Contrary to what Instagram tells you, it's ok if you don't love your job.
If you asked me whether or not I loved my job, the answer would definitely change depending on the day you catch me. It’s easy for me to say that I love it when I’m speaking or facilitating, when I get an encouraging note or email, or when I feel the flexibility of my time.
However, there are plenty of bad days where I don't love my job at all. When I'm pulling my hair out trying to troubleshoot a technical issue, loving my work is the furthest thing from my mind.
In a world where everyone is telling us that we have to love what we do, it can be discouraging when that's not our reality. So I've got an alternative to offer you. What if you stop worried about loving your job and focused on feeling connected to what you're doing. Feelings of passion fluctuate, but connection can sustain you. You can cultivate a sense of connection with your work regardless of what you do or what stage you are at.
Here are three ways you can connect to what you do:
What does your organization do for the world? Make sure you know your organization's:
Caring about these three little concepts is more important than you think. Even if you're doing the most mundane task, you can always connect it to the broader impact of the organization. Looking at data or preparing for a meeting become ways to support the organization's mission and vision.
Cultivating this connection by asking two simple questions:
Every task or experience can be a learning opportunity. Set an intention to learn something from any task you do. There are countless things you can learn every day regardless if you are in a full-time job or doing your own thing.
If you don’t find the organizational mission compelling, try to identify a skillset that you are really excited to learn. And remember, you are getting paid to learn! Let feeling that energize you and connect you to your work.
Don't miss the opportunities you have to learn and grow. You might feel like this role doesn't connect to your future plans, but you would be surprised to discover what can be useful in the future.
Be conscious of the knowledge and experience you are gathering and connect to it because you never know when you will pull back on that later. Ask yourself:
“What am I learning that I can apply in other ways or in other settings?”
It’s ok if you don’t care a lot about your job, but you can definitely be connected to the people you work with. This includes:
In most cases, you care about these people. So, focus on being grateful that you get to know them and engage with them because of the work you do. This approach can be especially helpful when you're feeling disengaged.Maybe you need to save money for your studies, so you feel compelled to stay in that job position. Or perhaps you are starting your own business but need to keep a full-time income until your business starts to grow. Choose to connect with the people you work with and release the pressure of loving your what you do.
By connecting to your work through any of these three ways, you can start enjoying your experience without actually loving your job. Whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee, or transitioning out of a job, try to always ask yourself:
These simple questions can be the thing that sustain you when you don’t feel very excited about the work you do. It's better to choose to build connection rather than trying to force yourself to love your job