Last month, we talked about how to find a job you love by changing jobs. However, there are lots of reasons why that isn’t always the right answer. Sometimes it’s about loving the job you’re in.
Whether you’ve fallen out of love with your job or just need to love it that little bit more, these are my top tips for how to love your job.
1. Don’t expect perfection
No matter how perfect a match you and your job might be, nothing is ever 100% good all the time. I believe that if you aim for your work to be enjoyable about 80% of the time, then you’ve got a great job. There are always things that are less than ideal, like a long commute, a difficult colleague or simply a task you don’t like much. Aiming for perfection is setting yourself up for unhappiness! You can put up with about 20% of things you hate or don’t like, but do make sure it’s not the other way around. If you’re unhappy 80% of the time, it’s probably time to make a more significant change.
2. Be proactive and responsible
A lot of people like to blame others for their unhappiness. They’ll say things like:
• The customers are so annoying.
• My colleagues don’t help me.
• My boss is really mean.
But by putting the responsibility for your happiness (or unhappiness) on to other people, you’re losing control, and that’s never a good feeling. Once you decide that you’re the one in charge of your own happiness, you can find it almost anywhere.
If there’s something you don’t like, think about what would make it better and take responsibility for changing that. For example, if you wanted to do more presentations, why not prepare one and present it? Your boss will see that, recognise your desire, and you’ll be more likely to get involved in the next presentation.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail
Be careful with this one as it will vary widely from business to business. Some places punish failure, but on the whole, you have to try (and fail) at new things to grow. Almost no one has ever been good at something first time. This is actually something we forget as we grow up. A child learning to walk just keeps getting back up until they don’t fall down anymore.
The important thing here is not to fail the same way twice. You must be able to recognise, admit, own and learn from the failure. Don’t let one failure stop you from trying new things. Remember that failure is an event, never a person! Failure isn’t out to get you. It’s just a thing that happens to everyone from time to time. You can read more about failure in my blog posts about Why some failures are better than others and Learn to love your mistakes.
4. Find the silver lining
If you want to be happier in your job, it’s good to learn to find the silver lining behind every dark cloud. However, human beings aren’t the best at seeing the silver linings. Staying positive is something we have to work at, and there are lots of simple things we can do to help with that.
• Have a happy playlist ready to listen to at all times
• Write down compliments you received
• Celebrate (sm)all achievements
• Write a gratitude journal
• Surround yourself with positive people
• Smile more
If you’d like to explore that idea, check out my blog post about the Toolkit of Happiness.
5. Invest in yourself
In the day to day of having to go to work (and all your other jobs), it can be easy to forget about looking after yourself. The reason you don’t love your job might not have anything to do with your job at all. You are your most valuable tool. Stay sharp. Keep developing. Look after yourself. Try new experiences, acquire new skills and take time for yourself.
As you get better, you’ll feel better!
I hope that you found these tips useful. They come from my book “The Happy Worker – How to find a job you love and love the job you have“. Do let me know if there are any others that you use yourself, as I’ll happily add them to the list! And if you want any help with feeling happier at work, remember that you can always have a free 30-minute coaching session with me to explore your options. You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, so why not give it a try?