Not all of my friends love their jobs, but I’m happy to say that I LOVE mine! It’s full of challenges and changes and the fast pace keeps things moving. Regardless of your occupation however, there will be days when your love for your job just doesn’t feel as present… when you start to feel the monotony of consistent repeated processes that are necessary to drive success. If you’re an expert in your field, this effect may be even more intense.
I can’t believe that I’m saying this but there is actually a WikiHow which provides some excellent recommendations on what you can do to love your job. I began to think about how I have applied these approaches throughout my career and why I am still in love with my job.
Career Growth / Look for Challenge in Your Career
Some can achieve this through being recognized as subject matter experts in a particular area, negotiating well on behalf of the organization or through strategically increasing visibility with management in other ways. Whichever approach is most comfortable for you, playing to your strengths can demonstrate your interest in new areas & provide a platform where you can share ideas in a positive way about improvement or simplification of current processes. Being proactive in asking about opportunities to grow is a great way to be noticed. Learning new skills in your free time, obtaining certifications, or volunteering for projects that are a stretch for your current skill-set also show others you’re interest in progressing. I obtained my PHR early in my career which helped me bring more HR related knowledge back to my role. Over time I dug deeper into process or systems questions to provide suggested solutions and answer the “why not” questions. When given a project I would not only do what was asked but go above and beyond in providing thought leadership on how to enhance it further. This has always led to new opportunities.
Analyze Your Day & Determine the Tasks You Enjoy
We’re so busy trying to tackle a million action items during the day that we don’t often stop to think about which tasks we enjoy the most and where our best strengths lie. For me this is how I fell into Social Media. A spontaneous creative nature has always been a strength for me, so when I was asked to support Social Media content creation temporarily to help level theload a team member, it was a natural way for me to apply my creative skills in a new way to drive recruitment marketing efforts and brand recognition. Over time I’ve invested more focused effort in this area and the visible results have led to social media becoming a major focus of my current role which allows me to continue expanding into new areas of content management today.
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it. ~ Pearl Buck
Find Value in What You Do / Remind Yourself of Why You Do What You Do
Your relationship with your job can be very similar to that of a significant other. In long-term relationships we have to remind ourselves why we fell in love and it’s no different with your job! If you fell into your career out of circumstance this may be more challenging, but surely there is something that drove you to apply initially. This could be the thrill of a successful sale or hunt for new clients. For many it’s about people and the positive impact that we can have on others. As an Ops Team Leader reminding myself of this each day drove me to ensure my team members enjoyed the work that they did, felt engaged, and that they were making a difference through the quality of their work.
Expand Your Interest & Focus on Those Around You
Studies on happiness often cite the importance of giving to others and the satisfaction that we feel as human beings knowing that we had a positive impact on someone else or helped them to succeed. Everything about HR is helping others so I remind myself of this often even when a task seems to have minimal impact or I don’t have visibility to the end product. Working for a global client where I don’t often meet those that I support, I’ve adopted a trick which is to I print out kudos notes & post them in my cubicle as a visible reminder of the impact that doing a job well.
Try to Make Work Fun
Laughter is the best medicine! There are ways in which you can still complete your work efficiently that may be a little more entertaining. Personally I compete against myself as if I’m in some sort of mini Olympic competition all day long and compare. “How many rows of Excel data can I enter in the next 30 minutes? How many contracts can I draft before noon? Can I schedule all of our social media content for the next week before the end of the day?”
And if it Doesn’t Work Out…
If these solutions don’t help, then maybe it is time to divorce your job and move on. Here are some of the top trending jobs for 2014 -- enjoy!