Yes, you read that right. Your terrible job is a blessing, and I’ll tell you why. Years ago I made a break for it and left the corporate world. It was a relief to get out of there and go on my own. Politics, micromanaging managers, layoffs–you name it. It sucked, to use a technical term.
I’d planned never to return to corporate, other than the occasional contracting job as a writer/editor. But as time went on, I forgot what it was like to sit in a cube all day and hate every minute of it. So, when I had an offer to go to a short-term contracting assignment that would require me to go back into an office, I said yes.
Little did I know what I was getting into. The job turned out to be nothing like I expected (is it ever?).
The project was dragging on into its third year. But was supposed to have ended in half that time. It sort of reminded me of that little three-hour cruise that Gilligan took. And the way things were going on the project, it was as disastrous as a shipwreck.
Sure, we’ve all been on projects from Hell. It comes with the territory of being in the workforce. But this one was different. This one came from beneath Hell. As it went on and on, I got more and more depressed. Why had I said yes to this? And when would it end?
As three months got extended to six, then 12, I resigned myself to my fate. I’d made a decision to work on the project, and it’s never a bad thing to get a regular paycheck, but at what cost? Going into my second year there, my day consisted of copying and pasting documentation from one document template into another. All day, every day. Imagine doing that for months. Copying and pasting—pasting and copying. No writing, no editing, no thinking.
When the assignment finally ended abruptly, I was relieved. And right after I left, I immediately started writing my novel. The same novel I’d procrastinated on for several years. The time I spent on the project reminded me what was important to me. It forced me to accept the responsibility for my choice and showed me to make a different one the next time around.
That terrible job may be the shove you need to get on with your life. The discomfort might be prodding you to stop trading the days, months and years of your life for security that really isn’t secure.
So, bless that terrible job–it’s sending you a message. And if you listen, it’ll show you how to take your frustration and create something meaningful.
Trust that you will line up with more rewarding work. You may already know what it is you’d rather be doing. But all you need is that push. There really is a much better way to show up in the world.
Are you listening?