Can You Find Love at Work?

Untitled designIn honor of the Hallmark holiday…let’s talk about love at work.  No, I’m not talking about hooking up with a co-worker! I’m talking about loving your work.

My keychain says “Love What You Do, Do What You Love” simple enough message but not always easy to accomplish. Maybe you don’t love everything about your job, only a few things…that’s ok.  Focus on those things about your job that you do love.

We’ve all been guilty of wasting hours of time griping about those aspects of our job that we absolutely despise.  Bad boss, lazy co-workers, less than stellar work environment, slow internet, inflexible hours, and asinine policies. (I’m sure together we could go on and on with this list.)  It’s not healthy to focus on the negative…even at work.

Take a few minutes and think about what you do love about your job.  Is it rewarding?  Do you have a friend in the office that you look forward to seeing everyday? Do you enjoy creating spreadsheets/reports/widgets/presentations etc?  Is your boss motivating and supportive? Is the office space inspiring and pleasant?  Whatever you love about your job, focus only on those things.  Let the negative thoughts go.

If you cannot find one single thing to love about your job…then it is time to find a new job.  We spend a lot of time at work so it’s very important to find something to love about work.  I know it’s not always easy, I know many people who work in horrific circumstances…but you must either find the silver lining or move on.  Maybe, it’s as simple as moving to a new department at your place of work.  Many times, a change of scenery can help tremendously.

Do you manage people?  Then ask yourself, do your employees love your management style or love the job they are doing?  Maybe as a manager you struggle to find things to love about your job, but you can directly affect whether or not your employees love their job and you.  Managers can be great buffers against negativity and inefficiencies…you just have to be willing to do so.  Here’s a great article on 10 Ways to Show Your Employees You Love Them. 

So when all the flowers, candy and balloons start showing up at the office on Friday…use that as a signal to list the things you love about your current job.  Are the things you love about your job enough to keep you happy and motivated? If the love outweighs the hate then you can probably make the best of the situation.  If not, then while you are in transition to find a new job, focus on those aspects you do love and make sure you take those with you to the next job.

Can’t find one single thing to love at work? Time to start looking for a new job to love.

Be Good at Your Job

Last week I met a friend for dinner at a restaurant that’s been in business 23 years. That is a really long time for a restaurant.  Towards the end of the dinner my friend wanted to order a sandwhich to take home to her husband.  She asked the waitress if the sandwich had bacon on it.  The waitress replied “You are asking the wrong person.” Really? You are the waitress…the person who is supposed to know the menu!! I could not believe my ears.  She hadn’t been the best waitress all evening but this really floored me.  “Who then should we ask?” I countered…and even then she did not have an answer.

I realize there are millions of people in the world right this minute stuck in a crappy job and hating it…I get that and I’ve been there.  However, if you have a job and get paid for a job…you need to be good at your job. It takes as much energy to be angry and bad at your job as it does to be happy and good at your job.  I feel that you are always ‘auditioning’ for your next great job…so it only makes sense to work hard now until your dream job comes calling.

What examples do you have of someone being bad at their job or someone being really great at their job?