Our job relationships can vary throughout our lives. Some people see their job as a means to an end, others treat jobs as stepping stones, while others are always content in their work – and some of us never are. But what if there was a way to always enjoy your work? Read on to explore how it is possible to love your job – whatever it is.
What are Your Values?
If you look around the web, you will find lots of advice on how to turn your hobby into your full-time job. But what about those people who took a job just because they needed the money – and ended up loving it? It is possible to find satisfaction in unusual places and many people end up in jobs they would never have dreamed of pursuing. Life can sometimes take us on a wholly unexpected path.
The trick in finding joy in your job is analyzing what it is you value about work. Is it the chance to make a difference to other people’s lives? Is it working with interesting people? Is it feeling part of a larger whole? Is it developing your knowledge of an industry? Is it about earning a regular income? Or is it about being able to leave the work behind at the end of the day to focus on other things? Having time to pursue your hobbies might be more important to you than your work, whether it is playing in a band, practicing a sport, or even playing online bingo.
The Freedom of Routine Work
Although some people need variety in their work to feel stimulated, they might also find a surprising level of satisfaction in routine work. A job that requires a set action to be performed with no right or wrong way of doing it and no subjectivity can be attractive due to its routine. Simple work that requires little creativity leaves you free to keep your mind fresh for when you finish work and want to pursue your hobbies.
A more demanding job could leave you exhausted at the end of the day, but the simplicity of a routine job might leave you feeling freer and happier. An example would be stacking shelves in a supermarket. Although on paper it might not sound like an ideal job, in practice it can be highly satisfying. Simple tasks can take on a meditative quality, being absorbing yet mentally unchallenging. A ‘boring’ job can be enjoyable if you value what it gives you.
One reason not to try to make your hobby your job is that it could sap the enjoyment out of it. One of the pleasures in a hobby that you pursue purely for the enjoyment of the act itself is that no expectation is placed on you. It is solely about your own pleasure and removed from the demands of work. If your beloved activity gets tied up with working hours, quality checks, deadlines, invoicing and customer satisfaction, it might lose some of its sparkles. For example, if you like to bake cupcakes and decide to turn this hobby into a catering business, you might be successful but find you no longer enjoy baking at home. Or a gym lover who becomes as a personal trainer might find they no longer enjoy working out in their spare time.
How to Make Your Job More Enjoyable
There are lots of ways to make your job better, no matter where you work. If you work in an office, personalising your workspace has been shown to improve your mood, so add photos, personal items such as your own mouse mat, mug, plants or your children’s drawings. Plants in the office have been shown to boost morale and they are also healthy as they remove toxins and carbon dioxide from the air, making the room feel fresher, which can potentially make you feel more alert.
For any job that is not particularly enjoyable in itself, you can focus on what it does give you. For example, perhaps you earn a good wage that enables you to enjoy your hobbies, or perhaps your work with some great people. Does your work give you the chance to travel or learn new skills? It might be about the wonderful location you get to live in, or the fact the working hours fit around the rest of your life. Thinking of your job as a tool or ‘enabler’ that lets you live the lifestyle you want, is a good way of seeing the positive side of your job.
For example, someone might move to work abroad simply for the chance to travel in a new country and practise their language skills – the job itself is a secondary consideration. Someone else might take a job because it gives them the chance to learn new IT skills, as the work is remote or the hours are flexible.
Another important thing about job satisfaction is matching your work to your personality. Some people are happy to sacrifice quality of life to pursue their dreams, keeping their eye on the bigger, long-term picture. Other people are happier putting ambition to one side and focusing on quality of life in the here and now.
Although you might have big plans for a career in a certain industry, life can get in the way and send you off in another direction. Just because you don’t end up in your ‘dream job’ doesn’t mean you can’t be happy in your work. And even if you do get your ‘dream job’ it might not turn out as wonderful as expected in reality. Be careful not to fall into the ‘the grass is always greener’ trap because it often isn’t the case. All jobs have their difficult parts and their irritations, no matter how perfect they might appear on paper.
If you truly can’t find any satisfaction in your job, think about a career change. There are always other opportunities out there and people retrain for new jobs all the time. Consider exactly what you value in a job what you need out of it – then go for it! We all deserve to love our jobs – and it is always possible if you approach it with the right mindset.