Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3 Reasons You Need To Love What You Do

As a behavioural psychologist and career advisor I tell people that it is essential they discover what they were simply born to do. It is essential that you love your work.

Most people feel I am being unrealistic when I say this. They will say things like “times are hard. Jobs are scarce. You should be grateful to have a job at all”. But I have to tell you that unless you love what you do, you cannot expect any job security. You cannot expect and sustained career success. You cannot expect to earn any significant income and you cannot expect to get a promotion or a pay rise.

Here are the three reasons for this:

1) You need to invest 10,000 hours

To secure your position in the job market. To have people headhunting you and to have job security for life, you need to move from being good at your job to being great at your job.

Only exceptional performance enjoys exceptional rewards and success. And if you are to become exceptional then you will have to invest about 10,000 hours of effort.

The 10,000 hours rule applies to everyone. Even Mozart put in his 10,000 hours. There was no doubt that Mozart was naturally gifted but the reality was that he had put in this 10,000 hours by the time he was seven years old.

Even when you are as passionate about your subject as Mozart was about music, it still gets tough. This is why you truly have to love what you do. It’s the only thing that will get you through the tough times.

Professional musicians experience this all the time, even the most naturally gifted musician will practice 4 to 8 hours per day for years. What you find is that the more natural talent they have, the more they practice.

2) You need to feel appreciated and that what you do matters

It doesn’t matter what it is you do or at what level you operate, there is something in the human psyche that insist on feeling appreciated and that what you do matters.

If you do not feel  that your work matters then it is very difficult to sustain it. This is one of the reasons we see people leaving highly paid jobs to do something that pays very little. It’s simply because they need to matter and not all jobs, no matter how well paid they are, matter.

Being appreciated is also a deeply held human need. You especially need to be appreciated for your work. When this is missing there is a big part of the psyche untended and it’s not sustainable.

It leads to work related stress. It leads to depression. It leads to all sorts of self destructive behaviour. The one thing we can do to change the world is to show a little more appreciation to those that provide some service to us.

3) You need to avoid work related stress

Work related stress kills people every day. You wouldn’t go on a building site without a hard hat. You wouldn’t drive a car without a seat belt. So why would you tolerate work related stress. Treat it like a punch in the face and avoid it with the same enthusiasm.

It’s because work related stress is not as obvious as a punch in the face that we tend to ignore it. Yet it will do more harm. It’s unlikely a punch in the face will kill you. But stress might.

Corporate culture has create a badge of honour to go with work related stress, so indirectly it encourages us to get some. Employers use it to control you and get more from you.

However it is very short sighted. Stress reduces productivity. It is bad for the individual and the company. Unfortunately many companies are too short sighted to see this. Don’t you make the same mistake.

You can control your stress. You have a choice on how you respond to nay given scenario and you ultimately have the choice to leave the job or the environment that is causing you stress. Stress is not something to be proud of. It’s not something to be ashamed of either. It should be treated as an industrial injury. The new legislation in the UK effectively does this but it has little teeth. Better that you take matters into your own hands and carefully manage or eliminate it.

So there you have three reasons you should love what you do. It’s not a privilege it’s your right and your very life may depend upon it. If you really want to enjoy success and good health then you must insist upon enjoying what you do.

Author Resource Box
Martin Gibbons has been teaching “love what you do” for over ten years. He writes about personality, psychology and careers. He is an authority on personality profiling and the founder of

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