For many of us, our job represents a manifestation of our education and training, and in many cases, our hopes and dreams. There are some of us who also find our jobs to be our passion or “calling.” We are the lucky ones. For all too many of us, our job is merely a means to other ends, hopefully ends that are worth the price we must pay, in terms of our personal energy, to achieve them. However, a problem arises when we feel that we have no choice but to accept our job as painful because “if it were supposed to be fun, it would have been called play.”

One thing that makes our job so hard is the fact that we continue to try to make it more than it can ever be for us. Every job we have will not be our calling or life’s work. However, if there are things about our current job that are uncomfortable, we can identify those things and make a choice about how important they are to us and how we deal with them. This allows us to manage our own expectations regarding our job. We can also decide what price we’re willing to pay for the perceived outcomes of our labor. In some cases, we will agree that the value of the outcomes justify the price, while in other cases, we will make a different choice.

The question becomes, “How do I reclaim my power by making a conscious choice about my job?” The first thing we need is good information about the source (s) of any discomfort we may be experiencing in our job. Such tools as the Job-Person Match can provide this information. The next thing we must do is a “costs-benefits” analysis of the price we must pay to be successful and the perceived value of the probable outcomes. Once aware, even if we choose to stay in an uncomfortable job situation, we will feel powerful and free because we made the choice. The alternative is to feel trapped in an uncomfortable situation by our circumstances. We may even feel victimized by those circumstances. I think I know which of these alternatives you would choose for yourself.