Gratitude Towards Your Career

How many people can truly say that they are happy in their respective jobs or careers? Apparently not very many. According to a survey conducted every four years by Gallup, an American analytics firm, only 13 percent of people love their jobs. The rest either hate their jobs or are only slightly engaged in them. 

There are several reasons for this phenomenon. Some of the most glaringly obvious ones are financial security, a lack of appreciation for the work they render, a less-than-ideal working environment, and the absence of potential for growth and development. Sadly, most of these factors are beyond one’s control. Short of outright changing jobs or switching careers; there’s nothing much that can be done about them. 

So what about the 13 percent of people who do love their careers? Well, the same survey shows that these people have pretty much the same jobs as most other people do. They typically aren’t in glamorous and high paying lines of work either (such as executives, celebrities or pro athletes). Rather they’re spread in a wide range — from white to blue collar. However the point remains that these 13 percent of people truly derive a sense of enjoyment, satisfaction, and fulfillment from their work.

It turns out that the main source for loving a job or career is having the appropriate mindset for it. There are a multitude of reasons for pursuing a particular line of work, but what causes dissatisfaction and loathing oftentimes can be found within ourselves. So how can we achieve the right frame of mind? 

Let’s take a look at some of the major factors that can help you attain gratitude towards your career. 

Find what you love doing, but make sure you have the aptitude for it. 

Finding the right job or career is a journey of trial and error. The first step of the journey is being able to identify skills and tasks that you can excel in. Obviously, most skills are acquired by starting out as a novice. However, you should be able to recognize which career path best suits your talents, interests, and aptitudes. 

For instance, you definitely should not pursue a career in sales if you aren’t good at closing deals. The same goes for trying to become an accountant if you don’t love math. Simply put, a lot of people aren’t happy with their jobs because they aren’t suited for it. 

A good benchmark for determining whether a job or career is compatible for you is being able to reach the flow state. The flow state can be best described as having prime concentration and focus towards whatever task is at hand. This sense of fluidity even borders a spiritual experience. If you consistently reach the  flow state during your work, then that’s a good reason for having gratitude towards your career. 

Identify how your job or career can make a difference in the lives of other people. 

Another reason why some people love doing what they do is because they get to affect other people’s lives in a positive way. When this happens, your job transcends from being just a source of livelihood or income. It then becomes a calling and fulfills a sense of purpose.

This also helps you to bounce back from setbacks and to see failure in a different light. You know that you aren’t just letting yourself down, but other people as well. Having the courage and determination not only to do well for yourself is essential for attaining the drive to do better at your job. Ultimately, it allows you to refine your methods since the failure is not just your own.

Seek out mentors, and in time, become one yourself. 

Most people can feel stuck when they aren’t learning anything anymore. If this is the case, then you should seek out a mentor. A mentor can help you increase your knowledge, provide valuable insight, and to help you get into a growth mentality. Almost anyone can be your mentor. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask them directly. 

The important thing is that you are willing to learn. Take the time to absorb their wisdom and experience, then find ways on how you can apply them into your own job. As time goes on, you can continue to further your growth mindset by becoming a mentor yourself. 

There’s a saying that “to teach is to learn twice over”. Any good teacher knows that you learn more if you are willing to teach someone else. Your routines and personal rituals also benefit from this, since we tend to turn a blind eye when it comes to our own shortcomings. Passing down our own knowledge and wisdom is also a good way to practice humility and gratitude. 

Surround yourself with peers and coworkers that care about you. 

There’s a principle that I’ve learned from a talk when it comes to surrounding yourself with people who care about your well-being. It’s called the “send vs spend” principle. Here’s how it goes: you “spend” time with people who are genuinely beneficial for you, meaning that these are the ones who care about you. In contrast, you should “send” emails or texts more often for coworkers that do not fall into this category. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t be too quick to judge when it comes to this concept. Rather, you should see it as an opportunity for developing your intuition and your ability to discern a person’s character. There’s truth in the saying that “you are a reflection of the five people that you spend most time with”.

To sum it up, showing gratitude towards your career is not a one-dimensional endeavor. There are many aspects in loving your job. By adhering to most of what we’ve discussed, you can better craft a mindset for a career that’s fulfilling, purposeful, and growth oriented.


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