When was the last time your friend was complaining to you about how much they hated their job? Perhaps they complained about the mundane aspects of some of the admin work that was involved, of the challenges of working with suppliers who failed to deliver on time, and of the co-workers who really didn’t seem to understand them on any level. This is a common scenario and one that people seem to enjoy diving into in order to avoid taking responsibility for their own happiness at work. It’s time you helped your friend to shift perspective. How? By acknowledging that the secret to loving your work is learning to love it.
It’s time for some tough love. People often think the grass is always greener on the other side yet when they jump over the fence they realise it’s the same stuff. This is quite commonly seen in today’s workplaces as people desperately seek for a way out whenever they feel like the going gets tough. Yes it’s true that there might be different roles in different companies that might be better suited for you. Yes your colleagues have a big role to play in your happiness at work and not getting along with them is no fun. But before you start planning your escape route, I encourage you to stop, to reflect and to make an effort to learn the secret to loving your work. Because if you learn that, you might surprise yourself how much enjoyment you can find in your current role. If you learn that, you’re less likely to make impulse decisions which you’ll regret later. If you learn that, you can still take the learning with you wherever you go if you decide to seek another job and you will increase your likelihood of finding enjoyable work and succeeding in it.
So what is the secret to loving your work? It’s choosing to learn to love it. It’s a shift in mindset that commits you to finding more enjoyment at work. It’s a shift that will help you to embrace your most passionate self. It’s a shift that will help you to unlock your inner passion energy. It’s a shift that will enable you to learn to love your work (*Hint: You can learn to love almost anything at work if you choose to).
This shift begins with five simple questions, all taken from my just released book Screw Finding Your Passion: It’s Within You, Let’s Unlock It.
1. How is the work you’re doing, or the company you’re working for, aligned with who you are?
Think about how your values and beliefs are aligned with the work you’re doing or the company you’re working for. Explore what attracted you to take the job in the first place. Really make sure you come up with some concrete answers on this one as this is the critical foundation for you learning to love your work. And I’m not taking “Nothing at my work is aligned with who I am”, as an answer. I want a list of at least five things. I guarantee you that you can find them if you look for them.
2. What is the positive impact you’re creating with the work you do, or by being a part of this company?
Connect with the why behind your job (or your company). What kind of positive impact are you creating when you’re with your colleagues, or working with suppliers, or providing something to the end customer? Acknowledge that you’re a small but powerful piece in the bigger wheel which drives the world forward. Whatever you are doing right now is having an effect on someone in a good way (otherwise why would you be doing it?). Connect with that why and you’ll create a meaningful bond with your job that will be hard to break.
3. How is your work helping you to learn and grow as a person daily?
You don’t need to be in a training workshop to learn and grow (though they do help, especially the Happyologist workshops ;). With every challenge, with every human interaction and with every email send you can learn something new – if you choose to do so. Life is the best teacher of all but only if you actually make time to reflect and digest the learning. Do this at work regularly and you’ll realise how much you’re learning whilst coming up with new ideas on how you could keep learning even more.
4. Who are the people in your work that you connect with in a way that they form a part of your tribe?
Having friends at work is one of the key drivers of engagement in the workplace so make sure you make some friends if you haven’t got any. This doesn’t mean you have to force it. This is about getting to know your colleagues on a personal level. Who are they outside work? What do they like to do? What kind of holidays do they like to go on? You might find similarities that you didn’t even know existed and these similarities will help you create connections with your coworkers. Are you a self-employed entrepreneur without a team? Go out there and find other entrepreneurs who are looking for fun, ambitious people to brainstorm with – or simple have a drink with them. Our relationships are a key driver of our passion, happiness and fulfilment so making sure that these relationships exist through our work makes it easier for us to love what we do.
5. How do you use your natural strengths in a variety of ways in your work daily?
Become more aware of how you are using your best, natural abilities at work in different ways. Own up to what you’re good at and play with these strengths in new ways to challenge yourself and to keep your days exciting. Make time to do what you do best daily and you’ll not only perform better but also enjoy your work more – and even learn to love it!
There is a whole chapter in my book about learning to love your work that goes deeper into these five elements. In fact, there is a chapter on each of these in my book full of exercises and questions for you to explore so you can truly unlock your best, most passionate self.
Which of these questions is most helpful to you when it comes to learning to love your work? I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences and even challenges in the comments below. I’m sure everyone would benefit from your shares and also be able to help you through them.
If you liked this post, please share it, tweet it, like it, pin it, all of it – and you’ll actually help other people find love in the work they do.
Good luck in your adventures & until next week!
P.S. Looking for more one-to-one help? Sign-up to my coaching sessions which have a track record of bringing people’s most passionate selves out. Scared to commit? I offer a free 20 minute phone/Skype consultation to start with. Email me here if you want to book one in.