We spend more than half of our waking hours working, and for many of us it can even be more. Those hours can seem even longer if we don’t like what we do. So how can we learn to love our work? The first step is trying to find something you love when you are looking for a job. 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.
But the job may not be your passion. 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.
Job crafting is one way to find more interest in your job. How can you make adjustments in your job so it leverages your strengths, calls on your passions, and changes the boring and routine tasks? 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 work force, 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 who’s desks were getting overcrowded. She changed her job to be something she was passionate about. As part of job crafting you can also turn boring routine tasks into contests with yourself or others. If you did 100 entries yesterday, how can you do 150 entries today and maintain the same quality.
Job seekers and job holders alike can find more interest and passion in their job by looking for the connections. 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?
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.
If you want to love your work start by trying to find a job you will love. If that doesn’t work then find out how your work enables your passions. Focus on how your work can make a difference in someone else’s life. Find or create connections between your work and your passions.