You hate your job. You can’t leave. You know you have certain gifts, but you are not using those gifts at work. When you do use those gifts, you are exhilarated and fulfilled in what you do. Even more, when you use your gift for others, with no expectation of anything in return, you get that wonderful warm fuzzy feeling. But you still have to make a living. And you hate your job, but you can’t leave your job. So what do you do? Give.
Give at Work
Whatever your gift is, use it at work. No, I don’t mean stop being an accountant and start being a Yogi at your job. I mean at work, give your gift. You still have to get your job done. That’s not negotiable. But if you’re at work for 8 hours, how much time do you spend in the kitchen/break room, chatting it up with colleagues, out at lunch? What I’m getting at is that there is spare time at work. Find it. Use it, instead of wasting it.
You know what your gift is. If you don’t yet, then figure it out and don’t give up until you do. Then use your gift at your workplace somehow. It might be 15 minutes here or there, or a lunch and learn. Find a time, place, a way to give away your gift while you are at work doing your work.
Give Outside of Work
Before and after work, how can you use your gift? Is it volunteering? Is it doing pro bono work? Teaching classes? Music? Making things (whatever it is you’re good at making)? Whatever it is, you’re at work 8-9 (or so) hours a day. Find some time – and it doesn’t have to be hours and hours – to give your gift away outside of work.
Give on the Weekends
What do you do for fun on the weekends? Giving makes you feel awesome, right? Is that fun, feeling awesome? So do that. Give your gift on the weekends. You’ve got 48+ hours between Friday and Monday morning. Give it away.
Love your Job
Then something weird will happen. That job you hate so much but can’t leave? It’ll become less of a focus. Why? Because, as we’ve discussed before, giving with no expectation of anything in return is like a drug. In fact, it makes your brain behave just like getting high, playing video games, getting thousands of likes on that creative social media post. Giving turns loose the dopamine in your brain, and when you give knowing you’re getting nothing in return, more dopamine.
Give at work. Give before and/or after work. Give on the weekends. Give away your very best gift, the thing you do the very best, all the time, and next thing you know your brain is running on dopamine and you’ve invested in your workplace so much you actually want to go there to give some more.
The science says it’s true. All you have to do is try it. Simon Sinek did it. He found his purpose, and he consciously decided to give it away. He went from hating his job to the point of depression to absolutely loving what he does everyday. It was the same job. He had found his gift, and given it away.