How To Love Your Job
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life,” Confucius
This is a phrase that’s touted to people looking for a new job or a new career. However, a lot of people are just expected to instinctively know when they’re in a job that they would love.
However, what if you don’t know? What if you’ve fallen out of love with your job? Looking at the job you’re in currently, could you learn to love it again?
Seeing as it’s February, Valentine’s day is only a week away and love is in the air we look at the best ways you can fall in love with your job again.
It’s important to love your job. If you’re in a job that you don’t love or one that doesn’t fulfil you it can be highly detrimental to your wellbeing. As a result a lack of wellbeing can lead to mental and even physical problems.
A third of UK workers describe their work as “soul destroying” and “utterly dull”, according to a poll last year. This is a scary statistic as feeling this way in your job stunts both your personal growth and the growth of the business.
In this poll, a quarter of the 2000 people surveyed felt there was nothing left for them to learn or accomplish in their role.
It also showed that the majority felt stuck in their workplace yet had no plans for progression from their current role.
Do More Of What You Love
In every job, in every role, there are going to be parts you love and parts you hate. So what part of your job do you love?
Focus on what you like about your work and do more of it. Can’t do more of it? Then do it better. This will give you job satisfaction and the strength to tackle the tough parts.
An added benefit is that if you keep doing excellent work in those enjoyable parts of the job you are more likely to be recognised and to be given more exciting projects as you are so very good at them.
Make Small Changes
Boredom is often at the root of unhappiness at work. However, if like new years resolutions you make too many large sweeping changes at once, they’re probably not going to stick and you’ll go back to being bored. So make small changes and keep the habit going.
Find something that you might dislike about your job or work and think of a way to change it or, more likely, your perception of it. Make it more fun, entertaining or even bearable. Over time this will give you more joy at work and then you can start moving on to other parts of your work.
You might even learn to love the parts of the job you used to hate.
Declutter Your Desk/ Office/ To-Do List/ Mind
Another common reason why people fall out of love with their jobs is stress. The most common reason behind workplace stress? Work overload and overwhelm. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
When people feel low on energy, often it’s because they’re not “cleaning up” as they go. Their inbox is overflowing. Their desk is a disaster. Their file drawers are jammed. Your mind is, effectively, cluttered.
Make sure you keep your work life and environment as clutter free as possible. We know that this is easier said than done, but, the benefits of keeping things clean and simple will be that you can concentrate on what needs to be done. From there you are less likely to feel overwhelmed.
This will rapidly improve your productivity, but remember to forgive yourself in case you don’t not keep this up 24/7. You’re only human so keep trying and focus on one job at a time.
Do Something You Love Outside Of Work
Sometimes it’s best to focus on something that makes you happy outside of the work environment. Your life and career are two separate entities and you are likely to have passions outside of your career. That’s OK.
It may sound counterintuitive but focusing on something you enjoy outside of work can improve your relationship with your job. This is because you’re helping create a strong work-life balance.
By being able to switch off from your job you can properly rest and recover so that you can come back into work feeling rested, not overwhelmed.
Burnout is a serious condition that is on the rise in today’s 24/7 culture. So having something that you enjoy outside of work helps reduce the likelihood of burnout.
Work On Yourself
What’s the difference between a job and a career? Your career should grow, and a good job should help you grow in that career. A big part of finding the love for your role again is to work on yourself and your career, applying your new skills to the job at hand.
By working on yourself you can feel more fulfilled and skilled. It’s also a great insurance policy. If you work on yourself and apply what you’ve learnt to your job either a. you will find a new lease of life in your role or b. realise that it’s time to move on and now you have a load of extra skills to add to your CV.
Ask For Something New
If you’ve fallen out of love with your job because it’s all the same old same old, then how about trying something new? Ask your boss/manager/supervisor for a change of scenery or for different tasks.
As we’ve said before, boredom is often the root of unhappiness at work so if you routine has become boring then it’s time to change. By changing your routine help refresh your love for your work.
Find Meaning In Your Work
Whether we realise it or not, most of us are looking for purpose and meaning in our lives. Quite a lot of us search for it in our choice of careers. These days it’s not enough just to have a job; you need to know how the position fits into a larger purpose. What do you care most about? Why are you here? How does your position relate to your values
By answering questions like these you will find your work much more fulfilling and interesting. You never know where that particular path may take you and you may discover a brand new career from it, but you will only know by engaging with your work and finding the meaning in it.
But what is the quickest way to find meaning in your job? Focus on the why behind what you do, rather than the job itself.
For example, in a study of hospital cleaning staff, they saw themselves as an important part of a team of people who helped to heal the sick. Rather than focusing on the act of cleaning, they focused on the bigger picture—they felt they were helping others, which is key to finding meaning in your work.
If there’s a project that aligns with your values or your purpose or it’s something that gets you excited, do it. If there’s an initiative you want to be involved in, get involved. Don’t wait for an invitation to start loving your job, make it happen yourself.
This relates to our previous point: ASK! Don’t be afraid to ask your boss to do more or to do something different. Or, if you prefer, don’t wait for someone else to give you meaningful work, create some for yourself.
You’re spending 40 hours a week in the same place, you should find it rewarding and fulfilling.
No one is an island, and us humans are social by nature. So why not make a friend or two at work? By working on your relationships in the workplace you are more likely to find your job fun and engaging. Gallup research has found the most engaged workers have a best friend at work and having several hours of social time can improve your day overall.
If you have a friend at work who you can help, it can increase your own feeling of how meaningful your job is. You don’t even have to help them with work-specific tasks. You might help them by going out for a coffee, being a lunchtime workout partner, or offering a friendly ear when they need someone to talk to.
Most importantly, look for ways to help others at work. Think about the why behind your job: who are you helping with the work you do, and how? Try helping others in the office by lending a hand when you have free time. The more you give, the more you’ll feel like you’re spending your time in a meaningful way, and that will make coming to work much easier.
Good point to note here is to not do this to excess as it could severely effect.
Find The Time To Smile And Laugh
The power of a smile has been known for quite a while. According to Psychology Today your smile has superpowers including:
- Smiling elevates your mood and creates a sense of well-being.
- Smiling induces more pleasure in the brain more than chocolate.
- Even a forced smile can lead to a mood boost.
A smile can help you get through the tougher moments of your day, and having a good laugh with your colleagues can compound that effect.
There’s Always A New Job
If you’re struggling to feel good about the work you do, try starting with these suggestions. If you genuinely feel that there’s no happiness left in your role and that it’s time for you to move on, that’s OK.
You might be surprised to find how much better work can be if you’re doing work you enjoy and helping others, understating the why or even just smiling with a friend.
Or there’s always this amazing TEDx talk to help guide you: