The way I handle work when things get sticky has certainly evolved over the years. At my previous job, the environment was horrific. My boss was an abusive terror. My fellow coworkers and I were miserable 85-percent of the time. One-by-one, I watched my coworkers quit. But I chose to stay.
I decided I would learn as much as I could and instead of complaining, I would work even harder. Instead of focusing on my feeling, I decided to focus on my goals.
In the past if I felt wronged or abused, I would quit. If I didn’t get the raise I thought I deserved, I would quit. And while it provided instant relief to my psyche, it also put me in a cycle of constant financial rebuilding. So, two things happened at my last job: 1. I became acutely aware of my finances. 2. I decided to discipline myself to not be swayed by my emotional state. I noticed that people led by their emotions are not very successful.
I decided that I wasn’t working for that company. I was working for myself within that company. I wanted to plan my day and I wanted my day to start with doing something to better myself. I joined a gym three blocks from my job and began leaving for the gym every morning at 5:45. Working out and getting to the office an hour and a half before anyone walked in was me taking charge and required all the discipline I could muster. Make no mistake, I was miserable at first (I am not a morning person), but when I didn’t follow through I felt like I wasn’t serious about preparing myself for the life I wanted. I felt like I was settling and telling myself subconsciously I didn’t have what it takes to get to the next level.
It took several months, but eventually I embraced the new routine and I found myself revitalized, more confident than ever, and so far ahead with my work that I was usually done with all of my work before lunch. I would use the afternoon to help coworkers with their work. While I was helping out, I was also learning new aspects of the business, which I was able to put on my resume. And when I was done helping, I would research everything I could on personal finance until it was time to leave.
I was so hyper focused on improving and preparing myself for the next level of success, that my work environment no longer mattered to me. There was nothing being said or done in the office that remotely interested or bothered me. This was the same office that made me want to rip my hair out, this was the same office that I dreaded walking into every day.
When I finally left that job, I was powerful in ways that I had never been before. I was no longer swayed by the daily ups and downs that go along with working in an office. Today, my future goals are so big that I don’t allow how I feel to be a factor. Of course, I still have days where dealing with managers and coworkers are the last thing I want to do. As matter of fact, I recently had to a put a very divisive and sneaky coworker in his place. And afterwards, I went right back to beast mode.
If I find myself at my desk drifting, one click into Personal Capital is all it takes to put me right back in on track. My work and the good habits that I’ve implemented in my life now speak for me. In less than two years at my current job I’ve already been promoted. And I’m not letting up any time soon.
Being miserable at work is no longer something that I deal with, not because the people at this job are great, or the benefits are outstanding or the bosses are kind and wonderful. It’s because my only goal is financial independence.
If you find yourself miserable at work, you will need to do some soul searching. That means asking yourself the tough questions. Could you be doing a better job? If you lose your job, how much damage will it do to you financially? Are your skills up to date? How can you start preparing for the success you want? And finally, are you willing to focus and do what it takes at such a high level that your petty office environment no longer matters?
It is a fight to build wealth no matter where you are in the process. Everything around us conspires to take money out of our hands. But you must fight the good fight. Continue to save, invest, and grow your net worth even when it seems impossible. Save your pennies (copper) until they become dollars (cotton).