I can’t be the first person to tell you how important it is to have a job you love! Whether it’s holding a job position you dislike, being in an industry you don’t feel suited for, or working in a toxic workplace, job dissatisfaction comes in many shapes and sizes.
Before starting working freelance (and eventually building my own business), I spent years working in the traditional 9–5 office setting. Though there are obvious benefits to this type of structure (job security, medical benefits, paid vacation time), it took me years to realize it wasn’t a structure that worked for me… it took me years to realize that what I absolutely needed was to be my own boss.
It took me years to realize that what I absolutely needed was to be my own boss.
Now, we don’t all want to be our own boss! We all have beautiful individual goals that will drive us to feel good about what we do. Whether it’s feeling happier in your existing role, trying a new career, or taking some time off for yourself, we can all unite in our desire to do what we love and to feel happiness and satisfaction each and every day… no matter what our individual goal is.
The Case For Loving What You Do
The reality is, most of us will spend the majority of our lives working, and if you’re spending that time in a job position, workplace or career that you aren’t happy with… well, that’s a lot of time to feel unhappy! Another reality is that many will stay in an unsatisfactory job situation for many reasons, whether they be financial, logistical, or for fear of straying away from what one knows. Up to 70 million people in the U.S. alone don’t love what they do. What does it mean to love what you do? What should we look for when it comes to job satisfaction?
Job satisfaction and happiness tend to boil down to three key factors: our desire to feel a sense of control in our own lives, to have positive daily connections, and to find happiness and meaning in how we spend our days.
Finding happiness in what we do for a living has benefits that seep into other areas of our health and our lives.
Improved Health & Longevity
The correlation between happiness and health is very strong. If we are happy, we are more likely to be taking better care of ourselves by eating healthier, getting more exercise, and limiting smoking and drinking. But it’s not just about the better care we give to ourselves… there are other ways the body is impacted by a sense of happiness. One study found that happiness predicts lower blood pressure and heart rate. Another found that happiness improves one’s immune system. In both our physical and our cognitive selves, happiness can only benefit us.
It’s safe to assume that if you are doing something you love for your work, then you’re bound to be spending the majority of your days in a happier, better mood. One study found that older people who have positive moods are 35% less likely to die in the next 5 years. All in all, studies tend to suggest that having a job you love will allow you to live longer, increasing your lifespan.
Flowing Motivation & Productivity
Health benefits aside, doing what you love is also a great way to boost motivation. From a psychological standpoint, feeling satisfaction in what you do allows you to feel more focused and productive, in turn allowing your creativity to flow more fully. It’s the beautiful feedback loop that keeps on giving!
When you’re motivated, your productivity benefits. Happy employees are 12% more productive, so there is always that to look forward to.
All in all, when you’re happier at work, you’re going to be performing better.
There are also benefits that can be found in having happier employees in the workplace for management. Let’s turn there next.
Happy Employees = Happy Bottom Line
Now, if you’re looking at this from more of a business perspective, what can having a happier team of employees mean for your bottom line? Happy employees mean less turnover, less recruitment costs, and an increase in company productivity … all leading to a healthier bottom line! Happier, more engaged employees also mean a reduction in absenteeism. A highly engaged workplace can have up to 41% lower absenteeism.
Getting the happiness flowing in your organization starts with ensuring your organization values the elements that foster job satisfaction amongst your employees. Employees tend to see trust, security, a healthy environment, a promising career path, and competitive pay to all be crucial to their job satisfaction.
Creating Our Own Pockets Of Happiness
You will have good days and bad days… so look for the beautiful in each and every day.
The reality is, many of us will need to stay in a job we dislike, whether temporarily or for the long-term. When you’re in a situation like this, look for ways to create your own pockets of happiness throughout the workday.
For example, having set routines that provide you with stability each morning, making meaningful connections with some of your teammates, or simply ensuring you keep a clean desk, are all easy and tangible ways to start. If you feel stressed in your job, try adding 10 minutes of “personal time” to your day, for you to go for a walk, get fresh air, grab a coffee, or to just generally regroup. Make your personal time personal to you. Make it something that you love to do, not something you think you should do or need to do. Find what makes you happy in your own unique way.
Every single day I ensure that I make time for myself. Whether it's a quick yoga flow or writing in my bullet journal, I always ensure that I’m making myself feel happy each and every workday… if even for a moment. Even if you are doing what you love, you will have good days and bad days… so look for the beauty in each and every day.