Why is it Important to Love Your Job? - An Exploration
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
There are certainly those who see the concepts of work and career as inevitabilities in life, like weather or the sunrise.
To these people, what you happen to do for a living is far less important than how much it pays and how long you can keep a job.
This is a very practical approach to work and it’s not inherently flawed. And if you have built your career around these ideas and opinions, we have the utmost respect for your point-of-view.
But we would also like to present an alternate perspective, one which places importance on the work itself and how you feel about it on a personal level.
So why is it important to love your job? Well, there are several different factors at play here, which we will explore below.
You just might find that you need to take a second look at your career trajectory and its impact on your general wellbeing.
If you're looking for a new job entirely, check out this article on creative careers for introverts.
The Long and Winding Road
While it’s true that we all make conscious career choices throughout our lives, especially after high school or college, we’re not always in control of where we end up, or what we end up doing for a living.
For example, maybe you studied teaching and child development in college and you had plans to work within the realm of early childhood education.
And maybe you even did work in the area for a couple years, enjoying the time you spend helping children learn the basics of the alphabet and how to conduct themselves around other people.
But maybe there was a downturn in the economy and you were forced out of your job through no fault of your own.
But by then, you already had an apartment, a lease on a car, and plenty of student loan bills. And you only had enough in your savings to last a few more months.
Chances are, you looked for work in your area of expertise but were only able to find openings with companies in sales and merchandising.
Before you knew it, you were working with a company that sells furniture online. It’s not ideal but it pays decently well and you don’t have to worry about bills.
Unfortunately, your busy schedule prevents you from looking for work in childhood education.
Many of us have experienced similar situations. In many cases, life itself decides our career trajectory, with no real concern for our personal preferences.
For some, this situation is palatable. But if you find yourself unhappy with your work and don’t feel fulfilled in your career, then you may want to start looking for work that you truly love.
The Easiest Thing to Do
As mentioned above, the easiest thing to do when you find yourself at a job you dislike is to just keep working there.
It can be very easy to simply punch in and punch out, day after day, feeling too tired afterward to even begin to look for job openings.
The danger of this method, of course, is the consequences of letting negative feelings build up over time.
If you have even a small amount of resentment toward your current job, chances are this resentment will only increase in the coming months and years.
The worst-case scenario would be to stay at a job you hate for many years, only to discover much, much later that you wish you could go back in time and just walk out to look for fulfilling employment.
This can prove to be both physically and emotionally unhealthy.
Maintaining Your Sanity
Your mental health is important, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Each person has their own preferences when it comes to work and career. It could be that you don’t care all that much about what you do for a living. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
But if you’ve noticed that you do have some serious concerns about the specifics of your job and how it contributes to the world at large in positive or negative ways, then you may need to place higher importance on finding work that you love.
As we mentioned earlier, there can be some very negative effects that result from simply gritting your teeth and putting up with a job that you dislike.
If you’re unsure of your true feelings about your current job, don’t be afraid to give it some time.
Ask yourself how you feel when walking into work. Do you look forward to the day ahead or do you dread the many tasks you’ll need to complete?
Maintaining Your Relationships
Disliking your work never has a positive effect on your personal and professional relationships.
This is especially true if you don’t have a healthy way to express your negative feelings about your career.
You may even find yourself taking out your anger on those around you, despite the fact that your loved ones likely had nothing to do with you taking the job in the first place.
And if, for example, a family member did influence your decision to work for a specific company, you may want to have a serious conversation with them about how you really feel.
Leading a Fulfilling Life and Feeling a Sense of Purpose
When you are fortunate to have a job that you really do enjoy and that makes you happy, the rest of your life will feel just a bit brighter.
When you really do believe in the importance of your work, you’re more likely to stay motivated, even if the work is challenging or consistently difficult.
You’re also more likely to feel a sense of purpose in your life, which has been proven to contribute positively to mental health and happiness.
If you find yourself forgetting the real-world impact of your work, find ways to remind yourself. You could ask for feedback from the people your work has affected.
You could also find ways to visualize the work you’ve done over the past year or past several years.
Above all else, regularly take breaks to feel thankful for having found a job that you enjoy and that makes an impact on the world around you.