5 Tips to Help You Love Your Job
Old wisdom once told us that you needed a job simply for a paycheck and that you didn’t have to like your job. But what kind of life is that, really? Clocking in, mindlessly doing your work and then heading home to enjoy what little of your day is left?
It is really hard to work a job you don’t love. In fact, knowing you spend most of your time each week doing something you don’t care to do can be both physically and emotionally draining.
You don’t have to be miserable at work.
It is possible to love your job. But you can’t always just wait for that job to land in your lap. Most of the time, you have to go and find that job. Here are 5 tips to help you find that job you’ll love showing up to each day. .
1 | Do What You Love, Love What You Do
It sounds simple and we’ve all probably heard this saying a thousand times. But there’s a reason why we keep hearing it. And it’s because it’s true. If you have the opportunity to do what you love each day at work, you’ll love your job. So if your current employment just isn’t something you enjoy doing, it may be time to think about a career change.
Tip: Start by assessing your skills, your interests and values. What makes you happy? Where do your core values lie? Can you turn a hobby into a profession? Answer these questions to help you decide where you should go next on your career path.
2 | Balancing Act
While doing something you love is helpful, remember that work isn’t play. You’ll have deadlines to meet and challenges to overcome. Not every aspect of work will be fun. Work is a balancing act in how you view things and how you do things.
Let’s take a look at the most obvious of the two: how you do things. I’m talking about finding the right work-life balance. Find a job that allows you to have the right balance for you. If you need flexibility to take care of your kids, don’t stick with a job that doesn’t allow you to take time off when you need to pick up a sick kid from school.
But also understand that work-life balance is something you constantly have to work on. You can’t just expect that balance to magically happen if you aren’t willing to take the steps to have that balance. For example, many of us work for benefits like paid time off, but then never use that time off. I’m here to remind you to use your benefits!
Second, is how you view your job. Look for what is most enjoyable about your job and focus on that. When we focus on the few negative aspects of a job, it can really overtake our perception of our work. So focus on all the positives. And if you just really can’t find any positives, it’s time to look for a new job.
3 | There’s no Such Thing as Perfect
Along those same lines of looking at the positives is understanding that no job is perfect. There will always be something you don’t like about a job, even if it is basically your dream job. There will always be days that are tough, a task that you just never will find enjoyable or a co-worker that you may get frustrated with on a rare occasion.
Just remember that you are not alone in this. Every person has one thing they’d rather not deal with at work. And understanding this can really help you keep things in perspective.
4 | Find Meaning in Your Work
When we can find personal meaning in our work, we feel like what we do has more significance. We all like to feel as if what we do matters and finding personal meaning in your work is actually one of the biggest factors in how happy you are with your job!
Meaning is one of those ideas that is hard to put your finger on. Understanding that happiness and meaning are different helps. And while we certainly derive happiness from taking (what we get from others), we derive meaning from giving (how we help others).
Tip: Focus on the why, rather than just the job itself. If you understand how your job helps others or fits into a larger picture, you can find that meaning in your work.
5 | Choose Culture
In the first tip, I briefly mentioned core values. Values are one of the most important parts of loving your job. How so? When your values and the values of the company align more, it can help increase your job satisfaction and happiness. These values are part of workplace culture. It’s the personality of the company. Think of it this way. When the personality between you and another person clashes, you don’t get along and you can become unhappy. The same goes for your personality and the personality of the company. If you don’t fit in well at work, it can really cause a lot of tension and stress for you.
So how do you choose culture when looking for a job? There are a few things you can do to ensure that the company you work for has similar values to your own. First is by looking at the company’s mission statement. Do you agree with that mission? The second is to talk to current and former employees to really get a feel for how the company operates. There are two aspects to company culture–the stated values and the actual values and personality of the people that work at the company. A third way is to use a tool that matches your personality up with the personality of companies.
Loving your job is possible. With some determination, you can either begin to feel more positive about the work that you currently do or find a job that makes you happier–because let’s face it, not every job is salvageable.