Guiding Mid-career Professionals to Jobs They Love

If You Can’t Leave Your Job, Start Loving It


Many times throughout the course of our careers, we hit points where we no longer love the work we’re doing. Things feel stale and routine or we feel exhausted from doing work that drains us. If the timing isn’t right for a career change, we may feel trapped and left without options, which only drains us further. But I want to challenge you to think again.

One of my favorite ways to rejuvenate work without having to leave comes from best-selling author and researcher, Marcus Buckingham. Buckingham is author of such books as Now Discover Your Strengths and Go Put Your Strengths to Work. I advocate using his “Love It or Loathe It” exercise which can help to identify the activities that best strengthen you so you can do more of them. So how do you do this exercise? It’s easy:

  1. Identify – For the next week, take notes of your daily work activities that you Love (these are the ones that strengthen you, make you feel strong, are enjoyable) and the activities that you Loathe (these are the ones that weaken you, make you feel drained or bored).
  2. Reflect – At the end of the week, reflect on the notes you’ve captured. What have you noticed? Are there trends? What portion of your day is spent doing things you love?
  3. Act – Now that you’ve reflected, you need to start acting on what you’ve learned. Can you see opportunity to add more of the things you love to your day and eliminate some of the things you loathe? Can you sit down with your boss and see if you can make some changes to your responsibilities to favor the things you love. Better yet – can you suggest to your boss that your whole team engage in the exercise and see if you can trade tasks so everyone is doing more of what they love and less of what they loathe?

So why will this exercise help you love your job more? According to Gallup research, people who use their strengths every day are 6 times as likely to be engaged on the job and are more than 3 times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life. Pretty compelling research if you ask me.

So why wait? Start today – and learn to love your job again!

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Phone: 617.398.6542