Khoollect tips: how to find work you love

Work takes up a large portion of most of our daily lives, and although it’s important to achieve a happy work-life balance, you might as well find something you enjoy doing for the better part of your day too. Who better to seek inspiration on finding work you love than from Phanella Mayall Fine and Alice Olins, authors of the motivating manual to career happiness, Step Up?

Here’s what the authors behind Step Up told us about finding work you love:

We want to give you codes to unlock and re-evaluate certain beliefs you have about yourself. We are all different and fundamentally we all have different personalities. You might be more extroverted than your boss; less anxious than the work experience, and just a wallflower compared to the all-round entertainer you call your best friend.

Whatever your personality, you are neither more nor less likely to succeed.

This is a good thing. It’s not your type of personality but your ability to understand it that is key. We call this awareness. And part of awareness of yourself, is an awareness of your environment.

You are good at your job, but do you like it?

If your answer is yes, hold on tight, we are about to delve deeper into Planet You. Here’s the thing: a woman of relative intellect could, research tells us, be good at pretty much any job with the right training. (Tightrope walker, anyone?) But would she enjoy balancing on a piece of string strung between two buildings? Probably not. Why? Because the likelihood is that she – you – are more suited to a job that is based on the ground.

So we can all achieve relative success in most fields, but who wants a mediocre career?

The way we take that relative success and make it unicorn shaped is by adding in the magic of love. Enjoy your work and you will shine.

A woman who doesn’t like communicating with new people, is not going to enjoy a job in sales even if she could theoretically do it with her mouth closed. Likewise, a nurse who craves adrenaline and enjoys stress is not going to be fulfilled and happy working in palliative care. Accident and Emergency, that’s where she needs to be. Being happy at work, and being good at your job, is in some part dependent on finding an environment in which your personality can soar.

Unicorn Shapes

Part of harnessing the power of internal influences is being aware and objective about where your personality sits at work and what makes you tick.

We might all be able to (we’ve probably all had to) fake work enjoyment at some point, but for the long haul, we need to be truly happy and suited to our work to be able to meaningfully succeed.

Fortunately, this is very much something we have control over, because just like the nurse who needs to move to A&E, finding our own slice of career paradise doesn’t have to mean looking for a new job.

Job Crafting: what is it?

Two simple words that can open up an entirely new chapter in your career. It isn’t always practical or attainable to be doing your Dream Job at this very moment in time, but your Dream Job should always be there in the plan. In the meantime though, how can you take what you’ve got and make it better? You Job Craft.

Job crafting is the technical term for making a job that suits you. Successful women are very good at knowing who they are (self-awareness) and on top of that, they use this knowledge to make their roles suit their personalities. There are three simple ways to do this – task crafting (what we actually do), relational crafting (who we do it with) and cognitive crafting (how we think about what we do).

Try this workout below and see how your humdrum job could become something enchanting.

  • Write down in bullet points what you know about yourself so far split into four categories: your strengths, weaknesses, passions and things you like less.
  • Now do the same for the different elements of your job. What do you have to do on a daily or weekly basis and what do you choose to do?
  • Now review the lists and reflect, asking yourself the following questions in turn: Where can you use more of your strengths and passions in the job list? Where can you use more of your strengths and passions in the job list? Where do your weaknesses coincide with tasks you have to do and is there any way to (a) redesign the task or (b) even better, offload it onto something else and take on another responsibility more suited to you in return?
  • Where could your passions coincide with work? This may not be obvious. For example, a history teacher who is passionate about music could incorporate that into her job by bringing music into her curriculum, collaborating with the music teacher in the school and equating elements of her standing up in front of the class with a musical performance.

Extracted from Step Up: Confidence, Success and Your Stellar Career in 10 Minutes a Day by Phanella Mayall Fine and Alice Olins (Vermilion, £12.99)

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