. Whenever you want to achieve something big in your life, you have to fight your way through A LOT of obstacles. There will be times where your life gets rough and you have to be strong. You have to keep moving forward and do whatever is necessary to reach your goal. But this is only achieved with a HUGE amount of resilience and focus. Remember: if you cannot do a kick-ass job at McDonald’s, how could you imagine yourself being a world-class actor? James Franco talks in an interview of The Actors Studio about how he trained himself accents at the McDonald’s drive-through. He used his current life situation for the best, made a living and also pursued his dream. This is something you can do too.
I don’t say you should accept your current situation and don’t change it if you don’t like it. Furthermore I would encourage you to step up in life and get what you think you are worth. Do your job, do it good, but also pursue your own business, whatever that may be. There are 24 hours a day and you are probably awake 18 hours of them. You work for 8 hours and then there are 10 more hours you can use to build something up. There are no excuses! If you REALLY want to step up your game you cannot allow excuses to stop you. When you come home from work, this is where your second shift starts! If you really want to reach bigger goals, this is what is necessary. If you can’t make yourself do this, you probably don’t want to do it enough and your “dream” is probably just a little wish.
(Photo: Yoyo Restaurant – Happy Employee)