Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Sh*t Job Satisfaction


With 6 of us in the family I work on the premise that everyone shares the load. Certainly with housework. One of the best things I did when I first taught my 9 year old son to clean the bathroom was this. After we had completed it and he was ready to make a break for freedom, I caught him by the shoulders and turned him around. “Have a good look at the great job you have done. Doesn’t it look lovely and clean? You can be really satisfied with that job”.

The resulting effect on his future motivation for this job was really pronounced. Much more than I expected and it made me wonder how often we allow ourselves to celebrate and admire the outcomes of our “shit” jobs. (Ha! I was trying to find a polite way to say it, but just couldn’t) The jobs no-one else wants, or notices (unless they are not done) or even values?

What if we took moment to acknowledge the accomplishment of these tasks rather than resent them and break for freedom when they were finished? Even in our ideal work life we all have some jobs that fall into that category. Maybe they are the ones that make us use a skill set we are not comfortable with – for me, invoicing and accounting. Maybe the phone calls to try to track down information, or dealing with challenging clients. Often these tasks are the ones we avoid or put off.

I wonder what effect it might make on our day, our mood if we found a way to reframe those “shit” jobs in our heads. Could we identify something about them which aligns with our values? Could the phone call we are avoiding be viewed as an opportunity to develop a future connection? What I am clear about is that we have a choice to be mindful for even a short moment at the completion of that task. Even if it is basking in the relief of finishing it, freeing us up to do something else more enjoyable.

What are the tasks in your day which fall into the category of “would rather not”? How might you reframe them for yourself? Use humour? Use mindfulness? Can you find some shit job satisfaction?