Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: Unlocking passion for your job
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
Guess what? This isn’t your grandparents’ job market!
In the “old days,” it seems that people developed a loyalty to their jobs, and that loyalty was reciprocal. It wasn’t unusual for people to stay with the same company for 20-30-40 years … and, at the retirement gathering, to receive a watch or some other token commemorating that lengthy service over the decades.
Often, that’s just not the way it is “these days.” People are more apt to change positions, change employers and sometimes even change career paths … with frequency.
However, underneath all this is the notion of “job satisfaction.” Do you love your job?
Confucius said, “Choose the job you love and you will never work a day in your life!” Research in “job satisfaction” reveals a no-brainer fact: Employees who are satisfied with their jobs are more committed, productive, perform at higher levels and are more likely to stay with an organization.
Because those of us who work at a full-time job can spend the majority of our daily hours at that job, I believe there is much more that contributes to that sense of fulfillment and passion that we strive to capture.
Let’s look at some options:
- First, there are those folks who love their jobs! They can’t wait to get to work each day; the day flies by; they leave feeling fulfilled, excited, passionate and believe they made a difference.
- Second, there are those folks who hate their jobs. They dread coming to work; the day seems to drag along (with much clock-watching); they even begin to dread Sundays because it is a reminder that the work week awaits.
- Third, there are those folks who seem to fluctuate with a love/hate connection to their jobs. Truly, there are some days that are filled with angst, ho-hum attitudes and a “now what time is it” persona, while other days are rich with meaning, vitality and excitement.
Regardless of where you land, we have power! Consider the following aspects of a job and quiz yourself:
- When asked about your job, you can say WHAT you do. My response, for example: “I work at Grand Canyon University as a psychologist.”
- When asked, you can tell them HOW you do it. My response would be: “I meet with students, student-athletes, coaches and teams.”
- When asked, you also can tell them WHY you do it. “I would like to think that I help students find value, worth, self-belief and passion.”
The key to unlock passion and purpose and pride in your work? I believe it is in the way you answer the “WHY.” When your “why” is big, it touches the heart of you … THEN your work has importance and meaning. Want to love your job again? Make sure you know the “WHY!”
Another reason to analyze and inspect your passion for your work is because of the RELATIONSHIPS in your life. Those we love deserve to have the BEST of us! Since home is where the true treasure is, make sure that you get a “Ph.D.” in knowing those who live in your home … your mate, your children, your parents or whoever else lives there.
Check out the graph below and determine where you fall. If you achieve healthy work/life balance, if you love what you’re doing, your passion is high AND your relationships at home get the best part of you, you’ve just achieved that pinnacle: I have it all! Job well done!
Passion … Purpose … Balance! When you’ve achieved that, you may be like the seven dwarfs in the movie “Snow White,” who sang …
“When hearts are high the time will fly,
So whistle while you work!”