I think we’ve all seen and heard the saying “Do what you love and you won’t work a day in your life.” Cute, huh? But in reality most of us can’t just up and leave our job to pursue what we love. Even if we can, it usually takes time and patience, all the while a job of a less-lovable nature might be necessary.
So for Day 5 of my 14 Days of Learning to Love Your Life, I am going to talk about how to love your job.
Ok, so I do live in the real world where there are jobs that just plain suck. You may have one of those. You may never truly love your job. In that case, hopefully I can help you enjoy it a little, or at the very least find it bearable.
After yesterday you probably think I am going to have you think about all of the reasons you are grateful for your job – pays the bills, etc. And that is a great way to start. I encourage you to do that.
But I am not going to focus on that.
Instead, I want you to think about reasons your job is important. Who do you help? Every job is important to someone, even the most mundane or low-wage jobs are important. If you can start looking at what you do as important work and not just something you have to do to get paid, you can begin to feel a connection to what you do. If you don’t already, you may begin to feel pride for what you do.
What parts of your job are you proud of? What are you good at? Work to be great at what you do. Do it for yourself, not to make someone else happy or appreciative. Even if you don’t feel appreciated, you can at least feel proud and accomplished for doing your job well. That is a work ethic that will become ingrained and will follow you.
What makes your employer great? Do you have decent benefits? Fun atmosphere? Relaxed dress code? Maybe you are fortunate enough to work for one of those companies that gives back to the community. That is certainly something to love! Take your time. This might be a tough one for some folks.
Who do you enjoy working with? If you happen to work with others during the day, think about who you enjoy being around and why. Make efforts to visit them daily and make the most of those encounters. I have noticed that so often it is the receptionist that everyone in an office setting seems to love. Probably because receptionists are usually pleasant people, which is what makes them great for the job. Of course, I don’t want you to get in trouble for socializing instead of working!! If you can’t spend any time at all with your favorite co-workers, try just doing something nice for them. Maybe you surprise them with a yummy cup of coffee in the morning or simply make a part of their job easier, even if it is just for that once. Doing something nice for someone you like always feels good!
Write these things down in your journal and come back to them whenever you are feeling particularly grumpy about going to work.
Now, here is the hard part: I challenge you to go one full week without complaining about your job. Every time you start to complain, you have to say three good things about your job OR you have to think of three things you can do to change the situation. I prefer the latter because I think complaining for the sake of complaining is a waste of time and energy. There is no point in complaining if you aren’t working on fixing whatever you are complaining about. Complaining about your job (or anything, really) just makes you feel worse! When you complain, you dwell on the negative. That doesn’t help anyone. Now I know that sometimes you really just need to vent. But I am only asking you to do this for one week. Surely you can save your vent-fest for 7 days. And you may find that after that amount of time, what you were going to complain about is no longer important.