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The late and great poet Maya Angelou once said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” The world-famous author was known for her wide range of books and poems, including Still I Rise and Letter to My Daughter. Most importantly, as her quote shows, she loved her work and doing her job.
It might be difficult to believe that there are people who love their work. Compared to Maya Angelou, your job is different in circumstances and environment. You might spend eight hours a day in a cubicle, typing formulas or making reports on the latest quarterly stats. You might roll your eyes when someone says you should love your work.
First, let’s explain what it means to be passionate about your work. Many assume that the only way to feel excited is if their job aligns with their hobbies or desires. If you ask many people what their dream job would be, they’d probably answer actors, doctors, or astronauts. If anyone can be lucky enough to get the job they’ve wanted since childhood, it’s easy to see their passion burn. They’ll likely go to work with a smile, eager to face new challenges to fulfill their longstanding goals.
However, passion at work doesn’t simply mean following your childhood pursuits. Many accountants, lawyers, and other professionals discovered their love years after. Even if these people didn’t dream of these jobs at first, they slowly grew to admire the work routine and its effect on clients. Even if they aren’t earning as high as expected, their job satisfaction is more than enough to make them feel content.
So, how exactly does passion at work happen? Simply put, it’s about enjoying and feeling fulfilled with your job. You might think writers, astronauts, and other professionals pursuing their dreams are always happy at work. However, everyone always faces hardship and difficulty in their job. Perhaps these people are not earning well enough or struggle to learn new skills that fit their line of work.
So if it’s not always happy or fun, why stay with it? At the 2007 D5 Conference, Steve Jobs was once asked about the importance of passion at work. He noted that loving your job mattered because no rational person would continue through the hardship. In his words, “Oftentimes, the ones that are successful loved what they did, so they could persevere when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit, because they’re sane.”
That’s the beauty of being passionate about your work. If you find true meaning, happiness, and contentment with the job, you’re more likely to persevere through the challenges and criticisms. Only the most devoted workers will dare to continue, whether it is long work hours or tons of revision.
Now that you know what it means to have a passion at work, it’s time to show you why it matters. Loving your occupation and the work grind provides these three benefits in and out of the office.
The quote from Steve Jobs above sums up why people who love their job are willing to put up with a lot. Even if their routine requires a lot of careful planning and correction, these people will gladly continue doing so. The funny thing is that enjoying your job could make it easier in your mind. Putting a positive spin on your work can energize your mind to work more efficiently and consistently. The more satisfaction you feel after a task is done, the happier you’ll feel. For example, an attorney who wins their first courtroom case will sit back and enjoy their work. Even if they spent several sleepless nights preparing for the trial and the cross-examination, their dedication helped them get through those tough times. By winning their courtroom case, they also see the fruits of their labors come true.
Enjoying your job makes you feel more energized as you tackle different tasks. Like the previous example, you might struggle and work for several hours on one objective. However, if you find your work fulfilling, you won’t feel as tired or unhappy as others. The satisfaction you get from the job increases your emotional and mental perseverance. In other words, you enjoy your job so much that you’re willing to put up with more work and exhaustion.
For instance, look at any video about the astronauts living on the International Space Station. They all have to deal with zero gravity, specially modified food, and complex machinery to go to the bathroom. For any other person, they’d ask to go back to Earth at the earliest possible time. However, for these dedicated astronauts, living in the ISS is the culmination of hours of underwater training and technical support classes. They might find their conditions strange but worthwhile, even if the living conditions are vastly different.
Loving your job is an excellent way to inspire yourself to keep going. It helps you feel more energy as you crunch the numbers or file out applications. However, it’s not only you who benefits from it. Your colleagues and bosses may get inspiration from your dedication. By setting a standard on how you perceive your job, you’re also convincing others to feel the same way. Your perspective could help them appreciate their job and how it affects the client. It could even reignite the passion of those who’ve long since given up or gotten complacent at work.
Now that you know the ways that passion at work benefits you, it’s time to learn how you can increase it. Loving your job doesn’t simply mean smiling and nodding at every request. To truly feel passionate about your work, here are eight practical ways to start.
To feel passion at work, you need to remember the stakes of your job. Whatever you do, from entry-level errands to executive functions, will always affect the workplace. The crucial thing to remember is that you must be accountable for your actions. A janitor and a CEO can make a mess of things and be responsible for the issue.
The same goes for you. If you slip up at work, don’t be afraid to take responsibility. The best way to learn is through your mistakes, and nothing is more satisfying than doing a better job than last time. In addition, aside from errors, know when to celebrate your successes. If you finish a day’s worth of tasks, pat yourself on the back. This way, you reward yourself for your job and remind yourself that the effort was worthwhile.
Knowing what you consider essential can help you find a job or position in any occupation. When you organize your priorities, you should picture what matters most in your life right now. Do you see yourself working independently or in a team of professionals? Perhaps you want to earn more money or vacation time. Whatever matters most, you must always be clear about what you want out of your job. By being transparent about your priorities, you’ll quickly learn which careers fit you and which ones aren’t worth it. The sooner you know what role you want, the easier it will be to focus and excel in it.
Retail stores sell a lot during the Christmas season and inevitably relax once the first week of the New Year arrives. After that, these stores have to find ways to re-engage their audience to make more sales. Similarly, you might discover days when your work has gotten lighter and left you more free time than expected. It’s easy to get bored or lose interest when things aren’t as exciting anymore.
To keep your passion at work alive, consider proposing passion projects or new ideas for your workplace. For example, you can approach your superior for any potential new ideas you’d like to try in marketing or advertisement. You could also lend a hand to your colleagues and their projects, like business plans and online campaigns. By giving the effort to do more, you can learn more skills at work and build more trust among your colleagues. You’ll also give yourself little time to get idle and grow bored.
No matter what career you pursue, all decisions always involve risk. Freelance writers may still need to get their books published just as marketing experts might have their plans rejected. You might grow concerned about these risks and wonder if it’s worth the effort. However, remember that no one grows wiser by playing it safe. You’ll eventually have to take a risk and see whether your project succeeds. Remember that you’ll learn something new about your work no matter the outcome. Failure will teach you what to avoid or prepare for, while success will encourage you to keep going. Don’t be afraid to try and fly when the time comes to leave the nest.
You might face a crossroads in your life and wonder if your job is worth it. Sometimes, the best way to know is to re-examine your purpose and intentions at work. Ask yourself why you are following this career and what got you to that point. Did you enjoy what you learned? Are there any specific reasons you’ve stayed at your job? If you only stayed for the money or the work benefits, you might realize why you aren’t enjoying your work. You might need to consider a new career path or a new role using your skills. Conversely, if you appreciate your work and its routine, perhaps you must remember what drew you to it.
No job should ever feel pointless, whether a solo venture or a team effort. If you aren’t enjoying your work, discover what the job does for other people. You might be surprised by how crucial your skills are in helping others. Take time to ask your superiors about what your job does. For example, why would a marketing team need a writer? The answer would likely be that the writer can develop ideas and statements that reflect the brand for future ad campaigns or social media. Sometimes, you need a reminder of what makes your role important. Knowing its usefulness lets you quickly find more meaning in your daily tasks.
If you ever feel bored or unhappy at work, try to reach out to your colleagues. You might need their advice about how they see the job and what it does. Remember, you’re not the only worker who struggles with their tasks. By approaching your teammates or superiors, you might learn why they love their roles. Perhaps they find meaning in making a decent living for their family, or they enjoy testing their knowledge of numbers and data. Whatever the reason, hearing their motivations can inspire you to see your work differently. You might even grow to love your job more than expected.
People don’t often stay in the same job they’ve had for years. Making a career is admirable but not always easy. The average American will have over a dozen jobs throughout their life. Sometimes, it’s the same line of work but in a different setting or company. Other times, it may be a completely different path than their previous occupation. Whatever job you decide to settle in, always keep an open mind. You must accept changes whenever they occur. For example, couples who’ve become parents might change roles or jobs to spend more time with their children. It’s a big adjustment and might ask for a career change.
Think carefully about whether or not you should step back and pursue other ventures. If you decide to change careers, prepare accordingly. You should enjoy what it brings.
Developing your passion at work can help you succeed in any career you choose. It’s not easy, but enjoying your job can benefit the long run. For example, you’ll feel more confident and determined to see a project finished, however long or tiring the timeline. You could also inspire your colleagues to work harder and find more satisfaction in their work. You should stay accountable for any rewards and consequences to boost your passion. You must also examine your priorities and values to see if the job is worth the risk. Knowing what you want to do and how much you’re willing to do, your career can become an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
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