Turn the Job You Hate Into One You Love

It's kind of like that Crosby Stills Nash and Young song "if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with", but instead of love, substitute job.

Jeremy Caplan of TIME Magazine has a handy dandy guide to "job-crafting" that will (hopefully) turn the job you hate into a better one. For example:

Step 2: Diagram Your Day
To lay the groundwork for change, job-crafting participants assemble diagrams detailing their workday activities. The first objective is to develop new insights about what you actually do at work. Then you can dream up fresh ways to integrate what the job-crafting exercise calls your "strengths, motives and passions" into your daily routine. You convert task lists into flexible building blocks. The end result is an "after" diagram that can serve as a map for specific changes.

Ina Lockau-Vogel, a management consultant who participated in a recent job-crafting workshop, says the exercise helped her adjust her priorities. "Before, I would spend so much time reacting to requests and focusing on urgent tasks that I never had time to address the real important issues." As part of the job-crafting process, she decided on a strategy for delegating and outsourcing more of her administrative responsibilities.

In contrast to business tomes that counsel managers to influence workers through incentives, job-crafting focuses on what employees themselves can do to re-envision and adjust what they do every day. Given that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it now takes the average job seeker more than six months to find a new position, it's crucial to make the most of the job you've got.


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"Most people don't hate their jobs. They hate the conditions under which they have to do their jobs."

Amen. I love what I do. I despise the people above me who keep our department from becoming the highly-effective dept I know it can be.

Vive la revolution!
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So, to summarize:

1. Ask for more responsibility that you won't be paid for and still have to do 100% of the job you were hired for.
2. Get someone else to do the crap you don't want to.
3. Point out to your boss that you'd rather do something other than the job you were hired for which he/she needs you to do and who will have a nice talk with you about your attitude come review time.
4. Pitch ideas to your boss who will either take credit for them, reject because they fear you're gunning for their job or be the jerk who convinces the idiot in the next cubicle that whitewashing fences is super fun.

This book is written by the classic example of someone who has never had a support level job and has no idea about the reality of corporate life. It sounds like a blueprint for the typical douchebag manager to more effectively ream the people who report to him/her.

Most people don't hate their jobs. They hate the conditions under which they have to do their jobs. If they worked someplace that would allow these suggested changes, they wouldn't hate their jobs in the first place. What a joke. Is it filed in the humor section?
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Trivia: "Love the One You're With" was written by Stephen Stills about / for his then-girlfriend, who eventually became the mother of actress Christina Applegate.
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Technically, the song "Love The One You're With" was originally released by Stephen Stills as a solo act, although CSN&Y did have a version on their "Four Way Street" album.

In terms of relationships, I have to say, it's always struck me as incredibly bad advice...
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