You either like your job, or you hate it – right? It’s not really that simple, because you need to genuinely love what you’re doing! Loving your job means you feel like your life has a greater purpose, and you’re not working just for the paycheck – you want to make a difference in the world. Check out these signs and see if you should stay with your current job, or search for something that will be more fulfilling for your life.

1. You don’t struggle to stay focused on the task at hand.

If your mind wanders while you’re at work, you often have to shake yourself out of the daydream and stay disciplined so you don’t forget the task at hand. When you genuinely love your job, this isn’t a problem. In fact, it’s the opposite – you don’t struggle to stay on task, you struggle to decide which task to tackle first! You come in every day, look at your To Do list, and prioritize all the things you have to do, because otherwise you’d jump from task to task trying to eagerly tackle them all at once!

2. You talk about the good things other people do, instead of talking about other people.

Work gossip can be a fun way to pass the time, but it can also turn vicious quickly, and rumors can start to spread, whether or not they are true. Instead of talking about coworkers behind their backs, if you genuinely love what you do, you’re more likely to talk about the good things others are doing. You’re not jealous that a coworker got a promotion and you don’t start spreading rumors about how he got it. Instead, you’re genuinely proud of him for working hard and getting what he deserves. It’s not hard to stop listening to gossip and start spreading praise and good deeds around the office.

3. You enjoy your time at work.

Sure, if we had a choice sometimes we’d all rather be someplace else than sitting at our desk: at home, on the beach, climbing a mountain. But if you really love what you’re doing, you’re glad you’re at work when you have to be. You don’t spend time hating your surroundings and wishing you were elsewhere – you know you’re at work because you have tasks to do, and you gladly do them.

4. You think about winning instead of surviving.

I know I’ve had days where I think “If I can just make it through this day and go home…” But the better way to phrase that thought is to think “I need to win today.” Feeling like you have to survive through something automatically puts a pessimistic spin on it. It’s better to think that you can win the day — that you can conquer all your obstacles and come out on top.

5. You’re excited about what you’re doing.

If you love what you’re doing, you’re excited about it! You know you’re doing good and making a difference, and you get excited to go in to work and spend your time doing your job. You love telling others all about what you do, and you like getting them just as passionate about it. True excitement is infectious, so if you feel this way about your job, everyone is going to know it!

6. You hardly ever watch the clock.

There are days when you start watching the clock at 4:00pm, and every minute ticks by so slowly it feels like five. Then there are days when you lose track of time, and they’re turning off the lights while you’re still working! Which days go faster? Which make you feel better? The ones where you lose track of time, right? Right! Because you’re so swept up in what you’re doing that you forget everything around you. Now that’s loving what you do!

7. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification.

If you’re happy with your job, you don’t see success as how much you’re making or how many promotions you’ve racked up. You see success as how fulfilled you are with your job, how it makes you feel to be doing something you love, something that will make a difference. You love your job even if it doesn’t pay much, because you want to be doing something that makes you happy as opposed to something that makes you rich.

8. You help others without thinking.

Instead of sabotaging others to try and get ahead and make yourself look better, when you love your job, you just want to do good things. You help others because you’re all working towards the same goal. You feel confident with your position at work because you know you’re good and love what you do, so you don’t feel threatened by helping others, even if you get little or no credit in return.

9. You have friends at work.

Friends make everything better! When you have friends at work, you have a support system. You have people rooting for you, and people you can brainstorm with you make the work environment a better place for everyone. You have people you can vent to if necessary, and know they’ll understand where you’re coming from. Having friends at work also proves that you’re happy at work, because no one wants to spend eight hours a day with a grump!

10. Your weekends are time to recharge for Monday.

Everybody loves the weekend, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you truly love what you do, those two days off are just time to recharge for the next work week. Sure you can have fun, go out of town, spend time with friends, but you’re still getting ready for upcoming work.

11. You hate calling in sick.

This might not be true when you’re sweating out a fever or hunched over the toilet bowl, but overall, you hate calling in sick to work. You want to be there to keep making progress on your projects. You don’t want to miss anything. The day you come back, you’re hounding your coworkers about what happened while you were gone, what meetings, or even new inside jokes you missed! No one wants to be sick, but it’s extra hard for you because you love your job so much.

12. You find solutions instead of griping about problems.

Encountering a problem is a speed bump for anyone – it might stall you momentarily, but then you decide: do I complain until it gets worse, or someone else takes it away, or do I solve it myself right now? When you’re a proactive worker, problems are nothing to you. You’re excited by the challenge of having an issue to solve, and you jump on it to make sure it doesn’t throw off  the flow of work any more than it already has.

13. You hope to get more work instead of dread it.

Going along with proactively finding solutions to workplace problems, people who truly love what they do always hope for more work. When your boss is assigning new projects at a meeting, you don’t sink down in your seat and hope she overlooks you. You don’t want to keep floating by doing nothing, you want work to keep you busy and give you chances to prove your worth!

14. You’re not bothered by petty things at work.

Gossip is petty, but it can get under your skin whether you like it or not. When you love your job, it’s easy to focus only on your work duties, and let petty office politics and gossip roll right off your back. You don’t acknowledge the rumors and you don’t keep them going – you just stay on your own path and do the best job you can.

15. You’re working for the big picture.

If you love your job, you know it’s a group effort. You know everyone is working together for a major cause. You know the big picture is more important than you getting credit for one step on the ladder. You love this aspect of the job, because you know everyone is looking out for – not each other – but for the purpose. The big picture is more important than any person within in.

Featured photo credit: Closeup of a young man painting on canvas on studio floor via shutterstock.com

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