There seems to be a lot of focus these days on the negative side of a job. This includes unfair dismissal, strikes for increased wages, sexual harassment, unfair treatment, and so on. It seems to me that workers are seeing the employer as their enemy and their job as a painful burden.

I am asking you to think for a moment about a completely different model of what a job could be. A model that is focused on the more positive sides of a job. A model that will let you draw personal fulfillment, plus emotional and financial rewards in abundance from those 40 hours or so that you spend each week in the workforce.

Step 1: Improve your mental model of the potential your job holds for you.

Start to look at your job as an opportunity instead of a burden. Most people are in the financial position that obligates them to go to work in order to provide themselves with a reasonable lifestyle.

Those people who have built a strong, passive cash flow such that they no longer need to work find that they go to work anyway, because in the course of becoming rich they learned to love what they do to earn money.

It is useful to ask yourself what the difference is in the way these two group approach their work.

My suggestion to you is that you stop seeing your job as a burden that you have to do and you open your mind to the possibility that your job could provide many benefits to you over and above your income.

There is a Buddhist saying:

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”.
“After enlightenment, chop wood carry water.”

The difference is that before enlightenment the tasks were burdens and after enlightenment they are a joy. Once you change the way you see your job you will change what you get out of your job.

Step 2: Ask yourself what you can put into your job rather than what you can take out of it.

If you listen to people who complain about their job they are always complaining about what the job (or the employer) is not giving them, but what are they giving to the job? Are they really putting in their best efforts each and every day? Are they really doing everything they can to help the business become profitable. Probably not!

There is a universal law called the law of reciprocity. You have probably heard it expressed as “as you sow, so shall you reap” or in other, similar proverbs. This wisdom appears in the philosophies and religions of the world right back to the beginning of recorded history (and probably well before that).

This universal law states that you receive back in proportion and quality to what you give out. Most people aren’t getting much back from the world because they aren’t putting much into the world. The classic example is the person on social welfare who complains that society does nothing for them; that’s because they are doing absolutely nothing for society.

You have to give first! You can’t expect a fire to give you heat until you give it fuel and light the flame. This is where most workers are falling down. They want their job to give them more money, better conditions, more respect, but they have not given anything to the job other than the bare minimum that they can get away with.

If you want to activate the law of reciprocity in your job they start thinking how you can put more into that job. Start thinking how you can be using each minute of the working day more effectively.

Most workers are doing what is known as busy work. They are keeping busy, but when you look at the results that they are producing you find that most of that busy work amounted to nothing. Take a person who tells you that they work hard and then put them into a commission only sales position and they will soon discover that most of their work is of no consequence as far as meaningful results go.

If you work in private enterprise then you are working for a commission only business. The business doesn’t receive a salary. The only reason that the business employs people is to help it receive its commission; called profit. If what you do doesn’t help that business run more effectively so that it earns more profit then you are not doing what you are hired to do.

Start thinking about how you can help the business by doing the best possible job that you can do and you will be pleasantly surprised at the rewards that come back to you, both financially and emotionally.

The next time that you are tempted to complain about your job, read this article again and be aware that what you get out of your job is proportional to what you put into it.