February 13, 2019
How to fall in love with your job
A staggering 85% of people dislike their jobs. We’ve all heard the saying: do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. But as we know, life isn’t quite that simple.
Some of us don’t have the opportunity to do what we love or don’t know where to find the opportunity. Some of us are doing what we thought we loved, but it still feels like work. Some of us may not even know what we love.
What’s more valuable than doing what you love, is learning to love your job, even if it’s one you don’t particularly like. Manage that, and you’ll become part of just 15% of the population who find happiness in their work.
Break up with your troubles
First thing’s first. What is it that you really don’t like? We all have to do things every now and then that we don’t enjoy, and that’s life. But, if you’re finding things that are consistently making your time at work miserable, take steps to improve them, or remove them completely. To eradicate the negatives, you’ll need to replace these with the things that you really want. In order to do this, sometimes you just have to ask. Want a promotion? Start the conversation with your manager. Don’t like where your desk is located in the office? Suggest a new layout. You won’t always be given exactly what you hoped for, but more often than not, you’ll take a step in the right direction.
Like with any relationship, your partnership with your job takes work in order to become strong and stable. But, some relationships are only meant to be short-term, and that’s okay. Not everything you dislike can be improved. And if it’s not you, it’s them. Once you start to identify your pain points and what elements of your job you really love, your long-term career goals will become much clearer to you.
Stop romanticizing your future
Having dreams and goals for the future are important for personal growth and development. But, if you fail to see the positives in your every day, and only strive for absolute perfection, your dreams can be destructive to your happiness. Sometimes, it’s important to stop and appreciate what you have and where you are right now or you’ll never be truly satisfied. You’ll move forward in your achievements yet your ‘ideal’ will only move further and further into the distance – always out of reach. Maybe your ‘happily ever after’ is exactly where you are right now; it’s just clouded by your own failure to recognize it.
It can be difficult to see the beauty in your daily routine, especially when it can feel so monotonous. But routine is generally inevitable, whether you’re working 9-5 in an office or living on a remote island. Techniques such as daily journaling and meditation can help add some variety to your day and are great for increasing self-awareness and mindfulness so that you are able to live in the now, rather than always wanting more.
Time to get engaged
‘Employee engagement’ is often used synonymously with ‘enjoyment’ in the workplace. This is based on the idea that if you are engaged with your work, you are passionate about it and feel a sense of deep connection towards your company and your role. As with many difficulties we face in life, it is our mindset towards a situation that is more powerful than anything else. In other words, how we experience something is more significant than the environment or context in which it takes place. Many things in your workplace will be out of your control, but your happiness is in your own hands. Here are some things you can do to improve it both within your role, and within your more general work environment:
Within your role:
- Get some training – the more you learn, the more likely you are to progress, particularly beneficial if you value your personal development over satisfaction.
- Plan ahead and work ahead – being ahead of the game will enable you to avoid stress and feel more in control.
- Share your knowledge and expertise – this will encourage you to become an ‘expert’ on a particular topic, making you more likely to feel passionate about your role and how it affects others.
Outside of your role:
- Improve your environment – increase the amount of light at your desk or rearrange your office in a way that makes you feel more comfortable, more productive, and generally happier.
- Improve your wellbeing – have a good breakfast at the start of each day, or try exercising in the middle of each day to boost your energy levels.
- Connect with the people around you – start a book club, make an effort to meet and chat with people outside of your team, and celebrate each others’ birthdays and milestones.
We tend to largely overestimate the happiness that new experiences provide, and underestimate the power of finding meaning in our current ones. Finding meaning in everything you do, particularly in work, will allow you to appreciate where you are right now. Remember: work doesn’t have to be your favorite pastime to be meaningful or even enjoyable. So, with a few small adjustments, and a little mindfulness, you may find that you and your job are actually a match made in heaven.
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