Have you ever looked at someone and thought “wow, he must really love his job” only to find out that it’s something that doesn’t sound that exciting or meaningful to you? Did you know that there’s a whole science behind how we view our jobs and that there are actually ways to improve the way that we view our jobs?
Here’s the thing, the way that we view our profession deeply affects our motivation, job satisfaction, and ultimately success. This blog will talk about the three different ways that we can view our professions and how we can change our outlook.
Job, Career, and Calling
A job is a profession that we see as a chore and the only reward is a paycheck. People who view their profession as a job have little motivation to go to work in the morning, can feel like their days are dragging on forever, and can burn out easily.
People who view their profession as a career work not just out of necessity but also because they see a chance to advance and succeed in their profession. They are generally invested in their work and want to do a good job.
People who view their profession as a calling view work as an end in itself. They find their work fulfilling because they believe that they are contributing to a greater good, resulting in them working harder and longer hours. People who view their profession as a calling draw on their personal strengths which gives them meaning and purpose in their profession.
Job crafting is a technique used to help people change the way that they view their profession. It helps people adjust their mindset so that they find meaning and purpose in their profession (not matter what the exact profession is) in order to increase job satisfaction, motivation, and success.
If you cannot make actual changes to your work you can ask yourself what the potential meaning and pleasure is that already exists in your profession. For example, a bus driver can view his job as vital for the community as he is transporting the next generation from their home to their school where they will learn how to become successful members of society. Or a banker can get greater meaning in his life knowing that he is helping people in his community make smart financial decisions that will improve their quality of life.
Another way to change the view that people view their professions is to have supervisors use the correct language when speaking to their employees. The words we use to describe a job matters. So, if a supervisor says things like “your job is to make us money” or “this isn’t rocket science” then the connotation is that your your job is not as important as someone else’s and changes the way you view it. It is, therefore, vital for supervisors to highlight the meaning and purpose behind the job and to support employees in finding meaning in their professions.
Finally, the way that we speak about our jobs with your co-workers impacts the way that they view their own job. If you have someone in the office who constantly speaks negatively about the hours or the pay then this type of outlook will infect the people surrounding him. We have all been in those work environments that started off really positive and within a year or two the morale has plummeted in the office because of what one coworker has been saying. It is, therefore, so important to be mindful of how you describe your profession and the meaning of your work even when speaking with coworkers.
Please feel free to reach out if you would like support in job crafting your profession. Most of what you have read about in this blog was derived from the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. We have no personal or professional stake in this book; it’s just a good book. Since striving for happiness is a strong human need we will be focusing this month’s blogs on how to achieve it.
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Written by Linda Meier Abdelsayed, LMFT
Originally published 06/08/2018