Posted on | June 10, 2012
Have you ever met anyone who says they now currently have their dream job? Me neither. “Dream jobs” are always spoken about in terms of the future. “One day, I’ll have my dream job” or “If I could have my dream job, it would be…” are some of the usual phrases employed in regards to this elusive dream job. Of course, some jobs are better than others. But I’m here to tell you that any job can become your dream job. It’s all a matter of how you approach it. Here’s how you can turn even the most tedious jobs into ones that are more interesting and fulfilling (based on my experience as an insurance agent…not the most glamorous thing in the world, trust me).
- Keep in mind the ultimately goal of the job. Who are you helping? According to business writer Daniel Pink, motivation is so much more and so much deeper than money or recognition. Pink surveys many studies and comes to the conclusion that the three most important things in good work performance and personal satisfaction are autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Purpose, to me, is the most interesting and important aspect of motivation. Purpose is the ultimate reason that you are working for your current company. To get a greater sense of purpose from your job, ask yourself daily, “Who am I helping?” or “Who is my company benefitting?” As an insurance agent, I reminded myself daily that the services I provide help people when tragedy strikes. Where would so many families be after a breadwinner dies suddenly, if it weren’t for life insurance? Keeping this purpose in mind will help recast your job into one that is important, not just for you but for society at large.
- Find other projects in your spare time that give you personal fulfillment. If you are early in the workforce, you must understand that there is no job on earth, if repeated day in and day out, that doesn’t become boring and repetitive at some point. I don’t care how glamorous the job is. The fact of the matter is that work will at some point just plain suck. Instead of dwelling on this boredom and suckiness, find satisfaction elsewhere, something that will change up your routine. For example, I find lots of satisfaction from using my hands to create something. As such, I’ve since taken up both a woodwork hobby and a cooking class. Of course, none of these endeavors will turn into a job. But I enjoy them. Enjoying projects I pursue in my spare time gives me an added vitality that I bring to my work in the office.
- Learn about your co-workers. Get to know them well. Another aspect of life that either makes or breaks any situation is the strength of your relationships. If you currently isolate yourself from your co-workers, you’re missing out on a part of work that has the potential to make your job truly rewarding. Try going to lunch with different people at your office, get involved in team-building activities that your company might offer, and otherwise try to be interested in the happiness and success of your colleagues. Trust me, it makes a huge difference in terms of job satisfaction.
- Turn tiny, tedious tasks into games. Every job has tiny, tedious tasks that are so boring you want to cry. Even actors have to repeat scenes over and over until they get it just right, and I’m sure by the hundredth take, a Hollywood star’s job isn’t quite a dreamy. Instead of focusing on the tedium, try turning these tasks into games. For example, I compete with my colleagues to see how quickly we can finish tasks like these that don’t require much brainpower. Whoever loses has to buy the others lunch. Take every aspect of your job and try your best to turn it into something fun.
Of course, I’m not saying to simply take any job you can get and accept it for the rest of your life. But it’s important to understand that “dream jobs” don’t really exist. There’s good and bad in every job. Once you realize this, you can turn any job situation into a good one, which will motivate you to do your best and maybe you’ll get something closer to your dreams later down the road. Good luck!
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Guest author: Susan Wells is a freelance blogger who enjoys writing about career, education, automotive and health news, technology, lifestyle and personal finance. She often researches and helps consumers find cheap insurance quotes available
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