Being in love with your job is rare. Those lucky few who do manage to find a job they fall in love with walk around like the Energizer Bunny, always seeing the bright side and coming up with new ideas. They turn up early, stay back late, and think about work on the weekends.
And the thing is that it’s not even hard for them – they get such a kick out of what they do that they make being awesome look easy.
So what do you do if you want this work-bliss for yourself? You make an effort to fall in love with your job…
I’ll let you in on a sneaky secret – those people who love their jobs aren’t ‘lucky’. They haven’t just scored the job of their dreams, and a great boss to go with it. Because it’s not that simple, the reality is that they take a different approach to their work, and see the value in what they do each day.
Here are our 7 insider secrets for learning to fall in love with your job:
#1 – Find out why you do what you do
What’s the purpose of your role? I can guarantee that your boss hasn’t just come up with a role so you can earn a wage and order from Ubereats on the weekend – bosses aren’t in the business of providing social support – so your role must have a purpose within the organisation in which you work.
Find out what the actual purpose of your role is. If you’re working in a coordination role, you could be providing the support which allows the operators to get the work done. If you’re a seller then your role could be to bridge the gap between service and customer. Whatever it is, identify the real purpose of your role.
#2 – Where do you fit in the organisation?
You’re not an island, so stop seeing your job as a set of tasks you need to perform each day. Does your work enable another person to do their role? Do you rely on other people to provide you with supplies so you can do your role?
Learning about the bigger picture can help you understand the importance of your role to others both up and down the chain, and can improve how you see your role in terms of its relevance to others.
#3 – See your work in action
Are you too close to your work? Most of us work all day without getting to see the real impact on the end user, so if you feel like it’s been a while since you’ve seen your particular end product or service in action then take another look.
A good example of the power of seeing your work in action is the thrill Emergency Department staff get when they see one of their patients down the track, whole and healthy. Seeing how others appreciate what you do can be very powerful and may motivate you to reassess your job.
#4 – Understand where this role could take you
We know that job stability is a thing of the past, and that people can expect to change jobs around every 5 years, so chances are that your current job will not be your last job. But do you know where your current job could lead you?
Seeing your role as a valuable step in your career journey can be a good way to put more value on what you do, and can even help you enjoy your job more. By switching focus from the present to the future, you’ll stop seeing work as a daily grind and be able to see the possibilities in what could come next. It’ll make your more open to taking on new roles, exploring new tasks, and creating new opportunities.
#5 – Get some feedback
Quality feedback can be a really great tool in the path to loving your job. It’s hard to know how we’re going without feedback from our supervisors, peers, subordinates, and customers, because we have no way of measuring our performance outside of our own perceptions (which are often harsh – we’re super critical of ourselves).
Ask for some feedback if it’s not offered by your workplace, and if your job offers any kind of mentoring or coaching program then make sure you enrol.
#6 – Learn about your strengths
What are the things you do well at work? Do you have some tasks which you enjoy more than others, or ones you find really easy? Perhaps you have a preferred way of working that helps you get more done. Get a piece of paper and write down your best bits, then look for what they all have in common – do you enjoy working with people, dealing with paperwork, or organising the team? Or something else entirely?
Once you’ve identified your ‘best bits’, do what you can to insert more of those kinds of tasks into your job, and see if there’s another way to handle the bits you don’t enjoy as much. Some jobs offer more flexibility than others, and you’re unlikely to find a way out of every task you don’t like, but small changes can make a big difference.
#7 – Find the challenge
Without a challenge, our work becomes monotonous and boring. Lots of people have looked at the importance of finding work that challenges us, and gives us something to strive towards, and an element of challenge is vital if you’re going to love what you do. I often think of it like playing a computer game in ‘God’ mode (which is where you can’t be killed), which is fun for a while but becomes boring quickly as there’s no challenge in your play.
Find out how you can be challenged by your role, whether that’s through seeking constant improvement, looking for new tasks, roles and responsibilities, or just upskilling with further education, and once you’ve found your challenge don’t be put off and tempted to take the easy route. If you speak with anyone who says they’ve found their calling, they’ll always be able to identify their next big challenge.
Ready for romance?
Being ‘in love’ with your job is much the same as being in love with anything else – it’s all about your mindset. You have nothing to lose and literally everything to gain when you commit to what you do and start enjoying your work – there are no prizes for the world’s least motivated employee, so if you’re putting in minimum effort start asking yourself if that’s who you really want to be.
That’s not to say there aren’t loads of toxic workplaces out there, and if you find yourself in one of those then it’s going to be extremely hard to fall in love with what you do. But the reality is that the vast majority of workplaces are neither super toxic or filled with ping-pong tables and free food, and it can be really helpful to look for the positives.