For too many of us, going to work is the equivalent of taking out the garbage; you don’t really want to, but if you don’t the quality of your living space spirals downward. Spending time at work can drag on, and it can feel like you are spending hours completing meaningless tasks. Upwards of 70 percent of us don’t even like our jobs.
But what about that 30 percent of people that enjoy going to work? What are they getting out of it that those of us who struggle to reach the end of every workday don’t?
It turns out, individuals that have found passion in their workplace actually experience a number of benefits that people dissatisfied with their careers completely miss out on.
Although it may not come as a complete surprise, being unhappy in your current position can be a huge mental drain. Employees that love their jobs don’t ever feel an impending dread associated with crawling out of bed Monday morning. They also don’t tend to feel as anxious, upset, or angry about either day to day activities within the office space or more long-term things such as their job security.
A number of these individuals have also found purpose within their career. This can mean something such as understanding how they and their company are making the world a better place for everyone to live in. Or it can mean something much simpler such as feeling as though they contribute to a team goal and do good, quality work every day. Either way, some level of satisfaction and purpose in a job is closely linked to happy employees.
Employees that have found passion in the work that they accomplish at their jobs are also most likely the most productive employees. Often times, they are the ones that are pushing new ideas and collaborative efforts that can propel their companies to success. In fact, some of the fastest growing companies also house the most satisfied employees.
Those that do not enjoy their jobs as much may struggle to find the motivation to finish basic tasks, which can be a limiting factor when it comes to employee reviews, qualifying for raises, or getting a promotion. Luckily, there are a number of small ways in which to increase both workplace happiness and productivity. Generally, these include things such as eating healthy, exercising during breaks, and making workplace friendships.
Finally, employees that are passionate about their careers are more likely to become a part of creating a healthy company culture. For instance, employees that have found meaning in their work may be willing to join workplace organizations or participate in events outside of the workplace. It may not seem like much, but these types of activities can help build stronger relationships and create a positive feedback loop that make work even more pleasant.
This doesn’t mean that the only way to enjoy your career more is to participate in the company softball team. Rather, it suggests those that become more invested in improving the culture of their workplace are more likely to love where they work. Becoming involved through company clubs, sports leagues, or off-site events can be a great way to make friends, network, and build a resume as well.
Individuals that are able to find careers that they care deeply about experience a significant number of additional benefits that unhappy employees don’t. For instance, they tend to have much better workplace mental health, are more productive, and often get the added benefit of integrating themselves further into the company through participation in workplace activities. If you find yourself in the category of dissatisfied employees, maybe it is time to find a career you’re passionate about.
Brittni Brown is a current graduate student at the University of Idaho. In her free time she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, biking, and camping.