There are 3 ways you can fall in love with your job. The first one is to work in that field you have a passion about. The second is by achieving success in that type of activity you do, which ultimately will lead your heart to loving the job you are doing, because you are successful and you are valued for what you deliver. The third is when you try to accommodate yourself to the job, by using your skills, talents or passions at your current workplace, by either doing some extra activities (usually not paid) but that you truly enjoy and make you really love your job or by actually moving into a new role simply because the company you are working for needs that and you happen to be the right person at the right time. But this rarely happens. Or I have not come across this very often.
There is another way that can help you adjust yourself to start falling in love with your job. It is called using your character strengths in your current role or when you are searching for a new job.
A team of German researchers found that those who consider their job a calling use between 4-7 character strengths while performing it. The less character strengths you use, the less interested you are in what you do.
Therefore, once you know your character strengths (you can go to www.viacharacter.org to take the free survey to discover it) you can start using it at work or when you want to apply for a new position.
I find this survey extremely helpful, because sometimes the character strengths that portray something we really love is not something we know how to name. I read about this research made on a tribe who had specific names for all green shades, which they could name, even though they were very close in shade. The researchers put these people to name our specific shade of green (the color green as we see it) that we can all name as green (as we don’t really use shades to name the green, it’s just green in our eyes for every shade of green) and they could not name it because they did not see it before. They had no idea that particular shade of green existed prior to the research and they still could not name it. That’s because we grow up with specific notions and concepts and those concepts make us understand the world. If we do not hold a concept for a specific thing, not only we cannot see it, but we cannot name it. And even if we can see it, we won’t be able to describe it. Which makes it harder to act on it.
I feel the same thing happens when we need to pin point what is it that makes us happy at work. First of all, no one teaches us how to do that and secondly, there is no notion of attributes we should have to love our jobs. So, this specific survey The Character Strengths will reveal to you your true traits. The traits that lay hidden inside you, that you can rely on when you are in the state of flow, but that which you cannot name. As you do not know how to name something you appreciate and enjoy doing. I am referring to something very specific in a particular task. As an example, my core character strength is appreciation of beauty and excellence, followed by creativity, honesty, love, judgement and love of learning. Now, if you think about it, what jobs do you see advertised that can offer me that? The feeling of appreciation of beauty and excellence, creativity, honesty, judgement? It is a feeling I experience when I create on my blog, but then, who will pay me for my blog? I must have a huge following to start receiving an income just from my writing or sharing stuff here.
My core virtues are transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. This translates to me in a job related to healing, teaching, even artists. It is hard to find a job description saying we require artists. So, the true value of this survey consists in the fact that you get to have a name for what makes you happy when you work, you get to have a concept for that specific thing you experience when you are in the state of flow, you get to finally understand yourself better and to make the best of your time at work by following that which brings to you that creative freedom.
Therefore, I strongly recommend for you to take the survey, get a notion for your pleasurable attributes for working and start incorporating that more into your day to day working life or lifestyle in general. I guess it is fine to not necessarily work having to use all your character strengths, but will you feel happy to have that job?
We now have this opportunity to discover those traits and start acting on it. Because just as the people who could not name the green color, yet they could name all shades of green, we have a lack of understanding the basics. The very thing that makes all shades of green.
And we only need between 4-7 character strengths to say that our jobs bring us joy. Have your first 7 core character strengths revealed here.