Are you sick of work? Do you dread going into your job? Do you hate what you do? Is it taking everything you have not to quit your job? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. According to a recent Gallup finding, only 13% of workers worldwide are engaged. It’s safe to assume that those people are somewhat passionate about their work while the other 87% would rather be doing something else.
There are so many reasons to be more passionate at work. Obviously, happiness is one reason. When you feel bad at work, you live in a lower state of energy, such as boredom or resentment. Staying in that state for too long is going to impact your happiness both in and out of work in a big way. However, being passionate at work goes beyond your happiness.
Research has shown that people who are disengaged from their jobs are more likely to be unhealthy. In fact, according to Gallup.com, being engaged in your work could be as important as age is for your health. That is a huge reason to find a job where you feel passionate and alive. But, for now, if you are stuck in a job that isn’t exactly your dream job, you need to find some passion in order to make the most out of each day.
The thing is you can’t count on anyone else to help you become passionate at work. You can’t count on your boss to make things more fun. You can’t count on your customers to buy more or make you feel like you are doing something great. Your passion comes from within, which means you need to get excited about your work. How can you do that? Following are 10 different ways to find your passion and let it increase your happiness and improve your health.
1. Who Do You Benefit?
View your job as a way to give to others. It doesn’t matter what type of job you have, you are contributing to someone in some way. If you clean for a living, then you are contributing to other people’s health and happiness. If you make decorative boxes for a living, then you are contributing to the happiness of people who like decorative boxes.
If you sit down and think about how many people you affect positively from your job (and you will be surprised at how many there are), you will begin to be more passionate about what your effort is actually doing for other people, and that will help you feel better about what you are doing.
2. Be Grateful For Your Job
If you have a job, be grateful. You have probably heard this a lot, but I want you to really take a second and think about how lucky you are to have a job – no matter what it is. Someone valued you enough to hire you, or you took the initiative to do something for yourself.
People are being laid off, fired, and rejected all over the place. The feeling of having no job is one of the worst feelings in the world when you need to make some money. Therefore, be grateful that you have one and that gratitude may help you find more excitement for going in each day.
3. View Your Job Differently
Two people can work at the same job and have a much different perception of it. One person can enjoy it while the other person can find it boring or even demeaning. The job is different, but the perception is.
What do you say to yourself about your job? Do you complain about the work and the benefits? If so, you need to change your perception and find some reasons that your job is not that bad. Maybe you get a long lunch. Maybe you get weekends off. Maybe you get to talk to new people and learn new things. You need to find the value in it.
A friend of mine worked at a senior’s home for 10 years, and while there were many things he hated about his job, one of the biggest things was working around sick people. He found it depressing and it affected his happiness in a negative way. However, when a coworker helped him take on the attitude that he was making a difference in people’s lives, his whole perception changed. He started to enjoy going into work. He found value in his interactions with the people there. And, he left work feeling as though he had accomplished something great. In short, he became passionate about what he did, and even though he moved on to another within a year from then, he has still found that job to be one of the most valuable things he’s done.
4. Deal With Your Co-workers
A negative co-worker has the power to steal your passion. For instance, the jerk co-worker (and we have all experienced this person as a co-worker or a boss) is so rude that they can make you feel horrible about yourself and the job you are doing. What’s worse is that they often treat other people with respect as they treat you horribly. It’s hard to be passionate about what you do when you are being treated like that. However, dealing with the jerk will help you feel better.
You can try confronting them and telling them your honest opinion of how they are treating you, but if that doesn’t work, remember that a jerk is not happy with their life. There is something about their life that they hate, and it could be something serious, such as they have lost their family, have an illness, have been abused, or are dealing with depression. When you see them from that point of view, it is much easier to feel sorry for them than it is to be angry with them.
Other co-workers who will drain your passion are the users, the gossips, the suck-ups, and the whiners. You have to find a way to get past their negativity or their negative energy will keep you stuck in a negative state at your job.
5. Don’t Overwork Yourself
If you are not passionate about work, then you might be taking on too big of a load. When you are weighed down with work, you are going to feel pretty unenthusiastic about your job pretty quick.
A friend of mine was working 16 hours a day as an accountant. He simply had too much to do in his job and everyone depended on him. He couldn’t even take a sick day because he was the only one who could do the work he was assigned to! His dream job quickly turned into a nightmare, and after a few years of working in that environment, he started questioning whether he was meant to be an accountant or not. Not long after that, he got sick and had to take some time off work, and he realized that it wasn’t the job that he hated, it was the fact that he couldn’t do anything with his life but work.
Make balance in your life non-negotiable. Don’t work long days. Take vacation days. Take the time to nourish your body when you are sick. And outsource any work that you can’t handle.
If you are working for someone else, let them know that you simply don’t have the time in the day to do everything they want, and they should understand. If they debate it, let them know that you would be able to do your job better if you didn’t have so much on your plate; you would be able to focus more and produce better results. That may be incentive enough to get them to help you out or understand.
6. Make Challenges For Work
Challenges are a great way to get you enthusiastic about what you are doing. Not all companies put challenges in place for their employees, and not all business owners take the time to create their own challenges, but they all should!
A challenge can be as simple as doing a certain amount of work each day or it could be something more challenging, such as improving your technique or skill each day. Challenges will help you become more passionate about work because they will give you a higher purpose and a goal to work towards. And, challenges can help you get ahead in your career and have more success by improving your overall work.
I knew one woman who worked as a maid for a larger home cleaning company. She was starting to get bored cleaning the same old houses, and while cleaning is an actual passion of hers, she was thinking about quitting. Instead, she challenged herself to do her best work, but knock off an hour for how long it took each day within a month. She found ways to clean faster, made up little routines that helped her become more efficient, and her customers liked her efficiency so much that she was promoted in the company to a supervisor where she gets to teach other workers her methods. She earns more and she enjoys her job more.
7. Surround Yourself With Passionate People
Talking to people who are passionate will make you more passionate too. It’s contagious. It doesn’t matter what job you work in, passionate people in the same field will help you see things from a new perspective and tackle your job in a new way. In addition, it will be fun going into work and talking to these people because they will lift your energy for the day, even when you are feeling down.
If you think that there are no passionate people at your job, look again. The chances are your focus on negative things has only allowed you to see other people with the same mindset. Once you start to look for others who are passionate, you will find them.
8. Mix Things Up
Mix things up at work. If you do the same old thing day in and day out, you are going to lose your passion, but if you mix things up, you will feel more upbeat about what you are doing. The good thing is that even a small change can make your work feel completely differently.
For example, if you work in an office, move your desk around. A small change in the direction you face and what you see can help you feel renewed. Adding a plant or a picture can also make you feel more excited about what you are doing. These are little things, but they can shift your entire energy. Don’t knock it until you try it!
9. Teach Others
Perhaps one of the best ways to get passionate about work again is to teach others. You know what you are doing. You know the routine and it is becoming stale. But, if you teach someone else how to master your job, you will benefit in a few ways.
First, you will see it with a fresh pair of eyes – theirs. Their questions and comments will help you shift how you perceive work, and you may find yourself excited about the things you used to be excited about. Second, you feel more purposeful when you are teaching someone else the ins and outs of your job.
You don’t have to take on a student in order to teach other people. You can simply lead by example or offer help to others when you see they are struggling. You will be amazed at the information you have in your head that you may not have accessed in a while.
10. Get Clear On What You Want
Confusion about what you want in life is going to stress you out. If you are not sure if you want to be doing what you are doing, then you will struggle with it. How can you passionate about something if you are not totally aware that it is what you want to be doing? It’s just like a relationship. How can you be passionate about someone if you are not sure they are the one?
Therefore, get clear on what you want. If you are an accountant, but you want to run your own dog grooming business, be honest with yourself. I guarantee that once you get clear on what you want out of life, and start working towards making it a reality, you will enjoy wherever you are much more. Even if you have to say at your current job for another few years as you get an education or experience, you will feel more passionate about life in general, which will translate to your job.