In my part of the world, the kids are nearly back at school and almost everbody is back at work after the Christmas Holiday break. I’m always excited about getting back into the swing of things, although as a solo-preneur, I’m never really 100% “on holidays” – my mind is always noticing things, collecting ideas, putting thoughts together in new and interesting ways.

This is why it makes me sad to know that there are many people who feel like they are being dragged back into a place they don’t want to be, where they don’t feel good, where they’re not valued.

My simple two-part prescription goes like this: You have two options to make this situation better – you can choose to be a different person, or you can choose to be in a different place!

Last time I looked, slavery had been abolished and life is definitely too short to be stuck in a job you hate, doing work you dislike, feeling undervalued or that you are not contributing to something worthwhile.

Looking at the first of my two suggestions…what if you changed the way you approached your work? Look for reasons to like your job – perhaps it’s in a convenient location, or the hours suit you, or it’s easy work, or (at least) it helps you pay the bills.

Seek out ways to make the tasks more pleasant, or at least recognise the bits you like least and do them when you feel strongest (so you can get to the good bits!). Explore ways to make you feel more like you are contributing to the bigger picture – what is the most positive impact of your job output? Does it help someone else do their job? Does it assist a client or customer in some way? Does it mean that the company can be profitable and sustainable, so you can keep paying your bills?

People are really only ever motivated by two forces – to avoid pain or to increase pleasure. If your work is not giving you enough pleasure, then at least work on decreasing the amount of “pain” it delivers.

If you truly do your best to change your attitude to be a different person at work, and you’re still miserable, then it might be time for part two of the prescription – choose to be in a different place!