We all lead a variety of lives. One of those includes the activities we pursue on our own time. Another is our work life. The interesting thing to me is that most of us invest much more time, effort and money improving our personal performance relative to activities than we invest in our work performance.
Take a look at the people you know who play golf, ride bikes, play basketball, and play tennis. Others hike, climb rocks, hunt and fish. There are those who play video games, play poker, and play chess. I could expand this list, but I'm sure you get the picture.
Now consider how much time and money these people spend on their activities - equipment, gear, tackle, clothing, fees, licenses, lessons, classes, memberships, books, magazines, newsletters, CDs, apps, travel expenses and more.
Before I go further, I want to make it clear that I think there is nothing wrong with spending time and money on activities we enjoy and that exercise our minds and bodies. We choose particular activities because we enjoy them. We invest time and money to become the best we can be pursuing them because it's a natural tendency to want to be good at something we enjoy. We spend the time and money because we want to, not because we have to.
However, what's curious to me is a comparison between improving personal performance pursuing these chosen activities and improving personal performance doing our work.
Do you invest as much time, effort and money improving your work performance as you invest pursuing your favorite activities? If you do, congratulations you're a member of a very small percentage of the workforce. If you don't, why not?
One possibility relates to recent polls that conclude as much as 70% of the workforce either hates their jobs or are completely disengaged. It also relates to the reality that most people won't attend training or educational programs unless they are mandated by their employers or they offer continuing education credits that help meet the requirements of their professions.
It seems obvious to me - far too many people don't like the work they do as much as the activities they choose. Forcing yourself to get up every day and spend eight hours or more doing something you don't enjoy is a tough way to live.
If you're in this situation, there's a way out.
First, make a commitment to become as good as you can be at your current job. The right people will notice the effort and opportunities for change and advancement will be more likely to come your way.
Second, decide on work you'd enjoy doing and be excited about every day. Don't assume that finding your ideal work is impossible. It's not. It may take some effort, but the end result will be well worth that effort.
Third, once your make your decision, start looking and spreading the word. Only talk with people who want the best for you and will support you in your search. Stay with it until the perfect fit shows itself.
Be grateful you have your current job, work to improve your personal performance, and prepare yourself for your ideal job by learning and becoming good at the requirements for that job.
Viewing your current job as a source of income that allows you to find the work you really want to do will change your attitude about it.
You're not alone in this process. Plenty of others have taken the journey before you and there are many people and organizations that are willing and happy to help. Don't be afraid to seek them out and ask for that help.