Rose Moore is one cool chick. In fact, she’s someone you want to be friends with on Facebook just to keep up with the great things she’s doing. Unwilling to let work lead the way, Rose seems to have figured it out, wrapping her work seamlessly around her life. Wife of a chef, she works when her husband does, allowing them to actually (gasp) spend time together. She’s someone who perfectly embodies the Ink & Well Mission and we can’t wait to share her words of wisdom with you!
Who doesn’t want to love their work? We spend an average of 50+ hours a week at work, and that’s a lot of time to be doing something you don’t like. Yet truly loving your work can seem like an impossible goal at times. Work is hard, you aren’t where you want to be (yet), no one is reading your blog, you feel like you are faking it half the time – just getting through the week intact can feel like a Herculean task. The reassuring news? If you feel like this, you aren’t alone. The even better news? There are a lot of easy ways to start loving what you do for a living, whether you are working your way up the career ladder, striking out on your own, or just paying your bills for the time being.
These five lessons are free, fast, simple, and you can start applying them right away – hopefully getting you closer to a place where work… just doesn’t feel like so much work all the time! Most of these deal with changing your mindset, and that can take time. But loving your work is so very worth the effort – I promise.
1. Approach Your Work With Enthusiasm
It’s easy to fall into the trap of treating your job like a horrible chore. Bemoaning a case of the Mondays, celebrating hump day as the halfway point, reaching Friday with a sigh of relief (and a tired old TGIF meme)… living for the weekend is the social norm. It’s also one of the best ways to convince yourself that you hate your job. Before you even sit down at your desk, the attitude you have towards your workday is a huge factor in determining whether or not you feel fulfilled by your career – or stifled by it. So instead of groaning as you start your day, take a deep breath and smile. When you talk about your job, talk about the things you enjoy, not the things you hate. Think of one thing each night that you are excited about doing tomorrow to help you wake up enthusiastic about starting your day
2. Cultivate Gratitude Every Day
Yes, I know, gratitude is the flavor of the week and you already know how important it is. I’m going to say it anyway. One of the best ways to fall head over heels in love with your work is to be grateful that you get to do it! Gratitude journaling is incredibly popular right now, and with good reason. When you do this regularly, you start to subconsciously look for the positives, even seeking them out over the negatives. That can make a huge difference to your mood and your approach over time, no matter what your work is. End each work day by writing down all the things that happened that day that made you happy. Get specific. Get silly. Write as many (or as few) as apply to that day, and don’t take it too seriously. This should make you smile as you write, not be yet another thing to get done before knocking off. Not only does this prime your mind to notice positive experiences during the day, but on those less-than-thankful ones where all you want to do is dramatically quit, you can read back over them. It’s a good reminder that most days are actually pretty fantastic.
3. Don’t Forget How Far You’ve Come
At some point in their lives, most people have had a truly thankless job. Whether it was slinging lattes, data entry in a windowless basement, or being stuck behind a cash register (or in my case, all of the above!), you probably have some memory of a soul-sucking job that barely paid the bills. You may not look back fondly on those days, but it’s a good idea not to forget them completely. Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck thinking about how far you still have to go in your field, and that’s enough to make anyone unhappy with where they are. Make sure that you balance your goals and big dreams with a little reminder that at some point in the past, where you are right now was where you dreamed of being. Congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come, and take a few days just to enjoy all the things you dreamed about before you got here. You might surprise yourself – something you consider boring now might be one of the things you longed to be doing five years ago.
4. Know That “Every Day” Doesn’t Mean “All Day, Every Day”
One of my favorite lines from a movie is actually from Sex and the City. I know, it’s hardly Citizen Kane, but bear with me. When Samantha asks Charlotte how often she is happy in her relationship, she replies “Every day. Not all day, every day, but every day”. Not only is this a phenomenal goal for your love life, it’s something to remember when you are struggling to love your work. There’s a tendency to over-romanticize, especially if you have taken that leap to “follow your bliss” (or however you want to label your personal search for a calling). But even the best job in the entire world is going to have moments that absolutely suck. Sorry. If you are looking for absolute perfection, for a job that makes you happy 100% of the time, all you are doing is making sure that you won’t find happiness in what you do. Instead, realize that it’s ok if you can’t stand cold-calling, or making images for your blog, or doing your business taxes. It’s ok not to love your job all day, every day. Just love it every day, and maybe get a really good accountant.
5. Don’t Just Love It. Fall In Love With It
Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest book, ‘Big Magic’, is a must-read for anyone looking to live a more fulfilled and creative life, and while it is chock-full of ideas, there is one concept in particular that will change the way you think about loving your work forever. Gilbert talks about not just loving what you do, but falling in love with it. Consider a more dynamic approach to work, one that is a relationship, rather than a to-do list. Find spare moments to do the things you love most, even if it’s just five minutes, and trust that you want to squeeze in some extra time because you know it will make you feel good. Instead of just telling yourself that you love your work, act like you are madly, passionately in love with it. Make it a priority. Talk about it with your friends until they roll their eyes at you. Daydream about all the things you love about your job when you can’t be around it. Develop a crush on your work, and doodle business names on your notepad.
No-one outside of you can make you love your work – and that includes your work itself! It’s time to dress up, show up, and enjoy a little flirtation with the work you do. You might just find that you fall in love.