Finding love in what you do every day is a worthy endeavor. But people who love their jobs know that happiness, contentment and satisfaction with life come from within. They are the captains of their own ships, guided by a vision or purpose greater than themselves.
So, whether you’re working towards your dream job, a promotion, a career change, or simply need additional inspiration, there’s much to learn from empowering yourself to make the most of your current circumstances. These are things you can learn from any job that will serve you well as you pursue your dreams.
Here are 10 habits of people who love their jobs:
1. They’re good communicators.
Communication can make or break a good team and a happy workplace environment. People who love their jobs approach colleagues in person when possible, aren’t afraid to pick up the phone and are quick to follow up with a well-timed email. They respect other points of view, listen well, and typically have a high capacity for empathy, all of which are the earmarks of a solid communicator.
2. They practice work / life balance.
People in their dream jobs need clear boundaries because it’s hard to stop working when you love what you do. Burnout is detrimental to personal well-being, and anyone who loves their craft understands that they need to bring their best selves to work. They schedule vacations, take breaks, and make sure to balance out of office fun with necessary restorative time so they can return to work feeling refreshed and inspired.
3. They go with the flow.
Whether an hours-long meeting is thrown on the calendar last minute, a business trip is cancelled, or yet another quick-turn project arises, less than ideal situations happen at even the dreamiest jobs. There is always a solution that doesn’t involve bending over backwards to accommodate every request, every time. People who love their jobs do the best they can with what they have.
4. They stay present in meetings.
There’s nothing worse than a wasted meeting or a “missed” meeting. Contrary to popular belief, we are not good at multitasking—our brains are made to focus on one thing at a time. Any time spent answering incoming messages during a meeting is time that you’re not fully present. People who respect their craft do whatever it takes to stay in the moment during meetings, even if it means going screen-free or taking a few grounding breaths to allow a transition from one meeting to the next. Meetings would be a lot more efficient if we all followed suit.
5. They understand good days and bad days.
Working a dream job is still work—there will be challenging moments, people, and setbacks. It doesn’t mean that you’re not good at your role or that your company is lacking. Simply recognizing this fact takes the pressure off so when a bad day inevitably happens it enables you to get up, dust off, and move on.
6. They show appreciation to colleagues in the office.
Heads down all day, every day is no fun. People who love their jobs often want to share that love. They uphold appropriate boundaries to ensure work gets done, but also show up for occasional office happy hours and water cooler chit chat. They make an effort to say thank you, praise a job well done, and learn about their colleagues’ lives to help foster a warm team environment.
7. They make the most of any situation.
This is a tough one for anybody, as working within constant limitations can feel restricting. Rather than complain, people who love their jobs can dive in and accept a challenge while dedicating their time and energy to a solution. They are constantly moving forward instead of dwelling on what went wrong.
8. They’re not afraid to make a lateral move that presents a learning opportunity.
This can be a very frustrating career moment, but any opportunity to learn on the job is invaluable, especially if a new direction is in order. Moving up the ladder requires a broader view beyond the role you know so well. Taking a lateral move often provides new knowledge and experience that can make you more valuable, setting you up for your next-level role.
9. They ask for what they want nicely.
People who love their jobs have a way of communicating that helps them get what they want. If the goal is a salary increase, they don't just ask for a raise. They set up a meeting with their manager, ask what’s needed, work toward it, and when annual reviews are conducted (or when budgets are being finalized), they reconcile their notes and actions to support their request for that higher salary.
10. They admit when they need help and offer to help others when possible.
There's no shame in having too much to do. In fact, in a professional capacity, being in-demand is usually a good problem. But someone who loves their job understands that they are one person, and doesn't let their ego limit the team or company’s progress. And on the flip side, when they have time to spare, they are the first to offer to help a teammate.
Whether you love your job now or you’re just warming up to it, adopting these attitudes can help foster an environment that’s ideal for personal growth and can ultimately prime you for your next career move.