When Your Job Is Thankless, Here’s What To Be Thankful For

Dawn Burke Engagement and Satisfaction, Mental Health, Work Life Balance

In all professions, not only talent management, at times we feel our jobs are thankless. Some, unfortunately, feel they are thankless all of the time. I’ve heard both HR Pros, Recruiters and other think they are on a merry-go-round that never stops. When it finally does, the riders have a laundry list of woes, grievances, or discontent (why didn’t I get to sit on the white carousel horse? My horse didn’t go up and down. The calliope music – for real, turn that off). Don’t you love how I overused that metaphor? – I am here to serve you, reader.

Even if your job is appreciated, if you feel it is thankless – it is. 

When your brain is on the thankless spin – here are some things you can be thankful for during Thanksgiving 2020 – and in the future. Please note, many of these items are things you can search for internally. Although we should always be thankful for external things (my family, my boss didn’t fire me), we often neglect to be grateful for ourselves, talents, and insights. 

  • Be thankful you can change your narrative. We all can. Quit telling yourself the job is thankless because I’m telling you it’s not. I mean, do you really think all 10 or 90 or 500 or 5000 or 10000 employees in your entire organization aren’t glad you are there to do what you do? I bet there is at least one person in your organization who is very thankful you are there. 
  • Be thankful you have a voice. Be thankful you can create your own agency. You may not have figured out how to use it or create it, but you have these abilities. 
  • Be thankful you just committed to learn how to use your own voice, and create your own agency to advocate for yourself at work. 
  • Be thankful there is a mute button on zoom and that you used it. 
  • Be thankful someone else on your team forgot to mute their button and cussed out your boss publicly. You know it was extremely entertaining, was likely deserved, and of course, wasn’t you. Be thankful you can still laugh.  
  • Be thankful you got through the most challenging period of work in your lifetime. Even if you failed in 1000 ways, or had breakdowns, or yelled at someone unexpectedly (and then apologized), or got furloughed – you are still getting through it. This will allow you to believe you can and will get through future difficulties. 
  • Be thankful you can find your community. When your boss, coworker, or hiring manager has you in their cross-hairs, you absolutely have a community of others who have been through similar situations. They can lift you up and can give you the strength to figure out how to address these communication situations professionally. Go find these people. 
  • Be thankful you were allowed for the first time in your career to wear fun pants (yoga, stretchy, comfy pants) every day for the last year. You think I’m joking. 
  • Be thankful the Covid pandemic allowed you to think deeply about your job, life, and priorities. By no means am I trivializing the courage this takes. But deciding to pull the plug on a job you have loathed, end a marriage that may have been breaking your family’s spirit, or spend more time painting or singing, or building birdhouses is something you will be thankful for with time. 

I’ll stop there. There are so many more we could list. Gratitude practices, although at times feel goofy, do work. And when you do practice gratitude, please don’t forget to look inward.  

Now, go thank your coworker who forgot to mute themselves on zoom for making your day better. And enjoy you-being-you.