Mel Savage Executive Coaching
The Highly Valued Leader Podcast - Clarifying Vision

Episode 61 – Love Your Job

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Episode 61 - Love Your Job
Summary

Have you ever wished you could love your job more?

While you might downplay the significance of loving your work, its importance shouldn’t be underestimated. Though love and work might seem disparate, they intertwine in your expressions of feelings towards your job, colleagues, or superiors.

Given the immense time invested, caring about your job is only rational – it’s a pivotal relationship. Your job’s influence extends to your entire life. The good news? Love for your job isn’t tied to perfection in all aspects. You can cultivate a love for your job in the present, even without an immaculate fit. Intrigued?

This episode delves into what job love entails and how to foster it in your current role.

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Hello there, my friends. All you brilliant, ambitious, hard-working women out there. I hope you’re having a fantastic day. I hope you’re taking care of yourselves. I appreciate you so much for being here. I hope you appreciate yourselves today, my friends. We are talking about something so important. Although we don’t always think it’s important. And that’s about loving your job. Your ability to love your job. 

So many people come to me with this challenge. But when I talk about love, in the context of work, people are like, What? Why are we talking about love at work? Love and work don’t really go together We don’t want to be happy at work. I don’t want I don’t have to love my job. But I’m going to challenge that I’m going to call bullshit on that. Because the language that people use with me all the time is I love my job or I hate my job. Or I want to love my job, or I want to do something that I love. I want to love what I’m doing I want to love the people I work with. I hate my boss, I want a boss that I love. This is the language that people use. It’s all around love. I get it, I totally get it. 

Because guess what, you spend a shit ton of time at work and why wouldn’t you want to love it? It is like one of the most important relationships in your life – your relationship with your job. But at the same time, the word love can make people uncomfortable. So you know what, you got to do you. Some people don’t want to talk about love, they talk about it in the context of I want to feel passionate about my job, I want to be excited, I want to be energized, whatever that emotion is for you because it’s always something really powerful. 

Passion is a super powerful emotion. Being excited and being happy, are really powerful emotions. Hate is a powerful emotion as well. I wouldn’t say frustrated, but angry is powerful. These are powerful emotions people have for what happens at work. Again, like I said, I totally get that because it’s a relationship that you have with your job. So whatever that powerful emotion is today that you have for your job, I’m going to talk about it in the context of love. Because that’s what I hear about most often. 

If love makes you feel uncomfortable, then you know what, maybe you should still listen to this podcast, because I’m going to show you that it’s not as uncomfortable as you think it is. And that it’s okay to want to love your job. But really, what we’re going to talk about today, the crux of what we’re talking about today, is I want to show you that you are in control of how much you love your job. And I want you to take that control back. 

In the context of loving your job, I want to start by giving a little bit of a foundational understanding of the word love. And how do you do that? Just go to the dictionary, and get a definition. Love, as it’s defined, is feeling a deep affection for. We know that it’s a feeling of deep affection for something. And it is a state of being, you get to be in love. So you can decide that you want to fall in love with something, it is just how you are behaving, if you will, in a moment. That’s really all that love is. It’s a feeling and a state of being. A feeling that you have deep affection for something. And when I say it’s a state of being, it’s a being within yourself. 

When you feel love, you’re the one feeling it. It’s not like something that you can give to somebody or something else. It’s you feeling the love, which I think we kind of get when it comes to jobs. Because obviously, if you love your job, your job doesn’t actually feel the love because it’s not a human being. It’s not a thing. It’s just like a construct. So you’re the one feeling the love. In this case, is true in relationships as well. But it’s particularly true in this case. I guess that really begs the question of why. Why would you want to feel love for your job? Why would you want to? I’m just going to give you the highlights here. 

First of all, it’s nice to feel love. It feels good to feel love, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it feel good when you feel love? And isn’t it easier just to work when you do feel love? So I think the very first thing is that it’s just easy. It’s easier to work when you’re feeling love than it is when you’re feeling anger or frustration or stress or all those things. Come on, that is so obvious. The other thing I would say too, is your career is such a big part of your life. It impacts every single part of your life. So why wouldn’t you want to love it? 

You probably spend more time at work than you do with your family on a day-to-day basis. So I think it’s probably worth the time. I personally think it’s worth the time that I really get underneath how I want to feel about this relationship I have with my job that I spend so much of my life in. And if you’re one of the people who’s just sort of coasting through and tolerating and putting up with your job, that’s like you tolerating and putting up with a huge piece of your life. So I think it’s really worth thinking about how can I love my job. Because I think loving it is so important.

It doesn’t mean that you have to have the perfect job or a job that you can love. It’s not about the job. It’s really about you loving the job, whatever job it is that I know when I say that people are like, What? That doesn’t sound right. There are certain kinds of people I love. There are certain kinds of food I love. There are certain kinds of shows I love. And of course, there are only certain kinds of jobs that I love. But honestly, guys, all of that is bullshit. Because you can love anything you want to love. And I’m going to talk more about that in this podcast. 

Then there are people who don’t want to leave their jobs. And I always say, why don’t you want to love it? Why don’t you want to love it? And they always said, Well, I don’t want to become obsessed with it. Other things are more important to me in my life than my job. My family is so important. If I love my job, I’ll never leave. I’ll just be at my job all the time. And you know what, the people I work with, they don’t deserve it. My company doesn’t deserve for me to love them. I don’t want to be there all the time. And again, this is bullshit. What I want to say to you is, that just because you love something doesn’t mean that you have to be there all the time. That does not even compute at all. 

The second thing I will say to you is love is for you. It’s not for your company. When someone says to me, My boss doesn’t deserve my love, or my job doesn’t deserve my love. Well, they’re not going to feel it. You get to feel it. Love is for you, it’s not for your work. So when you hold your love back from your boss relationship, because you think that they don’t deserve your love, guess who suffers? You do. Not them. So I would say that trying to find a way to feel love, in any situation, is a wonderful gift that you give yourself, not something that you give to anyone else. 

They might feel the influence of it. They might feel the energy of the love coming off of you or whatever. But guess what, who cares? You’re the one doing this for yourself. I’ll just say that if you’re rolling your eyes right now, what I’ll say is, I totally get it because I hear so many stories from people about how they want to love their jobs. I have a client right now who wants to love her job and is trying to find a job that she loves. And she is really worried about it. She’s really worried that she’s going to pick the wrong one. And I get that because she doesn’t understand yet that she can love anything she wants to love. 

One of the challenges and one of the things she always kind of pushes back on me with is, that I don’t need to feel passionate about it. Isn’t it easier for me to love a job I am passionate about, that I connect with, or that I’m good at? Maybe. I don’t know. I can’t tell you. But what I can tell you is you can find something to love about anything. And it’s not about deluding yourself, it’s about choosing to love something. 

I’ll give you a really easy example. My commute to work was at least an hour each way. That’s quite a long commute to work. And that’s just the way it was. I chose to move where I moved. It was an hour’s commute with the traffic. Without the traffic, it was about half an hour. Actually, what I would do is I would leave at 5:30 in the morning, and I would go work out in the city and shower and stuff in the city. And that ended up being great. But on the way home, if I was leaving in rush hour traffic and late at night, it would be an hour. Or if I decided not to work out one day and I left late, it would be an hour each way. 

I had a choice at that point. Either I could love the commute, or I could hate the commute. And for a long time, I hated the commute. It was miserable. I would get to work stressed out and I would be angry at people. I would have road rage and make signals to people as I was passing them if they were cutting me off or whatever hand gestures. That sort of thing. I was an angry person driving to work. And I didn’t like it. I’d come home after work and when I finally got home, I’d be driving into the driveway and I would be exhausted from the commute. 

And I would say to my husband, Just give me five minutes. Don’t talk to me for a second. I just need to chill before I get my head screwed on straight before we have a chat. That is no way to live. So I decided one day I was like, Look, I have this commute. And I have choices here. I have lots of choices. I can hate it. I can find ways to love it. I can not let it get on my nerves. I can change it. I can move. All these things I can do. There are a million things I could do about my commute. 

I decided to say, Look, I’m going to be in the car for an hour. That’s a choice. First, I’m not going to move so I’m going to be in the car for an hour. I could quit my job. No, I’m not going to do that either. So I’m going to be in the car for an hour, now what? I could fight the reality of that situation and make myself miserable. Or I could find ways to make it work for me and enjoy it, which is what I did. In that case, it was books and tape, or I would have a conference call, or I would talk to my friends, or I would listen to podcasts. I would make the commute to work for me. 

So what if I’m in the cop car, anyway? How can I make that time work for me? Sometimes I would just use it to be meditative again, and not worry about work and just breathe and be alone and be in the quiet. Sometimes I would use it to sing. I love to listen to the radio, turn it up full blast, sing and dance in the car, and have a good time with it. It would always be something I would look forward to, that me time in the car. And I loved my commute for the longest time as well. So I decided I wanted to love it. I decided to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with that situation to love it and I became happy on my drive home. 

It would be something that I would look forward to doing because that was the time where I could unwind and have fun and do something that I wanted to do. You might say, Oh, that’s easy to do with a commute. It’s not easy to do with the commute. It has to be on purpose. The same thing with a boss. 

I had a boss once. I’ve had lots of different kinds of bosses in my career. This particular boss, I did not like. It’s a pain in my butt for the longest time. Then one day, I was just like, I can’t do this anymore. I really love this job but this boss is getting in my face. And I am letting this boss ruin my career. I can ruin my good time, my great opportunity here at this job. Why am I doing that? And the fact was, here I was again fighting reality. I had this boss and I had choices. 

I could leave the job, I could complain about the boss, I could hate my boss, I could make my life miserable, I could find things I liked about the boss, I could find ways to enjoy the boss. Not for him but for me. Because if I could find ways to be comfortable and like and love and enjoy and be energized by that situation, I would be better at my job. And I would have more fun doing it. And that’s what I did. It’s not always easy. I wasn’t always great at that. The last boss I had at McDonald’s was not a great situation. And I made it way worse. I couldn’t find my way to loving that situation. 

I get it. I get that it’s hard. But it is a choice. And I think that’s really the important thing is that it’s a choice that you’re making to love or not love something. So who determines if you love your job? You do. So often, people think it’s magic. Like, if everything is right, if I have the right boss with the right role doing the right things that I’m really good at, and with the right commute, in the right office environment, then I can be happy, then I will love my job. No, that’s not the case. 

Because if you’re someone who has trouble loving your job, now, you’re going to have trouble loving any job that comes your way. It’s actually a practice like anything else. It’s something that you focus on and do on purpose until you don’t have to do it on purpose anymore. So love isn’t magic. Love isn’t magic in your relationships, your intimate relationships, your spousal relationships, and it’s not magic at work either. You have to decide on purpose to love something. That’s how it works. 

Does it mean that it is easier to love something when it’s connected to a passion? Maybe. But let’s say you’re doing a job that you’re really passionate about, and all of a sudden your boss changes, all of a sudden the corporate focus changes, and all of a sudden your department restructures. Do you need to leave the organization? Is that what’s going to happen? Or are you going to let all of those changes control you? Or are you going to control you? You get to decide whether you love your job or not. 

One of the things I always say is if you have a really clear career plan, which is something I really focus on all my clients having – a focus, a goal, a career plan, and understanding what they need to do to get there. Every job that you have is going to tick boxes on that career plan. If the job you have now, you say, Well, I need to learn these things at this job. And I want to build these relationships. In this kind of job, I want to achieve these kinds of things here. We’re going to do these kinds of projects here. And you have a bunch of things that you want to be able to achieve in the job that you have now. That’s fantastic and you can make it that kind of black and white. 

Like, When I achieve these things, then I’m going to be able to achieve the next things on my plan here. But if I can achieve the next things on my plan here, then I need to go do it somewhere else. And while I’m here achieving these things on my career plan, I can decide to enjoy my job. I don’t have to hate it. I don’t have to worry about whether my boss knows all the things and is the perfect boss and the perfect leader…, which by the way does not exist. No boss is just automatically perfect. You decide whether you like your job, your boss or not. Those are things that you can change. 

It’s not written in stone. It’s not carved on some sort of stone somewhere sitting on top of a mountain. You can like any boss, you can work in any process, you can work in any organization. And you can decide whether or not you want to like it or not. Even if you do really like it, let’s say you love it, you don’t have to stay there. A lot of people stay at jobs they love because they’re worried that they’re not going to be able to love the next one because they think love is magic and they don’t create it themselves. 

But you can love any job. That’s why once you’re finished ticking your boxes at this job, you go to the next job and you love that job and you tick your boxes there. People say, I don’t love this job like it’s out of their control to love it. Or I fell out of love. I used to love this job. But I don’t love it anymore because my boss changed, or whatever. No. It’s because you decided not to love it anymore. I’m not saying that the reasons you decided to not love it anymore aren’t good reasons. I’m not saying you should stay there. I’m just saying it’s a choice, you take accountability for it. 

It’s not because your boss changed that you decided to leave. It’s because your thoughts about the job changed, and you wanted to leave. That’s fine. But you have to take accountability for it because you get to decide what you love and what you don’t. And that’s really the big thing that I want to leave you with today is that it’s not magic. 

I had another client who came to one of our sessions. She was just in tears. This is a woman who I’m sure, cries very little in her life. She’s not an emotional person but she came to the session almost in tears. She was ready to quit her job. She had had it. And quitting her job would have been a really big thing for her. She wanted to get away from that situation. We had started talking about her wanting to start her own business, etc. But the reason that she had wanted to quit her job was because she wasn’t loving it anymore. Things weren’t going her way. She was having trouble adjusting to some change that was happening in the organization. And she was like, Okay, I have to really quit, I just have to quit. And she was really emotional about it.

We spent the entire session, which was originally supposed to be about something else, but we spent the entire session just really getting clear on why she wanted to make this decision, helping her see that she was creating this problem for herself, that she was creating the hate and the frustration and the anger. But there were other ways that she could approach all of those situations. In the end, she didn’t quit her job. 

A month later, after working together and getting her head focused on showing up at her best and not letting these things get to her, she was actually promoted to this really huge job at the company because she had the potential and she had it in her. She was just letting all of these things that she told herself that she hated to get in her own way. 

I want to say this isn’t about deluding yourself. This isn’t about, Okay, I’m going to pretend these things I hate don’t exist. And I’m going to decide to love my job and pretend to love my job until I feel that way. No, this isn’t bad at all. There might be things about your job that you don’t like. You don’t have to pretend they don’t exist. But you also don’t have to focus on those things. It’s like with anybody. 

Pick a person in your life. There are things about that person that you don’t love. And there are things about this person that you do love. When I say love I mean like, appreciate, value, and all of those things. So think about that. It’s the same thing with your job. There are things about your job that you really like. There are things about your job that you don’t love. There are things about your boss that you really appreciate if you gave yourself a chance, that you could love. There are things about your boss that don’t really work for you. That’s okay. 

All those things are okay. You don’t have to be 100% one way or the other. We think that if we don’t like something about our boss, we have to hate everything about our boss. That’s not true. And it goes the other way as well. Just because you appreciate a bunch of things about your boss doesn’t mean you have to appreciate everything about your boss. 

At the end of the day, you get to decide what you focus on. Because both the things that you don’t appreciate about your boss and the things that you do appreciate about your boss, both of those things are true for you. It’s just that all this time, you’ve been focusing on the things that you don’t love, versus the things that you do love. But why not change that? Why not just focus on the things you do love, and maybe park the things that you don’t love? Or better yet, explore why you don’t love them. Why you don’t love them? Is it really that important? 

I had a client who didn’t love her job because of the way a certain process worked. She is a marketing person. And the marketing approval process in her organization was so convoluted and included so many opinions in our minds. I’m not saying it was convoluted in her mind. It was convoluted that she hated it. She decided to hate it. But at the same time, it was also an opportunity to hear what her stakeholders were saying to be a leader at that moment, to be able to listen, show passion, compassion, and empathy for what people were saying, come back with recommendations, and really get underneath what they were saying, and understanding why they were saying it. 

Rather than seeing it as an opportunity to show really strong leadership, help everyone grow, and move the business forward, she was seeing it as a situation where she was being questioned and people didn’t trust her. She could make any decisions. It was really hard. She had to do what everyone was telling her to do. Both of those things could have been true. She was focusing on what was missing, what was being taken away. She was making it personal, versus seeing the opportunity for her to be a stronger leader. 

The minute we made that shift, she could see it as an opportunity for her to be a stronger leader, not only was she developing stronger relationships, but she was enjoying her job more. So you get to decide. Like I said, it’s not about deluding yourself. It’s about making a choice on how you want to frame situations and then committing to the thoughts that you have that make that situation work for you. 

I’m going to go into everything I’ve talked about here and way more detail. I’m going to talk more about where these feelings come from, how to generate the feelings, and how to work through a step-by-step process on how to start loving your job. 

What I want to leave you with, is number one, love is a feeling. It is a feeling generated by your thoughts. Love is a feeling that you can control. It is not magic. Love is a feeling that you can have any time you want. And love is for you even if there’s someone in your office who is miserable, mean, vindictive, political, and backstabby; even if you decide to love that person. When I say love, I mean enjoy working with them, not hate them, and not be angry with them. Just have a pleasant relationship with them. Even if you decide to do that, it’s not for them. You’re not forgiving them and their behavior. You’re having it for yourself. 

This is what my coach always says, love is always an inside job. Love is for you, you get to feel it. So there’s nothing wrong with it. And you can love any situation that you’re in. Any situation. Because there are things you love and don’t love about everything in your life. You get to decide which ones you focus on. If you focus on the reasons why you don’t love something, then you’re going to spiral out and be miserable and everything’s going to be a slog, and a struggle. 

If you focus on the reasons you do love something, then things are going to get easier for you. What’s going to happen, too is that the things that you don’t love, you’re going to start to see them differently. Because sometimes it takes a minute to we should really explore why you don’t love it. Because when you explore why you don’t love it, you realize, again, it’s not about them, it’s something to do with you. And you can actually release that and let it go. 

I just want to give you this final thought. If you’re in a situation where you don’t love your job, don’t give up. Don’t give up. You can find ways to love it. You can find ways to love it if you want to. That’s all I want to say to you. And I always say to people, before you quit your job, sometimes there are people who are in really dire situations, sometimes something is really unhealthy and you need to cut the ties and start over. I get that. I’m not saying stick out every situation. But those situations that are really dire and really abusive and really bad are few and far between. 

A lot of the time, it’s because of the drama that we’re creating in our heads. And if you have the ability to just sit down and think, Okay, what’s going on here? What am I focused on? Do I want to focus on the things that I don’t love or don’t want to focus on the things that I do love? How do I want to manage my mindset? If you’re able to do that, you can work anywhere with anyone and do anything and be happy. And that is a very freeing concept, my friends. 

I want to leave you with that this week. Thank you so much for joining me. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.

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HI, I'M MEL

I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.

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I have 20+ years working as a leader in the corporate world. I know what you need to do. And I combine that with four years of training as a cognitive behavioral coach. I know how to help you naturally think like the leader you want to be.
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