Let’s face it: we can’t all work for one of Fortune’s Top 100 Companies or non-profit organizations. And in fact, a large percentage of the population works in for-profits whose products/services employees don’t necessarily find meaningful. Thousands of people walk McDonalds’ corporate halls who would never eat Big Macs, and thousands more do their best work to advance the cause of things like staples and light sockets.
If you have an indifferent or even aversive reaction to what your organization produces or stands for, can you still work there? The answer is yes, especially if it isn’t practical or you aren’t in a position to lend your talents to a company that’s a better fit. Here are some recommendations for coming to terms with the situation and making the best of it.
In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. For instance, you may like your job writing copy for an oil and gas company while preferring to use alternative fuel sources in your home. One way to ease cognitive dissonance is to acknowledge it. Instead of pretending the problem isn’t there, tell yourself that it’s okay to be a little inconsistent. You’re only human after all.
If you have recently soured on your company’s mission, put that aside for now. Recall why you took the job initially and how enthusiastic you were on your first day. Write down all of the benefits you derive from working at your company (salary, perks, networking, etc.) and ways this organization is helping you make progress toward your big picture career goals. Ask yourself if your negative feelings about the organization are fair and/or grounded in reality. Remember that no workplace is perfect and it’s unhealthy and non-productive to focus too much on the way things should be.
For more where this came from, check out the full post at Intuit's Fast Track blog.