When I landed a job as an assistant at a large management firm, I thought I’d made it.
This management firm, in particular, was my “dream company” and I honestly thought it would take me a few years to get there. I took me one year after college.
My boss at my first job presented the opportunity, and I pounced on it. Call it luck, perfect timing or destiny; it was not a chance to be missed. With the support of my boss, I quit my job at the talent agency. A week later I was an assistant to a talent manager at the best management firm in the business. Everything worked out. I was on my way.
Fast forward three months.
Every morning I was faced with two options. Get out of bed and drag myself into office hell or stay in bed and pretend I didn’t exist.
My work day would start before I even got to the office. On my commute, I’d force myself to check my email and see the fires I’d be putting out all day.
When I arrived at my desk by 10:00 am I was usually greeted by a ringing phone, which was my boss calling to ream me out for a mistake. A great start to my 12 hour day.
My boss had a remarkable aptitude for crushing my dreams. Working for her caused my inspiration to be a talent manager to suffer a long, slow and painful death. I had never been this unhappy or lost.
I worked non-stop. When I left the office, I went home and worked more. I worked on weekends remotely. I cancelled plans to work instead. Everything was time sensitive. Everything was a high priority, yet none of it mattered to me anymore.
Being an assistant to a talent manager is the most direct path to becoming one. It’s like grad school for the entertainment industry. But it’s an awful, grueling process. Most people hold the assistant title proudly for at least five years before becoming a junior agent or manager. You have to pay your dues.
I have thick skin. I expected the job to be challenging and miserable at times, but not change who I was as a person. Even the thickest skin will break eventually.
I lasted three months.
The final straw came via email at 1:00 am when I was sleeping. I woke up that morning to a disaster, as usual, because a client didn’t have a car to the airport. This client wasn’t famous or a diva. I’m sure if he was in a bind, he could have booked the car himself. Anyway, my boss called me that morning for her daily 10:00 am scolding session, and when she arrived an hour later, I handed her my resignation letter.
Fast forward to now, six months later.
I have so much time. Working a 9-5 job is a blessing, and I thank the job gods every day for it. I get to see my friends. I work with amazing people. My boss is great. Most importantly, she trusts me. My work barely feels like work.
I appreciate these things because I’ve seen the worst of it, but loving my job has completely changed my life.
I used to say to myself, “I love my job,” just to keep my head above water. I reminded myself constantly that all this sh*t work would pay off and in a few years I’d become an agent or manager. I was lying to myself.
When I say it now, I mean it.
After six months working at Elite Daily, I can already see how genuinely enjoying your work helps you improve as a person as well as improve your life.
Aside from telling you what happens when you love your job, I’m giving you ways to make you like your job more if you’re not quite there yet.
Your work barely feels like work
When your work is interesting to you, it hardly seems like work. Yes, every job on the planet has some sucky administrative or repetitive parts. When you start loving your job, the responsibilities you genuinely enjoy overshadow the dull ones.
For example, I have to make reports every week. It’s tedious and takes a few hours, but I like analyzing the information afterwards.
If you’re in the type of job that allows for some wiggle room, communicate to your boss that you enjoy certain aspects of your work and want to pursue them further (on top of your responsibilities of course). It lets your boss know what you’re most interested in so when relevant opportunities pop up, they’ll be more likely to bring them to you first.
You want to learn more about your field
You naturally want to explore deeper when you love something. When you fall in love with a person or hobby, you want to learn as much as you can about them/it. Same goes for a job. And generally, the more you learn, the more reasons you find to love your work.
Bonus: learning about your industry makes you a more valuable employee. Loving your job is a win for you and the company you work for.
In my last job, I came to dislike the talent representation industry so much I couldn’t absorb any new information. In my current job, my interest in learning the ins and outs grows every month.
If you’ve been in a role or specific industry for years, try learning more about relevant skills or explore other avenues surrounding your job. Learning that stuff might not feel like it’s necessary to do good work, but gaining applicable knowledge gives you insight you never thought would be useful. It will also provide a more creative approach to the work you already do, keeping your job fresh and fun.
It shows, and it’s contagious
Positivity and negativity in the workplace are both contagious. Some people in your work environment probably hate their jobs, and some love it. There’s usually a mix. By paying close attention, I’m sure you can easily pick out who’s happy and who’s not.
I’d like to believe that people like working with me because I have a positive attitude about work. It shows. There’s no dark cloud over my head when I’m walking around the office and talking to coworkers. I’d like to think my great work ethic motivates others to improve theirs, even if we don’t talk about it. People take note of who hustles. Are you a hustler? Or do you phone it in every day?
Slumps happen, and like anything else, your feelings about work will have ups and downs. I can’t love my job the same amount every day. Here are some ways to beat work slump and fall back in love with your job.
- See your job in a new way. I like to see my role as a recruiter as helping writers develop their careers to get over the repetitiveness of outreach.
- Get to know and talk to coworkers you don’t normally socialize with.
- Take a break. Whether it’s a personal day or a few days off, coming back to work with a fresh and clear mind can help a lot.
- Come in early and get productive. Accomplishing items that have been on your to-do list forever will boost motivation.
- Remember the big picture. What is your track? Why are you working this job in the first place? What is your company’s goal and how are you helping reach it?
You’re inspired to do other projects outside of work
Loving the work you do will inspire you to pursue hobbies and projects outside of work. With nothing work related weighing you down, you feel like you can accomplish anything.
Being stuck in a job you hate sucks energy away from what you love. When you get home from work, the thought of being productive makes you nauseous. You just want to plop down on your bed with your laptop on your chest and watch Netflix until you drift off.
When you love your job, you find yourself with more energy and motivation to do other things you enjoy. Whether your goals are to work out more, take a photography class, learn how to code or start side hustling, it all becomes easier when you’re happy at your day job.
Maybe you like your job but still struggle with finding time for what you love. When working to carve out time, it’s hard to start immediately with a three-hour chunk of the precious free time you have.
Start small. Carve out thirty minutes to one hour to do something not work-related. It doesn’t have to be productive unless you’re a productivity-addicted weirdo like me who just wants to cook in their free time.
Allow yourself to indulge. You deserve to explore your hobbies and interests! Mark this time on your schedule, turn off your phone and get to it.
You do a better job
When you love work, you do a better job. Or at least, you want to do a better job. Loving work makes it easier. You’re on track. You’re moving forward. You can see progress and find new insights every week. You’ll be looking for ways to streamline and innovate within your role. You become more of an asset to your company.
Loving my job has led me to prove myself as a valuable employee, which resulted in gaining trust from my supervisors. They give me a lot of leeway with testing different things as well as creative freedom. It’s awesome.
Work is more fulfilling and fun when it’s challenging. I’m not talking about challenging to the point of mental exhaustion, but it shouldn’t be too easy. Being on autopilot at work won’t make you happy. Don’t be a robot.
If you don’t feel challenged at your job, or you want to improve, talk to your supervisor. Present him or her with a few ideas of how your role can be better, or ask for a review. Even if your boss isn’t friendly, he or she should keep your overall happiness in mind. It’s more expensive to lose you as an employee than it is to keep you around. Meaning, they don’t want you to quit because you’re unhappy.
I got lucky. I fell into my current job when I was flailing through unemployment. I applied to so many random gigs, and this one just happened to click.
I truly believe that if you’re in a job that doesn’t do it for you, instead of focusing on ways to escape, try to love it first.
Before quitting my miserable assistant job, I kept reminding myself of what career path I was on. I focused on the goal of one day having my own clients and helping them with their careers.
I tried most of this stuff before quitting. I spoke to my boss. I expressed to her what I was interested in most. I did my best to innovate within my rigid role. I still found time for doing some fun stuff even though I worked 60 hours a week. I had to quit in the end. Now I’m in a job I love. I’m lucky it was only three months, and I had to go through that to get to where I am now.
Being happy at your job should be a priority. We spend 1/3 of our days at work. If it’s not working for you, take note. What don’t you like? Why aren’t you happy? It’s okay if the answer is you’re not making enough money. It’s okay if the answer is you don’t like your coworkers. Whatever it is, don’t ignore it. Let it be motivation for you to take action and make changes.