Loving Your Job — Whether You Like It Or Not
With Valentine’s Day in the middle of the month, February is often associated with themes of hearts and affection and love. While the traditions of the commercial holiday may be hokey to some, it is actually a great opportunity to remind yourself of the importance of loving the work you do every day. To help employees find ways to feel passionate about their jobs, every February OnStaff Recruiting runs a special campaign called Love Your Job, which donates $1 to the American Heart Association for every heart filled out at its office.
So, what does Love Your Job mean to you? Here are a few ways you can learn to love and embrace your work, even if you don’t always like it very much.
Experts have repeatedly stressed the importance of cultivating friendships at work. Those relationships can give you something to look forward to when it comes to your daily routine, even if it’s just having lunch on Fridays with your favorite group of coworkers. If you don’t already have a lunch buddy, identify someone and suggest a lunch date. Try to steer clear of friendships with superiors or employees since that can put your professionalism at risk. Building relationships at work can help garner a bigger sense of purpose and remind you of the common goal you are all working towards. Having a vested interest in your working relationships will help you cultivate a sense of teamwork that adds meaning to otherwise mundane tasks; there is power in knowing you’re all in it together.
If you are struggling to embrace certain aspects of your job because you don’t understand “the why” behind it, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Let’s say your boss gives you an assignment or task that makes little sense. Instead of asking “why,” you accept the task but leave the meeting frustrated, and with a decreased sense of morale. Stop! Reframe your mindset and approach so you are inclined to ask questions. When you don’t have the “big-picture” view of the work you’re doing, it can be difficult to have a passion for it. At every opportunity, ask questions to clarify how your own work is helping the customers and/or company. Inquire about goals, intention, and objectives.
Instead of thinking about the hours you have spent performing what you might define as monotonous tasks, try to focus on the people your work is helping provide a good or service for. Consider how your work is pushing your business a little closer to meeting its goals. If necessary, post reminders in your work area to keep you focused on the big picture. This is a good place to call on your working relationships — have discussions that allow you to consider others’ perspectives.
Make Changes When Possible
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, loving your job entirely just isn’t realistic. You need to work, so you do and that is the extent of it. If you are dealing with issues that make work difficult, consider making a change. It could simply mean asking to be moved to a different area or team. Or perhaps it is a change in your routine (like exercise or something specific to look forward to).
Each year, Love Your Job offers professionals the opportunity to take a look at the work they’re doing and find a way to feel more passionate about it. Hopefully, that passion will override some of the stumbling blocks of the daily grind and you will find ways to love your work.