Stuck for Real

Bill Abbate
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Have you noticed how some people feel stuck in their job while others are energized by theirs? Two people can be employed by the same company doing the same job, yet one person will love what they do, while the other can feel trapped and disillusioned. What is it that creates this difference? Could it be the job, or simply the way they view their work?

I ran across an old quote that speaks to this subject quite well:

"If your work is work to you and you don't see beyond that work and see the pleasure in work and the pleasure in service, look out; you are in danger of standing in your present station for a long, long time." Milan R. Bump (1881-1924)

Most of us have read about how loving the work you do can lead to a better life. However, Bump is the first I have found that addresses how you can get stuck by not looking beyond your work to the pleasure in it.

Being stuck

While Bump wrote those words a century ago, they are as true today as when he penned them. It seems that those who often complain about the work they do or say they do not enjoy their work continue doing the same thing for many years. They wind up stuck.

I had a friend who was like this. He remained in the same line of work his entire career if it can be called that. In actuality, there are two parts to a career: longevity in the same field and opportunity in that field. While he had the longevity, he sabotaged his chances for opportunity because of his attitude toward his work. Maybe profession or vocation would be a better word to describe his work rather than career.

As Bump noted, he could not see beyond his work and found no pleasure in the work and service he provided. Could a simple thing like not enjoying your work, not seeing the good or opportunity in it, keep you stuck in your job? You bet it could. Most of us know people stuck in a similar situation.

Getting unstuck

The solution to this problem of getting stuck is obvious, isn't it? You can change jobs and try to find work you enjoy, or you can change your attitude and find enjoyment in the work you do. While changing jobs is an option, you will find more of the same in the next job without a change in attitude towards your work.

But if you take the route of changing your attitude, it can put you on a different track to help you get unstuck where you are.

How can you see your work differently? It's a simple matter of appreciation. What are some things you can appreciate about your job? Why not learn to be thankful for:

  • having a job. Not everyone is employed, so you can consider yourself one of the fortunate.
  • steady and stable employment.
  • being able to provide for your family and yourself.
  • whatever freedom exists in your work.
  • allowing you to be a productive member of society.
  • the people you work with. For their relationships.
  • for your competitors creating a competitive environment in which everyone gets better and produces better products and services.
  • being able to apply your skills in a positive way.
  • being able to learn at work and having the opportunity to sharpen your skills and abilities.
  • the products and services your company offers in the marketplace.
  • the service you provide to the company and its customers.

This short list contains only a few things for which you can be thankful. What others can you add?

The more you find to be thankful for and appreciate at work, the more you will find pleasure in your work and the service you provide. This appreciation will naturally create more opportunities for you.

Final thoughts

By looking beyond the work you do, you can find pleasure in it and pleasure in the service you provide. If you cannot see beyond the work as "work," you may be stuck for a long time doing what you are doing. Why not shift your attitude and seek the good in what you do. You will find what you look for when you look for the good in your job and how it serves a purpose.

You can learn to see your work differently if you wish. Look at how much you have learned during your life and how you have changed and grown. By changing how you view your work, your entire life can change for the better. Why not give it a try? What do you have to lose?

If you take one thing away from this article, I hope you realize that you will grow fonder of anything you appreciate in life. In other words, what you appreciate appreciates. Remember, the opposite is true as well – the value of what you do not appreciate depreciates, whether it is a job, a person, or a material thing, this rule applies to all.

What can you begin to appreciate today? Appreciate it and watch it change before your very eyes!

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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