It’s a funny phenomenon that some people refer to their jobs as their “work” while others consider them their “career.” Why do some people wake up in the morning counting down the days to Friday while others are energized to head into their place of work? The key difference is mindset, which, luckily for us, can be altered. Here are three mindset shifts you can make to love your work a little more than you (hopefully) already do:
1. You Can Curate Your Tasks
In many work environments, young employees or those in entry-level or subordinate roles are made to feel that the only work that they can do is the work that is handed to them. While some people flourish in situations where they know exactly what is expected of them, sticking to this as a rule can stifle creativity. Know that your duties in a job are often a starting point and a jumping off point. If you have the energy and the ideas to work outside of what’s expected of you, a concept that specialists refer to as “job crafting,” you should. If you see a problem that you can fix, fix it. If there is an additional role that you can take on, do it. Giving yourself autonomy in your work can often lead to higher satisfaction with your career.
2. Your Relationships Influence Your Attitude
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to go to school? Chances are you weren’t looking forward to your studying; you were looking forward to the routine of spending time with people that you care about. There is a notion that coworkers have to be held at a professional distance and that they cannot enter the realm of “real” friends, but making friends with the people that you see everyday can drastically improve your attitude to showing up to work. Being able to view your interactions with coworkers, clients, and customers as positive will not only improve your attitude but it it will do the same for them as well. Win-win!
3. You Are More Than Your Job Description
In a study done by psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski of Yale University, hospital cleaning employees did not always call themselves “cleaning employees” when presented with the question of what their job title was. Some said that they were “ambassadors” and some even went so far as to say that they were “healers.” As with most things, our happiness around the work we do is largely within our control. The way that you view what your work is can greatly change the way you feel about your job. Are you teaching or are you preparing the future generation? Are you a nanny or are you a protector of childhood? Asking yourself how you can reframe your own work more positively will help you to see that you’re probably doing more good than you initially thought!