Working for the weekend? You owe it to yourself to enjoy your work. Here are the new mindset shifts you need to get there.
There’s a popular song from the 1980s called “Working for the Weekend.” You’ve probably heard it before—it’s a catchy, popular tune, and if you wanted to, you could probably hum it to yourself right now.
Just so we’re clear: I have nothing against the song itself or the band, Loverboy, who wrote it.
But I have a problem with everything about the concept of “working for the weekend.”
Somehow, within the context of the American Dream and working our way up the corporate ladder, we also started to believe that we can’t enjoy our work. The whole point of moving up in our career became having more money to afford a nicer car, a larger home, a hypoallergenic dog and a yacht—all of which we can enjoy on the weekend.
The flip side of “working for the weekend” shows up in recent studies: 70% of us are disengaged employees, slogging through our work to get to one thing: the pleasure of the weekend.
The average American between the ages of 24 and 55 works an average of 40 hours a week. That’s roughly one-third of our week or around 40 percent of our waking hours.
It’s also 90,000 hours of your life, and upwards of 13 straight years.
If you don’t love your work, that’s a lot of time spent not enjoying your life.
If you’re one of the many who cannot wait for Friday and who start feeling anxious on Sunday afternoon because they know it’s almost Monday, then you are not in a good place, my friend.
At this point, you have two options: change your attitude, or change your job. I would encourage you to give the former a shot first. Try these methods:
1. Stop thinking about all the things you don’t like about your job.
Start thinking about what you do appreciate. Every time you start complaining in your head, stop, take a deep breath, and replace it with a positive thought. For example, when you’re working on something that’s tedious or difficult, consider all the ways the position you’re in has enabled you to grow your skillset. Or, think back on those months a few years back that you were unemployed and applying like crazy.
I know it’s also easy to vent to coworkers and friends about the parts of your job that make you want to pull your hair out, but try limiting that too. The more you complain, the more the hard parts of your job will linger in your mind—and the less headspace you’ll have to create a new attitude.
2. Get to know your coworkers on a deeper level.
Liking the people they work with is one of the number one cited reasons why people say they enjoy their job. Do you like your colleagues? Do you even really know them? Instead of spending your lunch break in your car (or worse—at your desk) invite coworkers to go out for a bite to eat together. Start participating in the tutoring or 5k programs that are available to you, or start those initiatives yourself.
Feeling connected to your team will go a long way in making your work feel more worthwhile.
3. Get energized to go to work every day.
It’s the “fake it ’til you make it” method.
Bring enthusiasm to your work, even if it’s forced, and over time you’ll start to feel it for real. Working out in the morning, setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier or buying yourself your favorite coffee drink on Mondays will make you feel so much better about your job because they’re putting you in a good mood before you even sit down at your desk.
If you try changing your feelings toward your work, and you still dread every workday and count the minutes on the clock until you can leave, then it’s time to consider option two: changing your job. This doesn’t mean that you should go in tomorrow and quit: Making a career change the right way takes planning and a strategy to do it well.
Even though it’s no small thing to change careers, you owe it to yourself to enjoy your work. If that’s not possible in the job you’re in, then it’s time to start looking for a new one. And truly, the best thing you can do for the organization is to get out—it’s far worse for you and the company if you stay in a position or in a company culture where you’re miserable and bringing down the morale.
So: Which path will you take? Will you start living the dream in your current job, or will you jump off the cliff, put in your two weeks and look for the dream job? The choice is yours, my friend. Don’t wait until the weekend!
As a speaker and author, Curtis Zimmerman has impacted over one million people with his life-changing messages and award-winning programs. Curtis is an expert at transforming organizations by inspiring individuals to live their lives at performance level.
Want to be inspired? Check out his podcast The Next 24 Hours.