Why shouldn’t you love your job?
September 25, 2020
You’ve heard the phrase ‘do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life’. For some, that cliche might feel like nails on a chalkboard – sorry to trigger that for you. We’d all love to turn our favourite hobbies into something that earns us a living, but it’s a hard slog to get there.
What we don’t think about enough is how we can love the job we’ve got. Work doesn’t have to be a grind, we shouldn’t have to think about it as a pause from our real lives – we’re still living while we’re at work. There’s a lot to say for getting your head in the right space and looking at your work with a bit of perspective.
Finding the balance between feeling like your life is overrun by work and choosing what you want to be doing is a huge challenge. But, if we’re enjoying our time at work more, the balance starts to become more even because we’re choosing to make the most of our work hours.
We need to stop thinking of our time as work AND life – it’s all life. We don’t put life on pause to go to work. For that reason, you should enjoy your work – it is your life – and you should enjoy your life.
Remember why you work
There are a few obvious reasons WHY we work:
Financial stability – we feel safe when we know we’ve got the funds to back us in an emergency, to be able to treat ourselves every now and then or save for a huge goal.
Social connection – this is one we would have felt during the epic WFH stint of 2020. While we might’ve enjoyed being at home, a lot of us would have missed the human interaction that comes with a workplace.
Skill development – a lot of the time when people aren’t feeling engaged with their job it’s because they’re not being challenged. We crave self improvement; we all have an innate desire to learn and improve upon ourselves.
To contribute to the bigger picture – more than anything, we want to be part of something – to be able to contribute to change and growth on a larger scale than just ourselves.
If you can’t connect with any of these four reasons when you’re heading into the office for the day, it might be time to sit down with your boss and work out what can be done to make your work life more satisfying.
If you have got all these boxes ticked, there’s a good chance that you already have a good appreciation of your job. If you’ve got them all and you’re still feeling a slump, maybe it’s time to look at HOW you’re doing your job.
Find your ideal work scenario
If there’s anything that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s that we CAN be flexible. And now that we have the freedom to choose our workspace and commuting options, we should be using them in our favour.
Maybe working from home full time was hard, but splitting your week by doing a bit of office, a bit of WFH might be the happy medium you need to feel more productive. Sometimes it’s helpful to know that you’re not just chained to your desk.
Be PROUD of your work
Find the benefit you bring to society through your work, and work to make it the best you can be. For example, if you work in the arts or creative industries: you’re bringing joy, release, and mental health to those around you (this is all too important right now).
In the construction industry: you are developing infrastructure that will grow businesses, the economy, and personal happiness and security. Engineers: you are innovators, moving us all forward in whatever form of problem you are solving. Teachers: the future starts with you!
Grocers, butchers, and retailers give us freedom, convenience, individuality and so much more. The council workers cleaning and maintaining our streets, we would all be living a much more miserable existence without you.
There is no job that is unimportant; you are doing something worthwhile, you are making people’s lives better. Finding and understanding can give you power and fulfilment.
What are the things that make you happy? What values do you hold close to your heart, that make you, you? There’s often a way that you can work these into your 9-5 work. Applying your ethics to your work more often than not means that your work is benefiting from a higher level of care. You are getting fulfilment from being true to yourself, you feel better about what you’re doing and your work gains a stronger value from your input.
CHANGE the things you don’t like
Maybe all it’s going to take is a conversation with your boss. Maybe it means switching roles or changing jobs, but you have the power to make your workplace one you feel good about. It could be as simple as putting a plant, photo, or toy car on your desk to make that space feel more like your own and give you something to look at that brings you joy.
You have the power to make a change.
The point we’re trying to make in all this is that how you spend your time is important. Feeling happy and satisfied with how you are spending your time is important. There is no work/life balance – work is still part of life. So why SHOULDN’T you love your job?! Benefits come all round from feeling happy in your work: your boss benefits, as does your family, your friends, your career and YOU. So do what you need to do to make your work work for you.