One of the things I love about Universal Studios and Disney Parks is how friendly the staff is. Everywhere I went they were quick to say hi, which helped me be friendlier in return. After a week of this treatment I was in the habit of cheerfully greeting people myself and expecting a cheerful response… and that’s when I went to the airport; it’s not the same at the airport. Airport security will not be winning a customer service award for friendliness on this side of prison: (me being cheerful) “Hi!” (airport security with look of annoyance) “Ugh.” (me seeing another airport security person but a little less cheerful) “Hi.” (worker with look of ‘I hope you have something illegal on you so I can hurt you’). By the third rejection I was back to being hesitant to saying hi to people. This, of course, demonstrates how our friendliness (or the lack there of) will affect how others feel and act. It also points out that people who enjoy their jobs make life better for everyone involved. I’m not saying all airport security don’t like their job; perhaps they enjoy ruining peoples’ day. The sad thing is many people I talk to resent their work. Fortunately, I was able to talk to a number of the friendliest Disney employees to find out why they enjoyed their jobs so much, which has helped me create a list of 5 keys to liking your job:
- Live within your means: Many people resent their jobs because they have a lot of debt. No matter how much money you make, if you don’t use it properly, you’ll always think you need more, which leads you to resenting your job. To reduce these negative feelings, create and live within a budget. It’s good to strive for more, but beware the danger of greed.
- Find purpose in your work: One of the workers I met at Animal Kingdom has worked his present position for twelve years. He found great satisfaction in saying the same paragraph of information every five or ten minutes to people walking by. It was a simple and potentially monotonous job, but he found purpose in it, and that made the difference. To him, his job was the greatest job in the world because he got to connect with people.
- You won’t always smile: One lady at Animal Kingdom told us about the cruelty to elephants happening in Africa and she started to tear up. She cries at her job on a regular basis because of this topic, but she loves being able to share this important message. She clearly isn’t always happy, but she thoroughly loves her job.
- Be around positive people: I’ve found it easy to pick out complainers and negative people at every job I’ve been at, but a major help for enjoying your job is to find and spend your time with people who are enthusiastic about it. It’s easier to be happy around people who are happy. Unfortunately, many of us, especially those who like helping others, are drawn to the complainers, which ultimately brings us down too.
- Focus on the positive: When I started my last church job I was excited because of all the little perks it gave me like a short commute, but after awhile I found myself taking these perks for granted and focusing on what it didn’t give me, which made it hard to like what I was doing. When I got back to focussing on the positive I was able to start liking my job more.
If you don’t like your job there are three choices: you can continue being miserable, strive to appreciate your job, or leave. If you choose to stay then find some trusted people who can help you see the good in what you do. There’s always good; it just might be harder to find than we would like.
This week may you start to find greater satisfaction in your work and better appreciation for your job.
Rev Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, Learning to love dumb people