How “Liking” Your Job Will Help You Succeed
Steve Jobs stood in front of the 2005 Stanford graduating class and said, “”the only way to do great work is to love what you do,” but how does enjoying your work really lead to success in the workplace?
Being happy at work and loving what you do is an overall productivity booster and enhances performance. People who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic, motivated, learn faster, make fewer mistakes, and better business decisions.
Positivity is Pertinent to Success
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a distinguished Hungarian psychologist, being able to enjoy your work is the main factor in getting into a state of flow.
Flow: The experience you have when you are “in the zone”. You feel fully focused, creative, and ideas are flowing freely.
This means that every time you are given a task and view it negatively, this mindset is already making it harder for you to complete your work. Doing work you love is energizing and creates a positive feedback loop that fuels productivity. Your passion for the work energizes you and vice versa, giving you more fuel to put towards success. The trick is figuring out how to make yourself love your work – even the most tedious of tasks.
Csikszentmihalyi discovered that once you take on a task with a positive mindset and think of the benefits you can reap from completing this project, your work is more likely to happen in a steady, concentrated flow. Being in this state of mind means you will be highly focused and fully absorbed in the task at hand, just as you would be while doing something you really enjoy. Being able to fully devote yourself to a task and give it your all will make you more productive and knowledgeable, leading you towards success at work.
The ability to complete work you don’t enjoy with enthusiasm is hard enough, let alone being the best at it. Without the passion or drive it just doesn’t come naturally. People are more confident at tasks that are more natural and seem to flow. This pertains to anything from writing emails, speaking to large groups, or even creating a presentation. Use a positive mindset to find your drive and build confidence in yourself. If you feel confident and secure with the work you are producing, you will be able to complete it to your fullest potential. Without this overall positive mindset, confidence is lacking and can lead to second-guessing yourself and becoming inefficient.
Passion not only drives you to enjoy your work, but helps in overcoming obstacles in the workplace as well. Anytime you hit a bump in the road or begin to doubt your abilities, remember the positive effects of the work you are doing. This persistence will lead to quality work that elevates you and brings you that much closer to your next goal. Use that drive and motivation as fuel towards your next checkpoint to success.
Finding Passion for Everyday Tasks
An overall positive and passionate mindset can be difficult to enact while completing tedious assignments. To change the way you think, you must also change the way you work. Find the significance in your efforts, live the vision of your organization, work with your colleagues, and in turn you can encourage positive change and take one step closer to success.
Every company has a mission or vision that they work to achieve. Whether it’s clothing the homeless or creating happy, loyal customers while keeping costs down for the organization, raising your significance by working towards the common goal will keep you on the path towards success. By seeing your part in the big picture and realizing your worth, positivity and passion come naturally.
Along with realizing your own worth, knowing your team’s abilities is just as important. According to Paul A. O’Keefe, assistant professor of psychology at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, working with your colleagues helps foster interest in work and create enthusiasm. In a study conducted by O’Keefe, it was found that those working with a partner reported greater interest in the subject and a stronger desire to master it. In other words, utilize your co-workers for motivation. Brainstorm, collaborate, and discuss to instill interest and drive in your work.
As you become more connected with your workplace and coworkers, begin to encourage positive change around you by asking yourself, “what can I do to improve this?” Immersing yourself in your work will help cultivate a passion for your duties. Add this passion on top of taking personal responsibility for making your company more successful, and your engagement will increase greatly, along with your job satisfaction.
The mindset you choose to take on when working is very important. Be conscious of the benefits you are creating for yourself and think positively. In turn, work will become more enjoyable and easier to master on the road to success.
Understanding human behavior is more than the basis of psychology – it is an essential component of virtually every business and organization. The USC online Master of Science in Applied Psychology prepares professionals to excel in the fields of consumer and organizational psychology.