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IN THIS TRYING TIME, TRY TO LOVE THE JOB YOU HATE



"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. "
-Confucius



It's of little comfort thinking about the industrial quality sanitizer dispensers we installed at staircase landings and common areas, the SARs response plan and the wipe-down protocol I have left with the company I worked for (nuts!) 35 years. Back then, in 2003,we were already big on testing, screening, quarantine and contact tracing. And, we did a good job, keeping our factories open.


"And, we did a good job, keeping our factories open." It's not so good out there now. We are all in this grim mush. The scarier prospect is that no one knows when it will all end. It's been a yo yo. We thought Singapore had it in their pockets. Then, their infections skyrocketed. From a model, it is now the worst in the region. South Korea had their highest daily spike and China just reported their first double figure in weeks. The two Uniteds, the US and UK are not in good stead, to put it mildly. Taiwan seems to be steady. But, I contend, you don't know what you don't know. Indonesia was zero in the first few weeks of the pandemic. North Korea is still a Covid-19 virgin. So it seems.




The world just reported; infected people have now exceeded 4 million. A mass ten times Iceland's total population and a bit more. The Director General of Malaysia's Health Ministry, who enjoys celebrity status for the good job he's done, is right. 'It's about lives and livelihood.'



Lives and Livelihood



Lives.There are now more than 270 thousand fatalities. At least a million people are grieving and suffering the loss. The carnage continues. The virus will not kowtow to a million nuclear warheads nor a zillion greenbacks. It will continue its rampage through humanity until a shining savior descends with a vaccine. Even then, it will take years before the poorest have a chance to be injected with the shield. This is the world the dead have left. This is the world we alive have to bear with.


Livelihood. United States, reportedly, has more 20 million jobless, is facing a 15% unemployment rate, the worst since the Great Depression of 1929. One of Trump's assets added to his country's unemployment numbers. The President's hotel released more than 500 people into the labor market. Elsewhere, it was reported that 80 million people in China have lost their jobs. The Covid-19 devastation of the world economy, based on current trending will result in a 190 million job wipe-out. The impact will reverberate across a billion lives. Food on the table will disappear. World organizations warn of starvation, which, again will take lives away. More sufferings. Possibly social upheavals. Food will impact health. Lack of food and health will cause security issues. We, if we survive and even those with better means will face a daunting future. Unless a near miracle happens. A cheap and accessible vaccine is harvested in a few months. Suddenly, there is a sprout of entrepreneurial geniuses from this ravaged earth and new jobs are created from this disruption. Pray for nothing but this happy closure. Everyday.



It's a no-brainer. You don't need a divine revelation commanding that you hang on to your job, with the current situation. But what if you hate your job? What if you hated it before you've paid any attention to 'Wuhan.' Then, you've got to find the love again for the job you hate.


Protect Your Brand



Before you even take the first step in this romantic journey, don't act the part. Don't slouch, gripe and snipe. Don't megaphone your disenchantment to the world around you. Don't make it so visual that the boss is enchanted enough to elevate you in the next to go list. William James, the philosopher who lived in better times than ours (19th century), said, " Act enthusiastic to be enthusiastic." Our contemporary, Dr. Sian Beilock of the University of Chicago confirms that our body can influence our mind.



You can do it. Say, "Good morning. I am grateful to be alive. What's next?" Put up your hands. Work on the tough assignments. Come in earlier. Stay later. There are millions who won't mind having your job. Think about this. Doesn't this make you feel privileged? Grateful? Rewarded? Still doesn't cut it?


To overcome any threat, you have to define what it is and where it is coming from. You can have laser sharp focus, only if you look at the threat without being emotional. Consciously try to catch your emotions thinking.


In other words, when you have a thought laden with emotional adjectives, stop and re frame the issue. To do this effectively, it is better to write down your gripes. Instead of griping, " I am always the target of unfair blame," list the incidents when you are blamed for something which you feel were unjust. Understand that it is always too early to be 'always' and unfair is from your perspective. Just write the facts and why you think it's unjustified.



Let's track back a little. You hate your job. Which part of the job you hate? Or, is it that you hate working for people? Whatever it is, let's give this a shot. Alternatively, you can walk to the nearest labor office to look at the unemployed queue or just read this.


Let's give this a shot. You hate your job because you hate the routine? Is it relationship? With your boss? Do you feel excluded because the team speaks Chinese and you don't? You think the pay is poor? How do you know? Do you have a copy of the compensation survey? You don't like the commute? What exactly do you hate about anything of your job? You must be able to write it down clearly.




You are engaged in, if you have not heard of it, framestorming. Framestorming is like brainstorming . Instead of ideas, you throw out questions. This process enables you to work on the right issues. Before you start brainstorming ideas. On a piece of paper, ask the questions. Delve into the relationship and questions about each component of your work.

Then, go into the questions of what make you feel this way. Proceed to the what can be done questions. And then the who owns the problem questions. The desired outcome is clarity and an action plan to dissolve the hate for the job you  have to love now. Remember many are waiting to be the lover of this enchanting venture.

Love to Love


Even if you could not extract all the venom, by working on the issues, you can at least make it a bit more bearable. If there is such a thing. At least you are giving yourself the opportunity to work on your problems instead of lamenting. A key benefit from this exercise is that it will take away sudden, impulsive, response, if any, lurking in your boiler room upstairs. 


Another tip is that you might want to talk to "people who are doing well." Get their opinions. Disguise and discuss your issues and listen to their opinions. Ask how they would solve it. I am pretty sure they have interesting perspectives that will help you. 


The key outcome of this effort is an action plan for you to focus and work on dissolving the negative feelings bout your job. Working on the process might help you understand and appreciate your job better. It may even, and this is the ultimate win, encourage you to reach out to your boss. Suddenly, you understand him better. Suddenly you appreciate his position. Suddenly you love him as a boss.

Now, get back to work on doing the good work you have always done. Remember, the people who need your job, need help. Give a little.





If I have not been helpful, you might just need William James. Listen carefully, he is talking.


"I don't sing because I am happy, I am happy because I sing."

"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step of overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."

"It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome."

"Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."

"The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another."



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