Love Your Job – Is That Possible?

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We all feel ambivalent about our job at times.

However, unlike Disneyland employees, we seldom portray our office to be the happiest place on earth all the time. It’s not so much about us having a perpetual smile on our faces but a deeper sense of fulfillment.

The truth about the quest for fulfillment at work is that,

  1. No one is happy all the time.

Even the most talented and productive people feel at times that they are drowning at work. We all have days when a dark cloud seems to linger over our heads.

That’s just life.

However it is helpful to identify and manage common energy drainers.

One downer may be that at times we assume undue responsibility for others. In an article in the NY Times “ Women Doing Office Housework” Adam Grant and Sheryl Sandberg point out that women are socialized to “take care” of others to the point that they over commit and exhaust themselves with their helping behavior.

Setting limits on our helping behavior is easier said than done. Assisting others is part of being a good team player. However sometimes we go too far. But the answer  to “just say no” can get us into hot water. This is especially true of women where they may be judged to be selfish if they decline assisting others voluntarily. By contrast, men who do the same are judged to be good boundary setters.

  1. You play to your strengths

Do an analysis of your signature strengths at authentichappiness.org. This free test will quickly tell you what you love doing the most.

For me it is the quest to find wisdom (best practices that produce the best results in life/work).

If you spend at least 80% of your work time using these strengths more likely than not you are a happy and fulfilled camper.

  1. The job is not all there is to one’s life

The most common feedback I get is that “you spend too much time talking about your work.” And here I am doing it again! But seriously, what other priorities do you have in your life other than work?

Nurturing your relationships?

Following your curiosity?

Developing your artistic self?

Exploring aspects of your spirituality?

Venturing into the world beyond your culture? (Only 20% of people in the USA have passports)

Again, it is very likely that a multi-faceted life will be lived from our center and bring deeper sources of fulfillment.

What course corrections have you made to make your work/life more fulfilling?

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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