How to Fall in Love with Your Career

For many of us, as kids, the dream was a simple one: Become a race car driver, a princess, an astronaut, a magician or a movie star.

Then we grew up and realized that the world actually needs accountants, doctors, designers, writers, salespeople, teachers and executives.

But just because the adult you has a job that doesn’t involve racetracks, crowns or magic wands, doesn’t mean you can’t passionately love your career. Use these five tips to fall in love with your job, or make the changes necessary to be head over heels with a new career.

  1. Think about the value you bring to your clients, users or team.

When you prepare someone’s taxes, file legal briefs or manage your company’s insurance claims, you’re enriching lives. You’re bridging a gap and filling a need for the people, company and community you serve. Value what you do.

  1. Become the best in your field.
    Discipline yourself and make the extra effort to become a virtuoso in your skill set. If there is an extra certification you can get, get it. If there is new software you can learn or class you can take, do it. When you operate at a world-class level, you take more pride in your work, and other people admire your talent.
  1. Adopt an “owner” mentality.

We may not own the company, but we can feel ownership in the company. Instead of sitting back and waiting for instructions, take initiative: Pitch your big idea to your team leader, throw away trash if you see it in the hall, find better processes for your team, speak well of your chosen profession when you’re with friends. When you have an “owner” mentality, you’ll find you get more fulfillment out of your team or company’s wins.

  1. Take full advantage of corporate perks.
    If your company has an on-site gym, go to the classes. If they throw epic holiday parties, buy a new tie or dress and have fun! If they offer catered lunches or casual Fridays, revel in them. And if your company doesn’t offer perks, consider finding one that does. The best companies want you to be happy and healthy, mind and body.
  1. Choose the right company.

Not all companies are created equal. You may love working in human resources, but hate the environment at your current organization. So instead, look for a company that holds the same values as you, promotes a healthy corporate culture and helps its employees grow through consistent learning and leadership opportunities.

You’ll notice that these principles have nothing to do with fun on the job, the glamour of the position or how much money you make. It’s a common trap to think that money, exotic locations or a one-hour workweek are the secret to having a career you love.

The truth is, you’ll love a career that loves you back. When your job brings value to other people, pushes you to be better, stretches your capacity and rewards you with variety, recognition and fun, that’s when you’ll feel fulfilled and truly love your career.

Not in love with your career? Apply at paycomcareers.com.