7 simple ways to love the job you have.
There’s something kind of corny about the concept of loving your job, isn’t there? Besides, we’re often more likely to ‘put up with’ our job – a far cry from loving it! Yes, most of us work to pay the bills but that’s only part of the story.
Research shows many of the upsides of work, besides being paid, include challenge, variety, fulfilment, social connection and validation that your effort makes a positive difference.
Take a moment to rate your job against each of these criteria (Great, Average or Poor). How does it fare?
If you answered ‘Great’ to each of these, congratulations – you’re obviously in the right job and loving it. If your job didn’t rate so high, you may be feeling slightly disheartened.
It’s tempting to think about jumping ship and looking for a new job. However, this isn’t easy and can often take months or even years to achieve.
Fortunately you don’t have to change jobs to find one you love! The following tips show you how to love the job you have and best of all, it costs nothing but a change in mindset and action.
#1: Adopt a positive attitude
Boredom, frustration and stress are insidious and rapidly become self-fulfilling prophecies. Check in on how you’re thinking and what you believe. Turning problems into opportunities and focusing on what’s within your control has an immediate and positive impact on how you feel. Ask yourself, ‘How would I rather feel instead?’ and actively seek ways to create the better alternative.
#2: Connect your job to your purpose and priorities
What were you put on this earth to do and what specific difference do you want to make? Yes, it’s a ‘big’ question but once you have the answer, you can uncover opportunities to fulfil that purpose through your work and other parts of your life. Identify your core values and write down what’s really important to you and change how you work to a align it with what you believe.
#3: Identify your 8 key strengths and use them
Actively using your key strengths every day and in everything you do will shift your focus to doing more of what you like and are good at. For example, if you are a strong leader, create ways to unite people around a common goal. If you have great organisational skills, consciously use them to get things done efficiently. Strengths can be applied to any role, regardless of whether you’re a receptionist or CEO.
#4: Make life easier – understand your preferences
We all have preferred ways of working and behaving and there are many tools available to help you understand your preferences. If you’re not enjoying your job, chances are you’re being compelled to work in a way that doesn’t sit right with you. There are many different tools for discovering your preferences including Myer-Briggs, DiSC, Herrmann Brain and Social Styles.
Once you know your preferences you can flex your style to better suit what’s required and/or enlist the help of your manager and colleagues to work in a way that fits your style.
#5: Change how you work, rather than what you do
Every job has stuff that we’d rather not do, given the choice. However, they are often unavoidable and procrastinating about them won’t make them go away. Once you understand your preferences, you can create challenges in the seemingly most boring of tasks. This could include report writing, administration, handling emails etc.
Consistently set yourself the challenge of completing the task ahead of time, more efficiently and to a higher standard (going beyond what’s expected) and notice the higher level of satisfaction you feel.
#6: Apply judgement carefully
Sound judgement is an essential skill for analysis and decision making but often falls short when applied to our working relationships. Judging people based on your own personal values (They never… or She always…) rarely results in them changing to be more like you and less like them! More often, it leads to frustration.
Replace judgement with acceptance and notice how much easier it is to work with someone who operates differently from you. Parking judgement opens the door to constructively resolve issues that arise from behavioural differences.
#7: Set long term goals and work steadily towards them
Taking a bigger picture view makes it easier to keep things in perspective. Cast your mind forward 5 years – what would you like to be doing, if it were possible? Once you’ve established your professional vision, create a career plan with goals, actions and timelines to realise it. Actively build your knowledge and experience in that area.
Many skills are transferable and you may be surprised what development opportunities your current role holds, that you haven’t yet tapped into.
Applying any of these tips will make a big difference to how you feel about your job. Hold yourself accountable for your own levels of satisfaction; take daily action to experience it and notice how much more you love the job you have.
Do you have a handy strategy that helps you love the job you have, regardless of what you do? Please share it – your simple tip could make a big difference to someone who’d love to love their job… if only.