Everyone wants to enjoy their work. No one wants a job where every morning feels like a punishment, or you got to work watching the clock in anticipation of the day’s end. “Thank God It’s Friday!” should be an exultation at the end of the week, not heartfelt thanks for being freed from a criminal sentence. Enjoying a job isn’t just available to people who are ‘living the dream’. Most work has some sense of fulfillment. It’s usually only a matter of having the right perspective to find it.
What Makes A Job Enjoyable?
In order to find pleasure in your work you must ask yourself “What makes a job enjoyable to you?” Do you enjoy variable hours? Do you like a particular type of work? Is it stability you crave? Do you need to show your creativity? Whatever questions and answers you have, you should be honest with yourself. Examine your motivations, and be sure your problem doesn’t lie within. If you’re being truthful, you’ll understand what it is you want. Understanding your needs is how you begin to get enjoyment from your job.
What Makes A Job Unpleasant?
Once you know what you really want, you can identify what’s standing in your way. There are several reasons why a person doesn’t like their job. Any combination of these reasons might help you understand what you must do to turn things around.
Type Of Work – You may not enjoy the type of work you’re required to do. Maybe you never did, or perhaps you did once but don’t anymore.
Poor Work Environment – Is the job site too chaotic? Is it dangerous? Are there unpleasant smells? Don’t underestimate how much an environment impacts how you feel about what you do.
Difficult Job – Is the job too hard for you? Is it physically taxing? Do you have the skill set to do the work? Be honest with yourself if you’re not up to the job. Maybe you can rise to the occasion, but first you have to know where you stand.
Inadequate Pay – Are you financially stressed? It’s hard to feel at ease when you have money worries.
No Room For Improvement – Does the job feel ‘dead end’ to you? You must see some future in your job, even if it’s only for the near term.
What Can You Do To Enjoy Your Work?
If you’ve identified the problem, then you’re looking for solutions. Here are seven things you can do to start enjoying your work.
Know What You Want From Your Job – Whether this is your dream job or a temporary position there was a reason you went after this job in the first place. Even if it was only to make money to make ends meet, you had a purpose when you applied for the job. You began to fulfill that purpose as soon as you got employed. Relish that accomplishment. Don’t expect more from the job than it has to offer.
Have A Manageable Schedule – Don’t let the job overwhelm you. It’s natural to spend at least a third of your waking day on the job. Use that time wisely, and integrate it properly with the rest of your life. People feel resentful when they think they’ve lost control of their lives. Don’t let your job become a convenient excuse for why you’re not doing the things you enjoy. If you balance your leisure time correctly, you won’t feel like the job is a punishment or a burden.
Get Along With Your Coworkers – There should be no one at your job you despise or resent. You don’t have to be friends with everyone, but good manners go a long way. Show respect to your coworkers and demand it in return. At the end of the day it’s all just business. Everyone has a job to do. Keep it professional, and keep the personal to yourself. A job is more enjoyable when everyone works within the boundaries.
Don’t Make Work Problems Bigger Than They Are – The world doesn’t come to an end because there’s a problem at work. Most issues aren’t life or career threatening. Don’t fall for hyperbole or exaggeration. It’s easy to feel an issue is insurmountable when it’s right in front of you.
Be Clear About Your Job Duties – Know your place and the place of others. Do your job and encourage your coworkers to do the same. If you have a boss, get them to clearly define what you do. Politely insist that you not be made to over perform. It’s fine if you want to go above and beyond your duties, but that shouldn’t be a requirement. It brings a sense of fulfillment to perform a job well, but you can’t experience that if you’re being overworked.
Improve Your Skills – Empower yourself to do a better job. No matter what you do there’s always a way to become better at it. Even if it’s a job that doesn’t excite or challenge you, you’ll feel better if you become more proficient at the job.
Take Necessary Breaks – Rest is vastly underrated. Neuroscientists say that an exhausted person is more physically impaired than someone who is stumbling drunk. Give yourself mental and physical breaks. You’re not a machine. You have to rest and play as well as work.