We’ve all met them, haven’t we? Those lucky b*stards who, when asked what they do, turn around and smugly announce “Oh, I’m a [job title]. I absolutely love my job.” And, for any of us who dread the Monday morning alarm call and spend every working hour wishing the week away, our reaction will be mixed with disbelief and envy. How can anyone love going to work?
Well, at risk of having all of my readers hate me, I too am one of those irritating people who genuinely loves my job, and isn’t afraid to say so. (And no, I’m not just writing this because I know my employer will be reading this post!) Those of us who work full time will spend a minimum of 35-40 hours per week working – and a large number of us will work hours well in excess of this. My view has always been that that’s an incredibly high percentage of your waking hours to spend doing something you hate.
Life is too short
True, we’ve all got to pay the bills, and therefore work for most of us is a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice, but when you think of not only the thousands of different occupations out there, but also the hundreds of thousands of different employers… life really is too short to do something that you hate.
What I will say, though, is that loving your job isn’t something that just happens by chance. There are in fact a number of things all of us can do to maximise our enjoyment of our roles, and give ourselves the best possible chance of doing something that we genuinely love.
#1 Challenge the status quo
I am stunned by the number of bright, switched on people I know who just seem to accept being miserable at work as the norm. It’s true, not everything causing you frustration can necessarily be changed. If it’s something as fundamental as the culture of the organisation you work in causing your unhappiness then this certainly isn’t going to change overnight. However, for a number of us, the difference between loving your job and not can be a series of much smaller factors. Rather than accepting these as being immovable, why not look to see if you can challenge them, and over time change them.
You don’t have to do this alone, either. Your organisation will have a vested interest in wanting their best people to stay with them. They should therefore be prepared to also invest effort into helping effect this change, particularly given that, in the majority of cases, something causing you frustration is also going to be impacting negatively elsewhere in the business.
#2 Change your mindset
Now, this absolutely isn’t the case in all instances where people are unhappy at work – but it is still fair to say that most of us need the occasional reminder to look at our mindset when we go off to start our working week. Our mental state can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. Walk into the office with the mindset that the day is going to be terrible, and we’re halfway there to ensuring that’s the case before we even sit down at our desk. However, come in with a spring in your step and the confidence that, while things may not go entirely to plan, you have the ability to deliver something amazing regardless… and you’ll be amazed at what a difference that can make.
#3 Choose carefully
This applies to both your career choice and your employer. Choose with care. I refer back to my previous comment: we spend a huge percentage of our lives at work. That’s a long time to be doing something that you fundamentally hate.
For most of us, we’ll be some way past the point where we made our initial career choice… but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have choices open to us. In the vast majority of instances, if we’ve found that our current role doesn’t make us want to leap out of bed in the morning, we have choice. We can diversify out of our current role to do something slightly different, or we can change employers. The important thing is that we shouldn’t settle for something which makes us miserable. Life really is too short for that.