Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.  H. Jackson Browne

Finding a way to love your work doesn’t mean chucking in the day job, at least not as step 1 – and perhaps never.  Loving your work is about being really clear about what is important to you in the work you do...and then finding opportunities to experience more of those things that make you feel good. 

Sounds simple doesn’t it.  But how much time have you spent exloring what you're really good at?  Like most people I guess not a lot.  Sure, when you’ve applied for a job you’ve looked back through your achievements and listed your skills.  But have you really peeled away the layers to find the nub of why certain work activities feel good and others leave you cold or, worse, actually miserable?

When you start exploring, you could be surprised by what you discover.  For example, your work may depend on a high level of technical skill but you could also have a real talent for helping other people benefit from that skill.   Helping people could be a key strength - and one of your chief motivators. Rather than focusing on the application of the skill itself, more work satisfaction would come from finding new ways of helping people.

So, have you explored what you do best?

Our greatest satisfaction tends to come from doing what we do best – from playing to our strengths. It’s important to identify your strengths so that your life and work will be fulfilling and enjoyable.

Try this exercise:

  • Pick five significant people – at least two of whom know you in a work capacity - and ask each of them to tell you what they believe are your three greatest strengths. Give them time to think about it. Make a written note of what they tell you.

  • From these, pick three professional and three personal strengths that strike you as both true and enjoyable. For each of the three, provide an example from your life or work which demonstrates how you have used it successfully. Look for what was enjoyable and came easily to you.

Exploring what is important to you in your work is something you can start today.  See it as the foundation for a happy working life. 



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