Be Happy, Serve Well

Everyone wants to be happy when it comes to your career.  So with that being said, if you are unhappy with where you are employed, it’s time to have a conversation or potentially move on.

Now, I am not saying grab a box and start packing up your things.  I am simply stating that if you are unhappy, try and figure out why.  Make a list of the things at your current place of employment that you consider negative and then make a list of things that you would consider positive.  Take a deep hard look at this list and determine if the positive outweighs the negative.

In our line of work as funeral professionals we must be positive in every facet of what we do.  It’s hard to truly fake happiness!  The families you serve or the co-workers who have to be around you daily will be able to read directly through your unhappiness and it spreads like a rapid wild fire.  I have been through this, I loved my work and what I did for the families I served, but ultimately I just was not happy where I was at.  In this case I did something about it, I began the search and found the fit I needed to ultimately be happy.  I tried the whole faking it and keeping my head held high to get my work done.  However, I knew deep down I was doing my current place of employment and all my co-workers/team an injustice.

I’m also not stating that you need to switch jobs and then be someone with 20 different jobs on your resume.  Do research on the new places you are giving thought to and really invest time in making sure it’s a good fit.  Taking a new job is a huge move and involves numerous elements.  Also, understand that every single place of employment is not going to be perfect and there are some things you ultimately “deal” with.

You still have a voice though and don’t be afraid to respectfully use it.  You might have ideas that will positively affect the company you work for and then in turn might be something you no longer have to “deal” with.  I have also been that person that had an idea I knew would be successful or an idea that I knew would benefit the families and community we serve, but was too bashful to present it.  Everyone knows that we as millennials come up with a lot of ideas that most other generations consider them extreme.  These extreme ideas at times are just what a company needs to freshen up what we do daily, so again, don’t be scared to voice your opinion or thoughts.  Steve Jobs wasn’t successful by holding his tongue and I guarantee most thought his ideas were considered outrageous.

Going on a new interview can also be a very nerve-wracking experience and gives a lot of us anxiety.  Take time to research the new company and learn about who and what they are.  Don’t be afraid to ask both simple and hard questions.  Again, taking a new job is huge and you don’t want to leave any stone un-turned with both your expectations and the new company’s expectations.  This will ultimately lead you down the path of unhappiness.  Make sure it’s all out on the table as to what your expectations are and also know your worth.  Do not short change yourself because you are in fear that a company will say no or that you will leave them with a bad taste in their mouth.  Remain 100% truthful on who you are and what benefits you bring to them.  I have made this mistake in just giving answers to questions that I considered positive even though I knew it wasn’t truly me.  Know your worth and be honest.  If there is an area that you might not be perfect in or need training in, let that be known.  Telling a potential employer you are comfortable doing something that you are not will lead to a path of destruction for all parties involved.

Ultimately as funeral service professionals it’s our job to be the positive light and shoulder for families to lean on.  If you are unhappy then you are not doing your job well, so move forward and find a place that is a true fit.  Find the place that is willing to listen to your ideas with CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and not just criticism.  Find an employer that will be willing to COACH you and not just be the boss of you.

We have all seen the charts that show the difference between a leader and a boss.  I urge you to take a look at it again when you are out looking around and find the company with leaders.   It also might just be a conversation you have with your current place of employment.  If you don’t say anything then nothing can be fixed.  Give your current employer the benefit of doubt and be open and honest as to what your issues are and see if there is a resolution that can be agreed upon.  Some employers simply do not know a problem exists until you bring it to light.  For instance, if you are someone who spends their entire day in the prep room, but would also like to get in front of families… let that be known!  Do not continue doing something that doesn’t make you 100% happy.  There are many companies out there that will give you the opportunities you want and deserve, it’s your job to have an open line of communication or go seek the opportunity.



Written by: Zach Carnley, CFSP

Zach is a licensed funeral director & embalmer in the State of Texas and is a founding member of Millennial Directors. He is also a monthly contributor to NOMIS Funeral Home & Cemetery News.

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