How to succeed at a job you don’t love

Most college students have jobs. They’re simple, low-wage jobs to get us through our bachelor’s, not necessarily work we’re looking to do for the rest of our lives.

Throughout your college career, people are going to ask you if you have a job, and you’re going to say no until it makes you feel like a bum so you find one. Sometimes I think that’s the only reason I have a job.

I don’t love my job. I work because I need those boots on the display table. I work for B.P. oil, for the people the question: Do you work? I work for J.P. Morgan, I work for Allstate, for my Netflix subscription and for my Prime subscription. I work for the necessities — deodorants, shampoo, toothbrushes, etc. I work for long hours and minimum wage, and I work because they wouldn’t give any of it for free.

If you’re like me, you work because life makes it a necessity. Here are three things to remember before going to your next shift.

Customers

I work at a grocery store, and one time a customer asked me if we had yams (Of course I didn’t know.) She pointed to the sweet potatoes, and said, “Are those yams?” And I told her that I did not know the difference. Which led to a high shrill of laughter and, “Why do you work here?”

Some days it’s not about how much work you do but how much it takes to do it.

It’s important to remind yourself that not everyone comes to shop but to flaunt their ego.

Even if you don’t work retail, all businesses have to deal with customers.

The type of customer you deal with only slightly varies depending in terms of location and expectation. Even working at a place of low expectation can attract the sourest of personalities. At work, dealing with them is half of the earnings or all of it on some days. On the day of the yam lady, I earned $62 dollars to learn the difference between a sweet potato and a yam: Sweet Potatoes are orange on the inside not white.

Management

An easy job can be made impossible under weak leadership and vice-versa. So, if you’re like me that means you have no boss because he was successfully fired after months of solid determination by corporate leadership.

And if you’re like me that means you have a heavy workload without someone to organize everything, so you become your own boss.

And if you’re like me that means you have two separate departments to close because of scheduling errors, and there’s no way you’re getting out at 9:30 p.m. Management makes the job stressful, and they tend to forget gratitude.

Low-wage labor will never be fully appreciated or recognized as anything more than grunt work. So, it is always unsatisfying to give one hundred percent to something that will not matter. What I try to remember at those times is simple: Whatever work I don’t do another co-worker has to. And that’s more than enough reason to put in the effort.

Coworkers

There are three types of people at work: the ones you know by name, the ones who decided to change your name because your real name wasn’t good enough and then the ones you don’t believe exist.

Sometimes I devise my work day so that I don’t run into the crazy one’s.

Every once in a while though I’ll have to because maybe they’re the only one else around and I need their help. Then there are the coworkers you have to see regardless of your own desires.

But more importantly, there are ones that you look forward to seeing but you don’t get to because management knows that you want to. And that would put work in danger of not being work, and they’d have to call it “fun” because “work” wasn’t suitable anymore. I guess if you don’t like people life will always be stressful but learning to focus on the positives in each person you meet might make the day sweeter.

Going to work can be challenging, especially if you hate your job but I go into work everyday with a personal goal. How can I disrupt workplace policies that keep me from enjoying my job? On days I don’t succeed I get an ice-cream cone.

 

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