“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius
Does loving your work matter?
By Andrea Novakowski
Work is like a marriage. No one is blissfully happy all the time. There are highs and there are lows. When you are overwhelmed or feeling unengaged, your frustration can build. You may even start to wonder: “Why am I here?” And that’s a great question!
Taking a moment to remember what you love about your work can be helpful for generating a boost of positive energy. This leads to feeling connected to your work, a sense of motivation and purpose, and that gets those good endorphins flowing.
So take out a piece of paper (or the electronic equivalent) and write down exactly why you do what you do. Take some time to tune in, dig deep, and think about it. What does it give you? What does it allow you to give others? What got you here and where do you think you’re going?
Need some inspiration? See below how five of my clients responded when I asked them to do this exercise.
For Jonathan, it’s all about helping others and making a positive impact.
“My profession revolves around guiding employers and employees through a confusing, convoluted world that most folks aren’t exposed to. The task is challenging, but it keeps me on my toes – and it feels good to have others place their trust in you, especially after all the time and effort you put in to becoming proficient in your field.”
– Practice leader, employee benefits consulting
Kimberly loves the diversity of the work she does.
“Being able to work on a range of projects that are interesting, meaningful, and creative keeps me going. In the course of a day’s work, I can create a fun pamphlet, extensively research a concept, write a letter that demands verbal gymnastics, and talk to someone while offering compassion and support. It’s never dull, and it’s always evolving.”
– Owner, early childhood education center
For James, it’s the trifecta of daily challenges, mentoring and making a difference.
“I love getting up in the morning and knowing I’m going to encounter new challenges at work while coaching my employees, then driving home at night knowing I made a positive contribution to my company. I’m energized by my ability to learn new things every day, while helping my customers achieve their business and technology objectives.”
– Senior director, computer storage
Elaine loves protecting her country.
“My organization supports the U.S. Navy submarine community by helping maintenance crews and sailors ensure their boat is ready to go to sea and perform its mission. I consider this work as a service to my country. There’s very little margin for error in a vessel that operates in the hostile environment of the ocean. Knowing we’re providing a level of confidence to the Navy and their crews energizes me to come into work every day, do things right, speak up when I see a problem, and ensure others do the same.”
– Division head, U.S. Navy Submarine Community
What Bill loves about his work is helping other people succeed.
“If they succeed, then I do, too. Keeping that mindset makes any activity, whether in finance, manufacturing, or education, contribute to the improvement and satisfaction of people at every level. If your students are successful because of your contribution, then you have won the game.”
– Teaching assistant, secondary education
There is no wrong answer to the question, “What do I love about my work?” The key is to take note of what inspires you and what you are passionate about.
Now that you have your answer, how does this information help you?
YOUR CALL TO ACTION
I’ve found that when I share what’s important to me with others, the idea takes on even more life and reality to me. I invite you to share your response to the following question in the comments below: What do you love about your work? Let our community hold it and help make it come to life for you.