Mondays are easy to hate, right? It’s another day of getting up early, getting dressed, sitting in traffic, and then sitting in a cubicle, making phone calls we don’t want to make, attending meetings we don’t want to attend… right?
Why is it that we only think about Mondays in this way? How did we end up so bent out of shape by our work that every time someone mentions Monday we cringe in anticipation?
Do you remember the feeling you had when you were younger and your parents took you to get a new pair of shoes? No, not the feeling of the purchase – the feeling on that first day of school when you got to lace up the new kicks. I LOVED the first day I ever got to wear my shoes and it was like Christmas when I woke up. I could hardly wait to get out of bed and get dressed.
I want to bring the new shoes feeling to every Monday. I want to help people find a company and a role they love so much that they think of Monday as a gift and an opportunity to do the work they love. That’s why I’m currently working to develop a career design curriculum for college students. I’m excited about it, and it will be hosted at livingformonday.com, which is the inspiration for this post.
I have a question for you: why do you do the work you do? It sounds like a question from Dr. Seuss, but I’m serious… Have you ever sat down and wondered WHY you are working for your current company and why you have decided to spend every working day of your life in the role you hold currently? Does it get your blood flowing? Are you passionate about the company or the work? Does your current role eventually lead to a promotion into your dream job? Do you like the paycheck? Are you changing the world? If we start with knowing WHY we are doing the work, we can appreciate the OPPORTUNITY to do the work.
Whatever you do, I truly hope you’ll find a company where you can do passionate work based on your unique set of values. Because when we find that thing – that thing where the work stops feeling like work and starts feeling like an expression of our innermost desires to change the world – that’s when you stop wanting to kill Monday and you start looking forward to Monday.
Let me ask another question to reframe the Monday morning blues so many of us reference: What work do you GET to do today? Is there anything on your calendar today which you really, really get excited about? If not, why? How can you get more of those things on your calendar that get you going and make you want to get in the car and commute? What if the commute were more frustrating because you couldn’t wait to get in the office and do the work you love instead of being frustrating because you know you’re sitting in traffic just to show up and do work you hate?
If you don’t have anything on your calendar which is passion-based or values-driven, start forming a plan now to make that change! You are not condemned to a life of hating Monday and mind-numbing work. For your plan, we’ve got two options:
1) Become an indispensable Intrepreneur – This one is hard if you work for an organization whose values do not align with your own, and whose fundamental mission is out of the ballpark of your passion. BUT, if you’re at the right organization in the wrong role, we’re in business! Today, start brainstorming ways to add value to the organization.
Step 1: Throw your job description out the door. You know that work has to be done – fine. Get it done, but it’s time to do more. No more artificial limits.
Step 2: Start knocking on doors – especially of the professionals whom you know can help you grow in the right direction. Hi, I’m Barrett, I love this organization and I want to help out. Do you have any projects going on with which you could use some help?
Step 3: Execute. If you knock on a door and are given work, the ball is now in your court… and so is the responsibility. If the work is the work you love – you have to protect it. Do what you have to do to complete the project with absolute excellence. Learn, ask questions, work a couple of extra hours. This is no longer your job description, this is the work you love! Get after it!
Step 1: Draft your letter of resignation.
Step 2: Give it to your manager.
Step 3: Bust your tail for your final two weeks.
Sometimes, it is hard to know what you’re getting into when you join a company. While you may have thought you knew exactly what you were doing, perhaps you were a little of the mark – I thought I knew WAY more than I did about my first job. The fact of the matter is: if there is no way for you to do the work you love and make a living doing it with your current organization, it’s time to bid them farewell. Both parties will be better off in the long run.
I hope you can find a way to start living for Monday. Whether you become an all-star intrepreneur or you end up quitting in pursuit of the work you love – there are far too many Mondays in our lives to dread every single one of them.
What kind of work are you doing to live for Monday? Are there ways you could step outside of your job description to get passionate about your work? Do you believe there is a way for you to ever LOVE Mondays? Let me know in the comments!