Turn a Job into Lemonade

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YES. Believe it or Not. Your “Day Job” is full of purpose. What you’re doing for a living, not only pays the bills, but it’s teaching you and sharpening your skills, gifts and talents so you can take it with you to the next level.

Even if you dislike your job, consider this: you are there for a reason and it can be a valuable stepping stone if you let it, especially with a small shift of curiosity, attitude and action. If you focus on the positive, the positive will grow. You can squeeze even the most sour, puckering lemons out of your professional life and make the most delicious, refreshing, satisfying lavender lemonade just in time for summer.

“How?” you might ask, baffled.

You’re going to be an investigative reporter. Now, get a piece of paper and pen or a voice recorder ready. You are about to interview yourself. You can answer all the questions in one swoop, or break them up into different sittings. If you do that, then work to complete all of them in consecutive days, in order to keep the subject matter fresh in your mind. Read the question and comments/follow-up questions, then just answer the numbered, underlined question. Don’t spend too much time on each question. Five minutes at the most. Here are the five questions:

  1. WHAT are you getting out of your “day job?”

Sure, it pays your bills, but what else? Does it get you up early to enjoy the freshness of the morning? Do some of your colleagues make you laugh? Do you receive health insurance, vacation time? Do you get to use fruity, smelly, vibrant markers on big sheets of blank paper? Have you made a friend? Is your desk rockin’?

THINK GRATITUDE while answering this question. What are you grateful for in regard to your work? Write it. Talk it. Document it.

  1. While on the job, WHAT are you discovering and learning about the tasks you are responsible for, and about yourself?

IS it a new computer system? A new way of organizing information? Is it collaborating and contributing to your team in an entirely different way? Does your job reveal that you need to develop a deeper level of patience?

  1. WHO is your favorite person at work, or who would you like to know better?

Reach out—set a meeting if it’s a management person; or if it’s a colleague–invite them to a café after work. Think of some questions to ask them beforehand related to your organization and some light fun questions too. Some examples are: What do you do for fun? What do you like best about the job and why? What kind of music do you listen to?

Tell them a little bit about you. If it’s management—think of a couple ideas that would make the job more efficient. Stay positive. Don’t bitch, moan and complain. Have confidence.

  1. How are you helping other people?

Are you feeding them by making them lunch? Are you preventing them from having bad hair days? Are you getting them from point A to point B, to have a long-deserved vacation? Do you inspire people and give them hope? Are you showing them the quality of kindness and compassion? Are you selling them garden tools to give them the resources to make beautiful landscapes that both they and their neighbors can enjoy?

Become aware of how your job makes a difference in people’s lives. Note them down on paper or your voice recorder. Add to the list as they come up.

  1. Last but not least: How have you deepened your sense of INTEGRITY?

What are some other ways you can increase your sense of integrity while you are working at your present position?

Start doing them.

Integrity is defined as:

  1. the quality of being honest and fair
  2. b) the state of being complete or whole

Always work on integrity. It will get you far in the ways you relate to yourself and others. Integrity is a priceless quality to take with you above and beyond your current position.

So, while you’re envisioning and hunting for that next step in your career, happy lemonade making!!!
© 2015 Lisa Jo Barr

About author

Lisa Jo Barr

Lisa Jo Barr is a prolific writer. Her articles, columns and blogs have been published online, in newspapers and magazines worldwide, and has been featured in the book Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul, Daily Inspirations. She is currently working on her first book. Lisa has a PhD in the School of Hard Knocks. Not only has she survived trauma, including childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape; but she has overcome sex addiction, as well as other addictions to cigarettes and cocaine, and has learned how to manage Bipolar I and Complex PTSD. One of the brightest beacons in Lisa's life has been a strong determination to know herself, no matter what it takes, along with a knowing that she can deeply inspire -- that her experiences can help others realize they are not alone, that there is always hope for a better future. Lisa loves to swim, travel and listen to music. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

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