The sad truth is that no one cares about your job. No one cares about how many hours you work, your personal achievements at work, or how loved you are by management. Everyone works and everyone has some measure of stress from their job. Mindless minimum wage work has the hardship of low pay and often little room for gainful promotion. High-paying professional consulting has the benefit of good pay but the punishment of unending hours, mental strains, and a backstabbing culture to move up. Not all jobs are terribly stressful or difficult but stress is a given, it cannot be escaped. Your task isn’t to take pride in your duress but to find a way to enjoy your life on your own terms.
The “I’m a hard worker!” badge is the fool’s uniform. Your employer wants nothing more than for you to center your personal identity on your work output. Motivational speakers and psychology consultants develop incentives, programs, and rhetoric all specifically designed to help you forget that you’re just one of many millions of workers performing largely unfavorable jobs for money just so you can survive. Notice how over the past few years name tags at retailers have transformed from employee, to sales, to customer service, to customer service representative, to associate, to partner. This is why it is imperative that you do not identify with your employer but with yourself. If you start to attribute your personal image to “insert job title here” you will lose yourself completely overtime. Those paychecks will mutate from providing you a way to live into oil running a machine.
Now, should you be truly in love and passionate about your profession that is a whole other scenario and we do not seek to detract from the meaningfulness of anyone’s work. This piece is written specifically for the battered workers that are treated like excrement every day and expected to swallow their pride because they aren’t good enough for it. Let your fellow man vent, do not fall into the trap of scolding others for their disappointments and frustrations. To attempt to relieve someone of their true feelings is an arrogant and disgraceful practice. Offering a different perspective may help them but to demand that they pep up when they are tired, overworked, or ill from their labor is to act as if they have not labored at all.
This is not to say there are not hopelessly negative people out there that manage to destroy every positive potentiality that comes their way. Identifying these types is easy because they shoot down every opportunity and have too long invested in a victim mentality to ever part with the hubris propping up such poisonous thinking. In effect, for them to take an opportunity would mean to undermine their character image. Avoid them.
Anger and frustration are not bad sentiments if you have the ability to channel them into something useful. Indeed, how else will you liberate yourself constantly diluting your real feelings into cheap feel good phrases and self-deceit? Denying yourself your true feelings about your life will only lead to resentment, confusion, and neurosis. Let your anger be a motivational force and you may manage to do something about your grievances, let it become who you are and you’ll never overcome anything.