Do You LOVE Your Job?

Published on February 17, 2012 by Anne Raymond

I am a little alarmed with the number of people that I have talked to recently that are really not that happy with what they are doing! It's especially a sad state of affairs when most people spend more time at the office/work than anything else in their life!  Don't you agree?

Why is there an alarming trend of dissatisfaction? I see many people that are too overloaded to even assess whether they like what they do anymore.  This is more a case of burnout than simply job dissatisfaction (although the job or workload could be the root cause).

For others however, it could be a dissatisfaction or demotivation that gradual creeps up and you have a feeling of things not being "quite-right"! This can be especially confusing when you're successful (and deliver great results) and you "used" to like it.

So what to do about it?  Here are 3 ways that you can be in that delightful place holding a steaming cup of coffee and be included in the "I love my job" club that you thought would never happen!

1) Set a Strong Foundation

Start by setting a strong foundation! You know you have set a strong foundation when you are motivated and energized by what you do.  You also look forward to how you can change, evolve, and innovate which naturally makes you feel engaged.

The other big part of setting a strong foundation is the environment that you work in. If are in sync with your environment – like the people, location, values, direction – then it is motivating and inspiring.

Start the groundwork on setting a strong foundation by really honing in on your strengths. It's not enough just to do an assessment on strengths like StrengthFinder2.0 (my fav).  It's a good step but only the beginning to give you some ideas and language around your strengths.

Most importantly for your strengths is to assess what activities you are doing every day and reflect about what you really "love" about each of them (or not!). Strengths can be very precise and specific!  Don't just "think" about your strengths but see how you "feel" about them.  Sometimes our brains can "rationalize" liking things when we really don't - but this does not a motivated person make!

Along with your strengths, make sure your passions are included in a strong foundation. Passions are strong drivers and usually come from either a place of complete enthusiasm and joy  or at the opposite end of the spectrum, from a place of utter anger or disbelief (like in something unjust).   Either way, it stirs up a sense of deep motivation and meaning to what we do.  Having passion keeps us slogging through tall mountains and tough challenges.

Clarifying a strong foundation takes some effort but it is well worth it when you know your castle (or your work at least) is built on solid rock than on sand that can tumble with the slightest breeze!

2) Defining the Big "Ideal"

If you could define your job (or your life!) anyway you would like, what would it look like?  I like to call this the "Big Ideal"!

Take a blank page and write down the ideal environment, the ideal industry, the ideal values, passions, and the activities you would like to spend your day doing? What kind of challenges or problems do you want to tackle?  What kind of travel, location, or responsibility do you want?  What type of flexibility is ideal?  Does it align with your personal brand?

Why not get really clear on what would be "ideal" so you know the direction of where you really want to go?

3) Get Out There and Be Bold!

Now that you have started to set a strong foundation and are clearer about your "big ideal", start where you are right now and see what you can evolve to create more opportunities that you really want to do! Perhaps you can trade-off with a colleague on tasks/projects or delegate to someone else on your team?   Take on new responsibilities and do things differently so that you are playing more to your strengths each day.

Here is your opportunity to be bold and step out of your comfort zone and connect with people and talk to them about where you are going and how you're going to get there (inside and outside of your organization). Find out if you can continue to evolve what you're currently doing, take on new strategic projects, or start taking next steps in your career growth.  Once you've had some of these conversations, you'll soon realize if there is a good fit now and for the future (or otherwise you may need to cut your losses and consider some other options)!

Invest the time in building a strong foundation, a clear direction, and get out there and be bold so that you can start on the path of the "I love my job" club too!

Good luck and enjoy!