Follow your passion!
That’s what motivational speakers say you when you complain about your job. And it’s good advice – if you spend a third of your day working why shouldn’t you enjoy it? But if you’ve ever been told ‘just get a job’ and ‘stop complaining’, it turns out that’s also good advice.
Researchers have been examining people’s expectations and outcomes associated with their attitude towards work. And what they have found is there’s more than one way to become that person who loves their job.
If you looked for and selected a job that you knew you’d enjoy, the researchers call this ‘fit theory’ – choosing a job you knew would be compatible. These might be considered the lucky ones who know what they want to go and get it.
Not everyone is that lucky, though. You may not yet be able to get that job you want. Or worse, maybe you don’t feel that passionate towards any job. The vocational ‘develop theory’ shows that passion can be cultivated over time by focusing on the work and as you become better at your job.
If this sounds like you, then it seems you have an advantage. By having less need for the initial enjoyment of your work, you are free to focus on things like better pay and benefits when choosing a career. With focus and time, it’s possible to become just as passionate as those that chase their dream.
So if you’ve been thinking of swapping jobs for something you truly enjoy, then consider chasing your dream. But if you’re still not sure what that is yet, perhaps it’s time to swap your thinking instead. Take the time to hone the skills you have and apply them in unique and meaningful ways, and you might start to really love your job!