“I don’t love my job”

nolove_graphicAre you in love with your job? Perhaps you are simply in “like” with your job. Then again, you might just be hanging around until something better comes along secretly hating every soul-killing moment your at the office.  This month we are tackling the topic of finding the right job that you can “fall in love with” and stay with for years to come. I know what you are thinking. This sounds overly romantic for something as staid as work. Not to mention, this idea stands in stark contrast to the cultural trends of “no loyalty” and “job-hopping” we’ve seen increase over the last several decades. I hear you, but my question to you is simple: “why not?” Why not fall in love with your job?

Your Work Soul Mate

You can “poo poo” me all you want, but deep down I know the truth: you really want a job that feels like your soul mate. And just like romantic love, wouldn’t you love to be able to say your job had all of the following characteristics:

  • Appreciates your uniqueness – your talents and skills
  • Feels “easy”
  • Challenges you to be better
  • Feels like you are headed somewhere each and every day – on a mission
  • Feels productive
  • Meets your needs
  • A perfect reflection of who you are and what you stand for

You’re sold aren’t you? I do teach persuasion and influence classes after all.

Your Excuses

Assuming my masterful persuasion skillz (with a “z”) have gotten you to see the light, the next big question standing in the way is clear:  What’s holding you back from finding the ONE (the right job)? It turns out that we use all of the same excuses whether we are looking for the perfect job or the perfect partner:

  • I don’t know what the ONE looks like
  • I have a history / pattern of unhealthy jobs (I’m attracted to dysfunction. Sorry.)
  • I can change this one to be the ONE
  • I’ve come to the realization that the ONE is just not out there
  • I missed my chance
  • I need to settle (after all, real “love” is overrated, an immature concept, etc…)
  • I’m meant to be “single”
  • I’m not smart enough, qualified enough, (insert your version of) enough, etc…
  • I’m too old
  • I prefer to live with lots and lots of cats (cats can be pretty time consuming)

Consider this month as a funky combination of relationship therapy, career builder, match.com and the angry trainer at the gym. I don’t know how it’s gonna turn out but who can resist that mix? Even train wrecks have a certain appeal. And who knows, I might just throw in a dozen cats for good measure.

Speaking of cats, here is someone who really, really loves cats.  While I would not recommend this approach to either dating or interviewing, I’m going to let you be the judge…



A note from Brandon
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8 replies
  1. Melissa says:

    I’m sitting here with a cat on my chest while I job search on my iPhone. What a perfect time to read this article.

  2. Vicky Robinson says:

    What’s holding you back from finding the ONE?

    I have worked in a healthcare environment for over 20 years and it is all I know job wise. I’m sat here so frustrated because I want a job I love but simply do not know what to do to achieve that. It is so incredibly frustrating. How do I chose a change when I know only one job? 2 of my colleagues have now resigned with no job to go to, one will be supported by a partner for a while, the other has savings he will live on whilst he decides what to do next. We all recognise that the job is no longer for us. I suspect many of us have stayed in jobs we are unhappy with because it is what we know and the discomfort becomes a comfort (albeit a cold one in the end) because it is familiar to us, and is safe and somewhat easier than taking responsibility for our own happiness and then doing something about that. To create a new relationship, a new career from nothing when you’ve invested years in a relationship or job which you now recognise is very wrong for you is a block in itself. The cloak of the present and all invested in it weighs heavy. How to recognise what to move onto is one thing, then to do it is another. When you are young, you simply walk down a track, years later, the pain of recognising you have walked for too long down that road is a painful reality. Time presses your shoulder and cautions you to choose carefully, and so many stay resigned and keep on down the same road.. But I’m at a cross-roads…the young woman long gone, but the woman entering middle-age knows that settling is not an option for her, yet she stands waiting at the cross-roads, none of the directions apply to her anymore yet she cannot stop looking at them.. How to create a new set of directions? I find myself reaching out to you…

  3. Brandon Smith says:

    What a wonderfully insightful comment. Yes, it is all about overcoming fear – no small task. I promise to take on that very intimidating reality as part of this series. In the meantime, you might enjoy this series of posts I did some time ago on overcoming fear (click here).

    Glad to have you aboard. If I can help any further, don’t hesitate to drop me a note directly. That’s what I’m here for.

  4. Brook says:

    I love your website – I found the Taj Majal! I work in a corrections type facility i.e. criminals,drug addicts, you name it. And I work with corrections type mindsets i.e. tough guys, bullies, suspicious paranoid old men who hate Obama and are very conservative and like to cuss and brag about themselves. Oh, and favorites GALORE. , etc etc – HELP!! I’m an administrative assistant; and I could work anywhere but I desperately want out of that environment. It’s not cool man! But I’m afraid to leave cause I’m supporting my family as a single parent. I’m going back to school in the fall to finish my degree but in the meantime, this job is sucking my soul dry and I dread going to work and just want to put in my 2 weeks which would spell disaster for me financially.

  5. Vicky Robinson says:

    Hello Brook, I hope it’s ok to add a comment? You have identified that you do not want to work in a toxic environment; an environment which does not feed your soul.You want to put in your 2 weeks and that’s understandable but you state that would spell disaster for you financially.

    The aim has to be to be improve your life, so how to do that? I always think the first step is identifying that something in our life isn’t working, and then naming it. Once we have accepted there is a problem then for me the next process is thinking. Thinking about why I ended up in an unhealthy situation, thinking about what had happened in my life to cause me to make such a choice, the idea being to identify the true often deeply hidden root cause so that I don’t make a similar choice again. But in order for me to have made a different choice I have found it necessary to have my thinking challenged. I’ve challenged my thoughts, my behaviours, and my beliefs, not only about what I think about myself but what I also think about others. I’ve faced the strongest of fears. This has not been easy and for this I knew I needed extra support. I pulled on my savings choosing to use the money to put myself through counselling. I reasoned that the rainy day I had been saving for, the unknown situation I was so fearful of had actually arrived..

    The keys to my salvation have been the following, education in all its forms: I worked full time and studied for my degree in the evenings, I paid for counselling; I have been counselled and then have counselled myself pretty much every day for several years in every area of disfunction in my life and yes that has been as tough as old boots. It meant holding up a mirror to myself, spotting issues and then seeking out healthy solutions. All this took a lot ot time, but every day the seemingly small steps have added up, and I look back now and marvel at the progressive changes I have made and how each step has moved me further on in my life.

    There are no easy steps when we are in a painful situation, but my belief now is that pain has its own story to tell, pain tells us that something is wrong and that change is needed. And sometimes the pain needs intensive care…rest, maybe counselling, rest and lots of TLC for sure. Finally, a deep core faith that I can and would make it through each difficulty has been my most precious gift. Faith has kept me walking and trusting when I was in the dark. Faith allowed me to put one foot in front of the other when I was terrfied, exhausted and feared I could not go on… And no-one can take your own faith in yourself away from you..

    This is a somewhat indulgent post but my hope is that perhaps I may have written something that may offer you with an angle with the situation you are now facing.. Yours, Vicky

  6. Teri says:


    Please tell me you staged that video and that she doesn’t really have an MBA from Villanova. Please.

    Tried to share this on FB but couldn’t get it to work.


  7. Brandon Smith says:

    Hey Teri,
    To be honest, I don’t know much about the video other than I think it is pretty hysterical. Rumor has it that it is staged, but I just don’t know. I’ll look into why you couldn’t share it on FB. Sorry about that… but I hope the post made up for the snafu. 🙂

What do YOU think?

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