People often ask me how they can make their jobs more meaningful. They tell me that they love the technical aspects of their roles such as working in marketing, managing production, and working on projects, but don’t always look forward to coming to work and having to deal with all the “other stuff” that goes on. It’s often the things that surround our job roles that are the defining features of loving or hating what we do since most of us don’t work in isolation.
We can often feel trapped and use words like “if only I could get another job somewhere else, things would be perfect”. Many workplaces have similar environments, however, so by just moving jobs you can often encounter the same issues that made you leave your last role. I tell people that learning to love what you do is not just enjoying the things you like about your job, it’s also about understanding and working on the things you don’t do so well. Working on some of these core skills can make a huge difference to how effective you are in your job, and influence how much enjoyment you can get out of coming to work every day. Now if you hate your role being a plumber or an accountant or a wine maker, then we probably need to have a different conversation, but if laying pipes, crunching numbers or crushing grapes is your thing and you still don’t like coming to work then it is worth thinking about those other skills you can acquire that can make your work life a whole lot better. By working on three key areas – learning how to talk to people, becoming an independent thinker, and learning how to get things done – you can make a huge difference on how you approach your work life and make you more effective in your role. These attributes can also make you more attractive as a potential leader when you start to be known for more than just doing your job.