Learning to Like Your Job

As Labor Day approaches, I had to share this latest post from The Bing Blog – Do you like your job? If you’ve ever worked, you’ve pondered this question.

I don’t believe that anyone likes his or her job 100% of the time.  As a mid-career Boomer, I’m not doing what I thought I’d be doing when I entered college 35 years ago with plans to save the world.   Despite the copious advice available regarding the importance of following your passions, leveraging your strengths, and crafting your personal brand, employment nirvana is elusive.

If you accept that you won’t love your job all the time, there are things you can do to help you like your job most of the time.  Here are a few that work for me:

  • Work relationships matter a lot – The results of every employee satisfaction survey I’ve seen in the last 20 years cite “my coworkers” as a primary driver of satisfaction at work.  Be a good coworker to those around you.  If you don’t trust and respect your coworkers, you probably need to find a new team to play on.
  • Apply the “No one’s going to die” rule – Unless you are literally in the business of saving lives (which most of us aren’t), there is little to be gained from allowing yourself to stress out as though lives are on the line as a result of your next move.  There are few decisions at work that won’t be better as a result of taking a moment to slow down and breathe before speaking or hitting the “Send” button.
  • You will work from home – Work-life balance doesn’t mean that those parts of your life can be neatly partitioned.  Deadlines and inspiration can and will strike during your “off” time.  Illness and plumbing will intrude on “work” time.  Work for employers that give you the flexibility and tools to accommodate these scenarios and you’ll be happier.
  • Contributing makes you feel good – Happiness isn’t the absence of work, it’s the opportunity to do work that makes a difference to those around you.

What helps you to like your job?

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