Love Your Work!! Love Your Work?? Love Your Work...


Karen's article was written for Nova and posted on 28 February 2017.

What does it mean to really love your work? 

Oodles of endless motivation? 

The will and drive to work tirelessly, all the while with a huge grin on your face? 


I love the idea of loving my work, of all us loving our work, but as I think of that description, I picture a person with an almost maniacal smile that scares me a little, because that person looks like they are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  That can’t be it……

In this series we will explore why it’s important to love your work, what that really means, and discover how you can take some steps towards it.

So, why is it important to love your work?

Well on average a person will spend 30% of their lifetime at work. Would you rather spend a third of your life doing something you love, something you accept, something you hate, or something you feel like you have to do?  I know my answer.

But it’s more than that.  Other than time, the fact life is short and the idea that we may only get one crack at this, it’s important to love our work because it means that we are more likely in alignment with our needs and wants.  That we are living our best life possible, in the best way possible, through everything we do.  It means that we are able to come into our job and do what we were made to do.  When we love what we do, we are able to honor our gifts, learn even more, help others grow and face the resistance to keep on moving forward.

A big part of loving your work depends on you being in alignment with what you do. Now, alignment and agreement are two different things.  We might think of them as the same thing, believing that we must agree with everything about our work for us to love it.  It’s not true.  Do you always agree with your mum, dad, husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend?  No, but you can still love them and be in overall alignment with them.

The same goes for work.

When I think of alignment, I am thinking of a combination of four key factors.  One, is a shared intention, (i.e. I know what we are up to).  Two, a genuine enthusiasm for achieving our shared intention, (i.e. I am excited about what we are up to).  The third is the willingness to take action to make our intention happen, (i.e. I do the work to make it happen).  The final factor is the commitment to confront, ourselves and others, when our actions are out of line with our intentions (i.e. I realize I am out of alignment and adjust what I am saying and doing to keep moving ahead).

When we are out of alignment, everything becomes a bit more complicated.  The result of misalignment might be our own dissatisfaction, and when that happens, we often look for things outside of ourselves to bring the satisfaction up and get some happiness back.  We often look to surface level, external validation, fixes like money, through a raise or a bonus, or a job change, through a promotion or career adjustment, to help spice things up, but the source is usually something more.  Now, those things and a little change might help, temporarily, but what do you do when you start to notice a pattern?  When you see that dissatisfaction creeping back in even after you got your “fix”?

If your “fix” wears off, check in on the four factors of alignment and see where things might be off.  It’s about you.  What you need and want.  What you dream of and aspire to.  Don’t waste a third of your life.

Karen Kersey