When I first wanted to work at home, I was willing to do anything that would get me home fast. And I succeeded. I found jobs that had me home almost right away. The problem was, I didn’t like the jobs. Most were in sales, and while I do alright in sales, I didn’t like the pressure and feeling like I was annoying people. I remembered that statement, “Be careful what you wish for.” While I’d achieved my goal, I was unhappy and stressed out.
I’ve recently run across a few blog posts that suggest NOT pursuing a career you’re passionate about. They have some valid reasons for saying this. Turning a passion into a career may take away the joy and not every thing you do, even in a career you like, will be fun. On the other hand, I know first hand that doing anything just to be home can make you miserable as well. So what’s the answer?
I continue to encourage people to seek out work-at-home options that they can get excited about and are in their current skill set. Passion is a strong fuel to drive you into action to do what needs to be done. Sticking within your skill sets gets you to your goal quicker, as there is a shorter learning curve.
So, are you unhappy in your work-at-home endeavor or journey? Here are some tips to get yourself out of the slump.
1) What’s not working? Why are you unhappy? You’d be surprised at how many people aren’t sure why they feel miserable. And often, they blame the wrong thing. Maybe your job is fine, but there is some other aspect of it such as an unsupportive boss or tedious tasks that are making you unhappy. Maybe it’s not your job at all, but an uninspired work space or family problems. You can’t fix something if you don’t what’s actually broken.
2. What can you change? I get into a slump every winter and when I do, I usually move the furniture in my office. It makes it feel like I have a new office, which for some reason makes me feel better. Right now I have tulips in my office, another little trick for boosting my mood. Each year I delegate more and more work to a virtual assistant so I can focus on the activies I enjoy and not bother with those that I don’t. Sometimes you need bigger changes. When I hated selling, I actively looked for new options to make money from home. These types of changes can take longer, and sometimes feel like will never happen. As a result, sometimes people learn to live with their unhappiness, which is a shame, because you can set the course of your life. Little and big changes can make a difference, but you have to make the changes.
3) Nothing lasts forever. If you’re in a job you don’t like, remember that you can change it. That’s what I did. I continued to do the sales job I hated, but I actively looked for other options. I got through the miserable sales day by telling myself it would be over. The more miserable the day, the more motivation I had to find another option for working at home. I did the same with a freelance writing gig that paid okay, until it started getting pickier in the editing process. So, I found other writing work that paid more and gave me more editorial freedom.
4) Do something for you. Your work might suck, but that doesn’t mean your whole life needs to be miserable. Seek ways to find joy, happiness and fun each day. Take the kids for ice cream, indulge in a hot bath or long walk, take a nap or read your favorite book.
What do you do to keep your enthusiasm up for your work-at-home career?
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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