5 Tips for Loving Your Job

The book of love tells us to love the one you’re with. And, if you are a part of today’s labor force, according to a recent Salary.com survey, the one you’re with for 41 to 70 hours a week is your J-O-B. So, I ask, how are you and your job doing in the love department? And, no, I don’t think that question is too personal.

Steve Jobs regularly took a pulse read on how he felt about the work he was doing. He reportedly, looked in the mirror every morning and asked himself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer [was] ‘No’ for too many days in a row, [he knew he] need[ed] to change something.”

If you believe that life is meant to be fulfilling, and a significant amount of your life is spent at work, shouldn’t you at least love it. If you take Steve’s advice and after your pulse check conclude, something’s gotta change, here are some tips for rekindling the flames of love for the job you have.

1. Put it into Perspective, you are more than your job
Your job does not define you, nor does it quantify your self-worth. If your identity is too strongly tied to the job you do, you are allowing external factors (many you can’t control) to tell you how to feel about yourself. You do a job, you are not your job, the title nor the task you perform.

“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck

2. Keep it Fresh and Interesting
How well are you doing your job? If the love for your job is waning, maybe you can eliminate the dullness by sharpening your skills. Get on top of the latest trends or conversations happening in your industry. Setting up a Google Alert is a great way to be in the know with real time notices about articles and news in your industry or field. Attend a conference, take a course, read a book, challenge yourself to grow your competence. The easy access to information today can quickly turn you into a content expert in no time.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” Maya Angelou

3. Don’t just focus on the money
There is nothing wrong with being “shown the money.” But we all know there are things money can’t buy, love being one of them. So when restoring the love for your job, money may not be the secret sauce. I encourage you to look for other rewards, like the impact your work has on others, the finished product, what happens on the job because of you, your input, your presence, your contribution. Also, explore opportunities to seek new challenges and promotional opportunities, join a team or task force focused on improving the work culture, i.e., the diversity & inclusion committee. And, don’t overlook simply reflecting on why you initially fell in love with your work and reconnect with those core values.

“If you enjoy what you do, don’t be afraid of expressing your enthusiasm. Enjoyment is infectious and you will bring others along with you.” Alan Sugar

4. Get motivated, show up as your best self
You have my permission to be that person — that person with the glass half-full exuberance whose to-do list headlines with smile (a lot) and optimism, check! Whatever attitude you bring to work, you are more likely to spread it. If you bring joy, you’re more likely to spread joy. Joy can be just as contagious as gloom and doom. Go to work believing it is going to be a good day and you are more likely to have one.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Thomas Haynes Bayly

5. Rejuvenate
Time apart is supposed to make the heart grow fonder. A recent study published by the Journal of Communication confirmed this age-old adage by studying long distance relationships. Those that had more time apart had more quality interactions when they were reunited. So, make those hours away from the office count and get a life outside of work. Take care of your health and fitness. Getting enough sleep is critical. Spend time with the people you care about and want to be around. Do activities that energize and inspire you. Volunteer for a group or organization you are passionate about. Spoiler alert, Netflix is not a hobby. Be intentional about making time to unwind. The notion of seeking balance between life and work is unrealistic. I believe the more achievable balance is in having an equally fulfilling work life as you do a life outside of work.

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