You must consider yourself lucky, if your work, your life purpose (in your eyes) and your passion all align together and form this combo package called your day job. Also bonus, brownie points if you are making tons of money from said day job and also loving it.
But for the vast majority of folks out there, this is pure fantasy, found only in the realms of deep REM sleep. Most of these people either hate their jobs or suffer in silence because it pays the bills and that is all they know how to do professionally, blah blah.. The reasons are endless.
I can relate to your frustration. I have been there.
You see, between 9 to 5 pm on weekdays, I am a data analyst at a bank. Crunching numbers, whipping out fancy Excel reports out of my butt and making sweet love to SAS and SQL are part and parcel of my day job.
But the thing is, being a data analyst is not my passion, by far. I am a psychotherapist in training, I love to drum and play music, enjoy writing, blogging and traveling, whenever I can. Also psychotherapy is what I really want to do.
But the bank job is great too. I am good at what I do, my team loves me and I love them, I have a good manager, I make good money and the bank has an amazing work-from-home policy which makes life really comfy.
But things were not so hunky dory about 1.5 years ago. I was going through my spiritual awakening and I was deeply frustrated with my job. I could not relate to the corporate world anymore and I used to lie in bed and psyche myself for 20 minutes, to go to work, every morning. I was still good at what I did but I was not getting promoted, felt stifled at work and I was really bored of what I was doing.
I was still good at what I did but I was not getting promoted, felt stifled at work and I was really bored of what I was doing
But then I realized that true spiritual growth is not about hanging out with hippies and lightworkers, mouthing feel good, love and light jargon, going for “healing” treatments and otherwise completely hating and trying to dissociate from everything else in life. My work situation then became a test for me (like in those spiritually badass, Zen parables).
I went through a metamorphosis and it was all about how I perceived my situation at the workplace and things changed for the better when I slowly shifted that perception over a period of 6 months. Here are 5 beautiful lessons that I learnt from that experience –
- I Stopped Hating My Job
The first step was to stop hating my job. This job has given me so much and still does. It has taught me so much about the corporate world, about work ethics, about working with people, about professionalism. It gave me the opportunity to come to Canada and somewhere in my heart I still enjoyed being a data analyst. I had to look at the bright side
- I Find Little Pleasures, Even in the Most Mundane Tasks at Work
Joy is the easiest thing to find if one knows how to look. You don’t need to wait for the fancy, beach vacation at the end of the year to find joy. You become joy and then even the most mundane tasks become joyful. I played games with myself while I worked. How fast can I make that report? What if I use this new style of graphs in that report? Try something new, help out someone, when it is not your obligation to do so. I started enjoying my daily groove again, I made more friends at work and the atmosphere lightened
- Whatever I Do, I Want to Do It Well
I really believe in this motto. I am not a perfectionist by nature but I do my best to not do a half-ass job when I can help it. There is something to be said about the pleasure of a job well done. Even if it’s a report that no one looks at, I know I did a good job and I feel satisfied
- I Stopped Comparing Jobs and Putting Other Careers on a Pedestal
In the spiritual community, people are conditioned to believe that professions with corporate and governmental institutions are evil and stuff like energy healing, other healing therapies, nutrition, yoga etc. are somehow holier-than-thou professions and something that everyone should aspire for. I used to feel ashamed at telling people about my day job at these “spiritual” gatherings, until I chose to stop comparing and be proud of what I did for a living. A job is just an experience. An emotion like happiness is no better or worse than another emotion like sadness. It is just different and so is a job, in my opinion
- I Brought My New Found Spiritual and Emotional Maturity to the Workplace
Whatever I was learning and experiencing spiritually, I started bringing that wisdom into the workplace. I stopped judging my colleagues. I became easier to work with but also asserted my boundaries in a healthy manner. I smiled more and I helped out people in need, without over committing myself (boundaries, boundaries, boundaries!)
As I changed my inner perception, the external landscape at my workplace started changing
As I changed my inner perception, the external landscape at my workplace started changing. I got spotted by someone from senior management and I was offered a position with a promotion and a chance to work for what I considered to be the dream team. Earlier I had thought that it would be impossible for me to get into that team. My manager turned out to be an amazing guy and quite the mentor. Everything changed for the better and now even though, I am very much committed to become a psychotherapist in the near future, I respect my day job and I am at peace with it. So can you.