Loving What You Do

The alternative to following your bliss is to find passion in the work you're doing now. It's possible.

Amy Wresnieski of the University of Michigan has studied this and found that the difference between a job (which you do for the money) and a calling (which you do for the love of it—and for the money) is not the job itself, but how you feel about the work.

There are doctors and lawyers for whom work is a job and others for whom it is a calling, just like there are teachers and police officers for whom work is a job and others for whom it is a calling.

How do you find the calling in your job?

Try to forge a personal connection with your boss. If you're working for someone you feel is charismatic or inspirational, you're likely to want to perform better in that person's eyes. There's no taking an uncharismatic supervisor and turning him or her into Gandhi. But there is the possibility you haven't gotten to know the person who is managing you, and that person may have leadership characteristics you haven't noticed.

Try to schedule a breakfast meeting. Early morning hours signal your willingness to jump in off the clock. Suggesting lunch may be an indicator that you're looking to kick back in the middle of the day.

Find the autonomy in your work. Autonomy is key to feeling good about the work you do, no matter what kind of work it is. Research has shown you'll be happier at work if you can make your own mark.

Striking out for workplace independence doesn't have to be a battle cry; it can be a whisper and have the same mood-elevating results.

Finally, fake it until you make it. While you're going through this process of trying to find the satisfaction in your work, pretend you feel satisfied. Tell yourself you had a good day. Walk through the corridors with a smile rather than a scowl.

Your positive energy will radiate. If you act like you're having fun, you'll find you are having fun.

I'm not promising you a party. But I can guarantee an improvement.

The 8 traits of wealthy people

Read an excerpt from Jean Chatzky's The Difference


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