Most of the people you encounter in your daily lives are just there waiting for closing time. Most of them do an adequate job, but they certainly don’t leave you with the feeling they love what they do. You are also very unlikely to remember those people, or feel any loyalty to them when you are next in need of the same service.
But once in a while you’ll meet someone who is energetic and excited about what he is doing. These people brighten your day and, if you are not one of those people, make you wish you enjoyed your job more. You will probably remember them as you go about your day. The next time you need the same service, you’re likely to go back to them. This builds up loyalty – something companies strive to attain.
So what makes people happy in their jobs? When asked what makes a good job, most people would probably say “good pay.” Pay really isn’t that great a motivator, however. While it is true that if you cut someone’s pay they are likely to be upset and possibly quit, giving someone a small raise is unlikely to make them work better or like their job more. The fact is, most people who do love their work will tell you that the pay really doesn’t matter that much provided it is reasonable.
Is it the type of work? You will generally find both happy and miserable people in all lines of work. There are salesmen who are passionate and can’t wait to hit the road or meet a new client. There are also those who dread going to work.
I also remember seeing an episode of Undercover Boss where they followed the CEO of Waste Management around as he pretended to be a new worker. There was one gentleman whose job it was to pump out portapotties. One would think that this would be a miserable job, spending all day in the hot sun suctioning out human waste, but the employer the CEO was with was actually extremely cheery – singing and laughing as he went.
There are many great reasons to enjoy your work. First of all, given that you spend 8-10 hours a day at work, why not enjoy doing it. Secondly, it is probably better for your physical and mental health to have a good attitude. Third, if you enjoy your work you are more likely to cause your customers to return, leading to more business for your company and better job security. Finally, if you enjoy your work you are likely to be noticed and promoted.
So what is the secret to loving what you do? The first secret is to find the value in what you do. If you are a teacher, you are helping children succeed in life and growing a better society. If you are a waitress, you are giving people a fun night out that they will remember. If you are a janitor, you are making it possible for those in the office to get their work done. If you are at home raising the children, you have the most valuable job of all. Those kids will be there affecting society long after the reports and presentations developed by corporate CEOs are gone.
The second secret is to simply have a good attitude. The odd thing about the human mind is that if one acts happy, one will tend to feel happy – it builds on itself. Those who sit and gossip and complain about everything will feel miserable. Those who show up with a positive attitude will feel better about things. Also, those you interact with are likely to feel good as well and treat you better – happiness is contagious.
The final secret is to find something that you can find value in doing. Even if you are a lawyer, if you don’t enjoy going into the court room and studying legal journals all day, maybe you need a different career path. Life is short – spend it doing something you like to do.
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.