People who love their job exhibit certain traits that are not common with people who detest what they do. One of the world’s leading experts in the science of hope, Dr. Shane Lopez, conducted a study on people who love their jobs in order to learn what they do differently. When he asked almost 8,500 working Americans whether they loved their jobs, only 13% said yes. He presented his findings in a TEDx talk in 2015, and he opined that one factor driving such high levels of disengagement at work could be the lack of autonomy or ownership people have on the job. When employees feel like they “rent” their jobs, they feel less goodwill and motivation. On the other hand, Dr. Lopez discovered that people who love their jobs do these things regularly:
They largely spend most of their time on things they’re well versed in.
Continuing to excel at the things you do well – like tacking technical tasks or writing business proposals – is much easier than trying to improve in the areas where you’re struggling (and perhaps have always struggled). Plus, the satisfaction you feel from doing a good job will go a long way when it comes to general fulfillment. Playing to your unique strengths will make you more confident and increase the likelihood that you’ll want to operate at your highest level, which is basically a prerequisite to enjoying what you do for work.
People who like their job, more often than not, also like their co-workers.
When you’re comfortable with the people you work with every day, it’s easier to be your authentic self. There’s more space for your creativity and productivity, and also room for you to vent your frustrations (which is needful from time to time). This means you’re more likely to share your goals (no matter how ambitious it might sound) and to express your opinions (even if they differ from everyone else’s). You don’t have to force yourself to become best friends with every single person in the office, but you should make an effort to have a genuine work relationship with your colleagues since it’s been shown to lead to more engagement and satisfaction at work.
People who enjoy their work set career goals
This enables them to have a sense of direction, motivation, and accountability. People who love their jobs know this and are always striving towards something. Whether it’s getting a promotion, a title change, or more freedom, there’s a constant desire to achieve. And because there’s always something else to look forward to (learning a new skill, finding a new mentor, becoming a mentor), there’s little time for things to feel stale.
If you’re sad at your job, ask yourself if you’ve done everything you can to improve the situation. Have you tried to accept the parts you can’t change (like the office interior decor)? Do you throw yourself into a work you have a chance to succeed in? Do you celebrate yourself when you complete a project or receive praise from your team? Do you approach each day with at least a neutral mindset, hopeful for good things to come as opposed to? Obviously, there are certain situations that no amount of acceptance or willed positivity can fix, but dire scenarios aside, see if you can change your perspective by following these tips.