If you clicked this story, then it’s highly likely that you do not love your job every day. According to a Gallup study from 2010-2012, 70% of Americans are not engaged with work. If you are one of them, then feeling excited, energized, and engaged with your day-to-day probably feels like a pipe dream, or a fantasy fit for a Disney movie.
I remember thinking the same thing. Hollywood is good at painting a picture of love that is based in fantasy. After all, how many romantic comedies end with the couple falling in love and walking into the horizon hand in hand? We believe our Prince Charming will come.
When it comes to the fantasy we are given about our careers, however, it’s the opposite. Do you recall the movie Office Space? It’s the story of three employees who are stuck in cubicles at jobs they hate, with zero engagement with their work. While this picture is a bit more dire than the average American’s office space, it’s one of the many messages we get from the movies–work is usually a place we want to avoid. The phrase “Thank God It’s Friday” regularly shows up on my Facebook feed.
Over the past 10 years, companies like Google and Zappos have convinced us a Great Place to Work is the ideal–and cool. However, usually what we hear about working there (full disclosure: I worked at Google for three years) are the perks. When people asked me about my job, I routinely shared my love of the free gourmet meals and table massages.
What about loving your actual job every day? We don’t hear this very often. In fact, when I share with people I truly love my job, they usually don’t believe me. Is it realistic to believe you can love your job every single day? The answer is a resounding yes. Here are five reasons why:
1. Job Types Are Constantly Changing And Evolving. We Now Have More Opportunities To Create A Perfect Fit.
Employers want to help you find it. “Smart, committed people . . . are our most precious and powerful resource,” says Wendy Woods, senior partner and global head of social impact practice at The Boston Consulting Group.
Many of the innovations people have created recently enable even more people to contribute in even more substantial ways. That’s a significant part of why I am so optimistic about the future. There may be far more jobs out there than you think. Your dream job exists.
Millennials, who now make up the majority of our workforce, are more focused on purpose than profits. This new demographic of workers have a deep-seated desire to really love what they’re doing–that most of us feel but then ignore. Companies slowly are realizing that, to attract the best talent, they have to be more clear on their own purpose. This makes choosing the right company for you even easier, thus making it possible to connect your own personal purpose to that of an organization’s.
According to a March 2015 article in the The Wall Street Journal, companies identified as good places to work by their employees have significantly outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 over the past six years.
Superstar candidates know who they are, what they want, and dazzle people with their passion. You can’t be all of those things without enjoying what you do.
Being engaged and enjoying what you do makes people more productive at work, according to research from the University of Warwick in the U.K. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.
These facts prove companies are getting more turned on to the idea that happiness at work is not something nice to have–it’s a key strategy to succeed. Those of you who get this will find it’s easier to stand out as a superstar when you take the reins of your career. Act now by getting clear about what your career vision is and what kind of work you need to do to enjoy going to work every day. Why waste another day, or year, or more, not getting the most out of the eight-plus hours you spend on something that could provide ongoing, daily enjoyment?
Laura Garnett is a performance strategist, TEDx speaker, and the creator of the Zone of Genius Assessment. Laura helps people achieve peak performance in the workplace by identifying their “Zone of Genius.” Prior to launching her company, New York City-based Garnett Consulting, she honed her marketing, branding, and career-refining skills at companies like Capital One, American Express, IAC, and Google.