There is a lot of emphasis in this day and age to work at something that you are passionate about. As a coach, I am a big believer of this stance and work with many of my clients to help them find the career path that excites them.
Having said that however, we also need to be careful about how much pressure we put on ourselves to find this ‘passion filled’ occupation. It is important to approach this ideal with a healthy bout of realism. Yes, absolutely, there are career possibilities out there that can make your work feel like fun but even those jobs have parts that aren’t going to be enjoyable. No job is without its’, for lack of a better term, ‘crap’. The trick is to work at something you enjoy enough that the ‘crap’ doesn’t outweigh your love for the work.
If you find yourself stuck in a job that you are not enjoying, have a good look around at the elements of that job. Do you like the people, the environment, the tasks and challenges? Is there something, however small, that you can take pride in or get enthusiastic about? Focus on that part to start to build up passion for the work. It could be as simple as feeling really good when you clear your desk, or when you have helped a customer, or learned something new.
I remember when I worked in the laundry room at a hospital. The job wasn’t exciting or brain taxing but I used to take great pride in having those sheets folded perfectly. I would challenge myself to try and clean and fold every sheet before the next full dirty cart arrived. From a big picture perspective, I was passionate about making the environment a fun place to work in and giving all the patients crisp spotless sheets to recover in. I actually looked forward to going into work.
Don’t rely on others to motivate you. You need to find that little nugget in your job that you can connect to that gives you a fulfilling purpose. It doesn’t need to be a ‘dim the lights, cue the music, Hollywood’ kind of purpose but just enough to make you smile knowing you have contributed to your own personal growth and perhaps helped someone else along the way. Once you find that nugget your old dull job will take on new energy. The job hasn’t changed, but your approach to it has.
What part of your business or job can you get passionate about? Can you lean into that more to get through the ‘crap’ and enjoy going to work?
Caird Urquhart is Founder and President of Newroad Coaching, a boutique coaching firm providing one-on-one personal and business coaching services and also author of 30 Ways To Better Days: How to Rally After You’ve Been Dumped. Find Newroad Coaching on their blog and on Twitter and YouTube.