Susan Ricker | April 28, 2014
There are plenty of benefits to loving your job, which can reach far beyond the actual hours you’re on the clock.
As Ray White, author of “Connecting Happiness and Success,” says, “When people love what they do, they are happier and more successful. They work longer hours, make more friends at work, spend most of their time thinking about how to do things better and talk to everyone about what they do, which provides them with lots of diverse ideas on how to do their job even better. Their job becomes intertwined in their life rather than separate from it, and they excel because of it.”
Even if you don’t love your job, it can still have a positive effect on your life. “The job may not be your passion,” White says. “It may just enable your passion. Your job can be how you earn enough money to surf or play music. So you are not passionate about the job, but you are passionate about what it enables you to do. The key is to put your job into the perspective of your passions or dreams.”
Craft your job
Whether you’re passionate about your work or what it enables you to do, there are ways to improve your career outlook and how you spend your time in the office. White suggests “job crafting,” or reshaping the responsibilities you hold, as well as your attitude toward them.
“How can you make adjustments in your job so it leverages your strengths, calls on your passions and changes the boring and routine tasks?” White says. “I often use the example of our janitor who doesn’t think her job is to clean bathrooms, it is to keep the ‘kids’ — her name for our young workforce — happy and productive. She makes sure they have coffee in the morning, clean dishes and re-arranged furniture to help them be productive. Last week she pulled furniture out of an old storage room and set up shelves for the people whose desks were getting overcrowded. She changed her job to be something she was passionate about.”
This kind of attitude adjustment can be as large or small as you’re willing to try. “As part of job crafting, you can also turn boring routine tasks into contests with yourself or others,” White says. “If you did 100 entries yesterday, how can you do 150 entries today and maintain the same quality?”
Improving how you do your job and how you see your responsibilities is a critical first step in loving your job. But what else can you do to ignite the passion? White recommends looking for the connections. His challenge to job seekers and workers alike: “Do they connect with the vision and values of the company? Does the company purpose give them something bigger than themselves to pursue, for example, an alarm company making the world safer? Do they connect with their friends and teammates at work? Can they be passionate about helping their co-workers succeed or help their team complete a big project? Can they connect with all the things they can learn on the job or the opportunity for travel and/or career advancement? Can they get excited about the opportunities for them to take on and accomplish huge projects with seemingly insurmountable challenges?” These are all questions you can ask yourself, and if you don’t like the answer, you have a great jumping off point for what to change.
The bottom line is not to look at everything you hate about your job, but to find what your job provides for you. After all, as White says, “It is not about the job; it is about how they look at the job and how they choose to create the connection between their jobs and their lives.”