Last year I read a story in the Christian Science Monitor about a 66-year-old woman who retired and took a job as a grade school lunch lady.
And she absolutely loves it.
It was a testament to loving what you do — not what your title is or how much money you get paid, which tend to be driving forces in our decisions to take jobs or promotions.
This grandmother loved preparing healthy meals for the kids she cares about. That’s it. “If you hate your job, a good situation can become a bad one,” she said. “If you love your job, you can turn a bad situation into a good one.”
Many of us deal with jobs we don’t like — maybe even hate. I had a friend who used to sit in the parking lot before walking into the office every morning and cry in her car because she hated her job so much. That’s bad.
But what do you do when you’re stuck in a job you loathe — and you’re in the kind of stale economic state as we’re in right now?
Most of us probably do what our parents (and sometimes bosses) have told us to do: suck it up and be happy you have a job. But that doesn’t make us any happier.
The woman in the story had this to say about hating a job you can’t seem to leave: “If you hate your job, stop doing the parts you don’t like and spend more time doing the parts you do like. The worst that can happen is that you get fired from a job you hate, and is that really a loss? The best that can happen is that you start producing much better work that helps you move up the food chain.”
I love this advice.
She sticks to what she loves about her job — making healthy, tasty meals for the kids, following the guidelines put forth and sticking to her budget. But the paperwork and meetings that seem to bog her down? She skips ’em. If there’s something important, she said, they’ll find her in the kitchen actually doing her job.
I asked friends on Twitter and Facebook about whether they were in jobs they loved. And I was surprised — and encouraged — to read that a lot of folks have seemed to find a way to do what they love and get paid for it.
Jeffrey Chun is a pilot for a commercial airlines: “I’m doing exactly what I always wanted to do as a kid and am loving it.”
Ceanne Englar is a teacher and mom: “I get paid with hugs, kisses and ‘I love you’ moments. Sure, I’m a teacher and that’s what pays the bills, but I would give that up in a heart beat if I had to. But mom and wife? Never.”
But it was Technologist at iFIXpro Doc Rock who said it best: “I’m totally doin what I really want and you know good and well I ain’t gettin paid for it. The odd thing is it makes me happy. When I finally committed to ignore the money I found true enjoyment and content. Like a hard to get lover, money noticed me ignoring it and it wanted me more. I think when you are happier money finds you. Maybe I’m weird but I think I’ve finally made it.”