We all want to feel passionate about our careers. We want our jobs to offer us a sense of fulfillment, belonging, and value. But to truly get the most out of our profession, we need to give it love. For instance, we must love the thought of waking up on Monday mornings, staying late at work to finish an assignment, taking in new projects, and so much more. The payoff? That love translates into many goodies: promotions, higher pay, favor with the employers, a senior decision-making role, and even more.
But what are ways to turn a career into a haven? Here are some ideas I’ve personally come across in my career history:
Do what you love. Create work goals that get you excited to wake up in the morning. If you’ve always wanted to create 3D animations or compose music, perhaps there is a place for it in your career. Or, if you love crunching statistics from surveys, try to do more of that in your role.
As for the boring stuff, try to spice it up. For example, I loathe making databases in Excel, but I love to learn new software. So, when I coupled database creation with learning to administer a new software, Salesforce, I grew highly engaged. Find out what makes you tick and do more of it.
Acquire work-related skills. The more work-related skills you learn, the more quickly you can adapt to new technologies, promotions, and novel assignments. In addition, learning is fun; the more you engage in your education, the more you’ll enjoy learning. Finally, the edge new knowledge gives your career makes learning highly rewarding. For example, I recently learned how to make animated explainer videos from scratch, and I love the results.
View work as a thrill ride. Treat work like you’re about to go on stage in front of thousands of rabid fans, where you’re hyper-focused, electrified—and prepared. Or better still, treat work like your first visit to outer space to repair a space shuttle—as if it was your childhood dream. In other words, treat each day at work like a mission where you must be hyper-focused but in a stimulating and exciting way.
Dress up. Dress for work as if you’re about to present a Ted Talk to your staff and clients—to be aired on global television. Udemy.com has some excellent fashion courses by highly credentialed course authors. One author suggests you could buy black dress boots with brown heels for a splash of versatile color. Or you could focus your wardrobe on colors that blend nicely, perhaps with your favorite color as the key color, making mixing and matching easier. My favorite color is pink. Make dressing to impress a fun way to love your job. As a fun twist, the pay raises you’ll earn from loving your job will translate to a bigger clothing budget.
Learn interior design. Yes, learn interior design skills, but for your office. For instance, interior designers often cluster things in three. Perhaps put (1) a colorful file folder, (2) a pen and pencil holder, and (3) a vase with a flower onto one side of your desk. On the other side, perhaps stack three books about topics that could improve your work performance. For instance, a marketer might have a book on marketing theory, social media marketing, and advertising copy. Put a candle or vase on either side of the book stack to cluster it into a group of three. As for the wall hanging, pick a picture with the color accent of your blue file folders or some other colorful item in the room. And, oh, plants make for a beautiful, high-productivity work environment. The point is to make you want to be there and working.
Befriend staff. Go out of your way to do nice things for your colleagues. Give them gifts, friendly smiles, cards on special occasions, and even home-cooked or store-bought treats. But ensure corporate policies allow gifts. And be sure to gift the entire staff to avoid hurt feelings.
So, pick one of these strategies to try. If it doesn’t increase your job satisfaction, then simply try another until you find yourself fully engaged and in love with your career.