It’s Valentine’s Day. Do you love your job?
Chocolate. Flowers. Cute little love notes. If your job were a person, would you sent it these items? Or are your feelings… well… aloof? Bored? Maybe even vengeful?
In an ideal world, we would all be in love with our jobs. We would be excited to go to work every day, diving into projects with passion, enthusiasm, and commitment. In reality, there’s often at least one missing piece of the puzzle: an annoying work culture, a difficult boss, a lack of job security, low pay, not enough challenge, or impossible expectations.
Are you committed? Or are you still looking?
Maybe you haven’t quite committed to your job yet. Where it was once expected that you would marry young and without too much deep thought, and your marriage would last a lifetime, and your job would last forty years and end with a gold watch, many people today go through a series of short-term relationships or “hook-ups” before figuring out what kind of person they want to commit to… for at least a few years.
Eventually, though, people do like to settle down, at least for a while. Once you have figured out what you really want in life—the job functions you want to do, the things you’re good at, the type of workplace culture you prefer, the type of boss you’ll get along with, the mission areas you care about, and the pay and benefits you need—you can start to look for jobs that fit the bill. It can take a good long time before you land a perfect job—and in reality, it’s rare for any job to be perfect forever. The job search process is like a long series of dates prior to marriage, and you dive in and commit to a position without ever knowing as much as you’d like to about the position. Sometimes you have to just take the best job you can get at the time, and keep looking for your “soul mate” job later.
Take a minute to think about what you’re doing. What do you love the most about your job? What would you change if you could? Is it time to move on, or can you work things out somehow? Are there irreconcilable differences, or can you try to negotiate for something better? Do you have to look for fulfillment outside your job, through volunteering, education, hobbies, or family life? Whatever you discover, be intentional. Your dream job is out there somewhere, and it’s up to you to find it and go for it.