Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Other authors and public figures have been quoted saying similar things throughout history.
Whoever said it first, the truth is that when you find a job you truly enjoy, your work life will come easier. If you’ve ever worked a job you love, you know the value of doing work that you find enjoyable.
4 Benefits to Finding a Job You Love
It’s important to find a job you love. When you find one, your work life will become less like “work” and more like a life purpose. After all, most of us spend forty or more hours a week working to cover our basic expenses. If you’re going to spend that much time doing something anyway, you may as well find something that you love!
1. It’s fulfilling to work toward a greater purpose.
Part of finding a job you love is finding a job that serves a purpose that you care about. When you work in a job that matters to you, you’ll feel more fulfilled. In fact, that fulfillment can even make difficult work days feel like they have a purpose.
You don’t have to work in the nonprofit space to work toward a greater purpose. In the past, I’ve enjoyed working customer service jobs because of the satisfaction I got from making people happy.
A few years ago, I worked at a pizza place. One night, a customer came in to pick up her pizza and mentioned that the app told her the pizza was ready. Unfortunately, pizza tracking apps use estimated times to let people know where their pizza is. If a mistake was made on the pizza, which was the case in this situation, the food could take as much as fifteen more minutes to be ready.
She became increasingly angry throughout her wait. After all, the app told her that her food was ready! When I kept her posted about the actual status of her pizza, provided her with a card for a free pizza in the future, and sent her home with a two liter of pop, she was a lot less angry. In fact, on her way out, she said, “It’s a good thing they have you working with customers! Thank you.” That day was particularly fulfilling to me, because I was able to fix a serious problem for a customer.
“We are more fulfilled when we are involved in something bigger than ourselves.”
– John Glenn
2. You can build strong social connections.
The people you work with can make a job a lot more enjoyable. When you build strong connections with people at work, they can often become the social circle that you’re most involved in.
Over the last several years, my husband has been working for a small tech company. The local office he works in has about half a dozen other employees. During the years he’s been with that company, his coworkers have become a significant part of our social circle. We’ve been invited to parties, weddings, and other social functions. They’ve become like family to us.
My mom has worked in several hospital pharmacies over the last decade. One of the things she’s loved the most about this work is that the people she works with frequently have a similar sense of humor to her own. Although she’s moved across the country, she still stays in regular contact with the people from her last job. The connections she made at work continue to be her social circle.
“There is no true joy in a life lived closed up in the little shell of the self. When you take one step to reach out to people, when you meet with others and share their thoughts and sufferings, infinite compassion and wisdom well up within your heart. Your life is transformed.”
– Daisaku Ikeda
3. The work itself can be enjoyable.
It’s important to think about what you actually enjoy doing. If you find a job that you enjoy doing, your work life will be a lot easier.
When my grandma was working at a clothing store, she enjoyed unboxing shipments and getting the clothing steamed before putting it out on the sales floor. No one else enjoyed steaming the clothing because it was tedious and solitary, but that sort of work was what my grandma thrived on.
Eventually, she started her own business cleaning houses and businesses. Although few people enjoy cleaning, she genuinely enjoyed the work. Making a space as clean as possible was something she was passionate about, allowing her to enjoy her working years.
We’re all wired for something, so it’s important to find out what you can enjoy doing. Whether you work with other people or work alone, what matters is that you enjoy the work itself. After all, forty hours a week is a long time to spend on something you don’t like!
“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”
– Dalai Lama
4. Work can push you to grow in other areas.
It’s easier to stay interested in a job when it continues to push you to grow. Your growth at work can also translate to growth in other areas of your life.
I often have ideas for personal projects while I complete work for my paid jobs. The growth I make at work has helped me to grow in other areas of my life.
Some jobs may even pay you to further your education or your training. When my husband was working for a local university, the school paid its employees to earn advanced degrees. Many jobs provide similar programs or compensation for their workers.
“It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.”
– Carlton Fisk
Even Jobs You Love Will Have Hard Days
I often take issue with people saying that when you do what you love, you’ll never work. The truth is, no matter how much you love your job, there will be days when it feels like hard work.
Even a job you love will have days when you’d rather quit. Some days might bring a boss’s bad mood, a heavy workload, or a pressing deadline. These things and more can contribute to stress, making even a good job difficult.
It’s also important to remember that it takes hard work to get to a career you love. If your dream career involves extensive education or hard work for promotion, it’s important to be willing to put in the hard work it takes to get there. Even if you enjoy the career you’re working toward, you’re going to have hard days on your way there.
It’s important that you don’t give up when those bad days come along. If you have an extending period of difficulty at your work, you might wonder if that job you’re in is really what you want. However, if you’re always chasing the idea of a “perfect job,” you’ll spend your lifetime sorely disappointed.
Finding Contentment Wherever You Are
To some extent, enjoying your work requires you to have a level of contentment that doesn’t rely on you having the “perfect” job. When we buy into the myth that there’s only one ideal job out there for us, we can find ourselves increasingly discontent with the work in front of us.
It’s important that you learn how to be happy with whatever job you have. The inability to get your dream job should not stop you from working or enjoying a lesser job. If you don’t have your ideal job yet, you need to find the good in what you’re currently doing. Life is far too short to hate your job.
I have been working toward my certification to become a chaplain for years. My denomination requires that I become ordained before becoming a chaplain. The ordination process requires work experience, usually in some sort of church ministry.
If you told me that I’d get plugged in working with children and teens, I would have laughed you out of the room. Never in a million years did I think I’d work with teens and actually enjoy working with them. Yet in the process of reaching my dream, I ended up spending years in youth ministry.
I never would have chosen it, but I got some really great experiences out of it. I got to chaperone several mission trips. On one of these trips, I had the opportunity to try white water rafting. Youth ministry also allowed me to help out at a summer camp. Along the way, I also built friendships that will last me a lifetime.
There’s a lot I didn’t like about it, but I found it easy to be content with what I was doing, even when it was hard. No matter what you end up doing for work, it’s important to find the good in it. You’ll be a lot happier when you do.
Although people have frequently said that doing what you love means you’ll never work, the truth is that we often have to do work we don’t necessarily love. While the benefits of having a job you love are great, it’s important to realize that you can find enjoyment wherever you land.