A staggering eighty seven percent of Americans hate their job and don’t enjoy being at work! Assuming the statistics are similar in other countries, the figure is very definitely a concern. We spend the majority of our waking hours at work so surely we should be happy in what we are doing. This leaves a dismal thirteen percent of people who love what they do and their jobs. Thirteen percent of people are having love affairs with their jobs which means that they get fulfilment, energy, satisfaction and joy from their work, and are passionate, enthusiastic, devoted and engaged about their work. Perhaps they have found their calling in their work and can live it out every day, or maybe they have approached their work differently. What is it that makes these 13% have a love affair with their work? What can be learnt from them?
When we analyse the data from research that has been conducted we can see that there are four distinct things that set the “Love Affair Workers” apart from the rest which are:
- Leading all-round fulfilling and happy lives. They aren’t only happy at work but generally in and with life. Being happy and leading a rich life is a conscious choice we make. It boils down to our mind-set and attitude. These people actively feel one with life and they are participating in it. They don’t see life as something that happens to them.
- They have crafted the job to be theirs and have moulded it into their own unique role that hones in on their strengths. Initially they were allocated a role with a job title, like most of us but instead of trying to fit into the box provided to them in the form of a standard job description they craft their job to fit with their values, strengths and personality. It must be emphasised that they didn’t change their responsibilities or core tasks but instead decided to make them fun, exciting and adventurous.
- They took full ownership of their work by making it their own. They removed the idea that it was a job that only required one thing and that the rest could be done by others. Think about how often you have washed your own car. Take a few guesses. Even if you didn’t physically wash it yourself you had it washed at a car wash. On the other hand, how often have you washed a rental car after you’ve used it? Most probably never! Why is that? It’s probably because you don’t own the vehicle; it’s another person’s job and part of the rental service. Those people who had a love affair with their job crafted it in such a way that they owned the work and responsibility. They washed their car often.
- Lastly, they chose a leader with whom they could live out their “love affair” and who would guarantee that they get the best out of them. Sadly, only one in ten leaders understand how to stretch the people to optimal achievement. Those individuals understood what type of a leader was needed to unlock their potential and they actively searched for that leader. Sometimes it worked out that they were employed but the chances were usually good.
Ask yourself what would it take for you to fall in love with your work? From the four points above we can see that every point begins with the person making a conscious effort and choice. Even a boring standard job can be crafted to something unique and special. When are you going to have a love affair with your work and make a change in your life?