Episode 277 Love What You Do: Creating Job Satisfaction in Any Role


Uncover the key to job satisfaction and career fulfilment in any role with Anna Lundberg as she shares strategies for loving your work.

In this week’s episode, host Anna Lundberg discusses how to increase job satisfaction and find joy and fulfilment in any role. She delves into the importance of aligning work with personal values, finding enjoyment in daily tasks, and seeking opportunities for growth and development. Join us as we uncover practical tips, mindset shifts, and considerations for when it might be time for a change. Stay tuned as we delve into ways to create a more fulfilling and enjoyable work experience.

00:00 Passion for work leads to job satisfaction.

05:28 Seek new approach, leverage strengths, express gratitude.

06:56 Gratitude, growth mindset, resilience, and self-care.

10:16 Adapt and grow through multiple careers. Consider priorities.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring – If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

Job Satisfaction

I talk about doing work that you love in the way that you want. And for me, the easiest way or the most powerful way to have freedom over doing work that you love in the way that you want is to have your own business. However, I absolutely believe that you can love what you do and more and more have more freedom in the way you do it, within a corporate context as well. So today I want to look at how can you increase that love for what you do? How can you bring more, and I say satisfaction, but that’s just not enough for me, more enjoyment, more passion, more interest and excitement, I suppose from the company’s perspective, more engagement and greater loyalty, then to the company, to the organisation, perhaps greater alignment with the values of the organisation as well. Whatever your job right now, yes, there may be a need to pivot and to change to a different company or role, but let’s look also at how can we increase that joy and love for what you do in your current role. So, job satisfaction, like I said, it’s not the most exciting term, is it? But ultimately, I’m a big believer that we should enjoy our work. We talked about how to create more passion in your work a couple of weeks ago.

It feels like a very dispassionate measure, but in the grand schemes of things, of the different philosophies, the idea that work should be work and we shouldn’t care about it, I stand firmly in the camp of yes, I do think we should be passionate about work and love what we do. Now, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to love every single second of it, doesn’t mean that we can just, I think, live on the beach and now and then move the mouse around on our computer. I also don’t think that’s what’s going to bring satisfaction, for what it’s worth. But ultimately it comes down to what are your criteria for job satisfaction? Meaning, of course, what does success look like for you? So as a first step, why don’t you really evaluate your level of job satisfaction? Right, you can go out of ten, how satisfied do I feel about my job, my business, my work? You can look at things like work life balance, alignment with your personal values, feeling challenged, feeling fulfilled. I’m sure if you google, there might be sort of a checklist, but really it’s about the things that you value. So step one, what are the dream factors? I suppose for a job for you, why don’t you do that? And then step two, okay, which of those do you tick now? Now, I think part of this is about enjoying the work and enjoying could be your. We talked about network last week, right? It could be your colleagues, it could be the fun that you have with your friends in the office. Right.

Certainly in our was really important and valuable and a lot of friendships were formed in those years. It could be in the flexibility that the work affords you. It gives you a good salary and allows you to pick up the kids after school or stay home to care for your family when needed and so on. Right. So there are lots of factors when it comes to enjoying and valuing the work that you do. It could be that you’re doing really meaningful work and you really feel aligned to the purpose of the organisation. You feel like you’re making a difference, perhaps. Ideally we’d have all of these and depending on where you are today, that may be more or less possible.

So how can you create more fulfilment? Let’s assume there is a gap between where you are today and this ideal list of criteria of how you’d like to feel. Right. Well, the obvious thing to do is sort of add more of the good stuff, right. So you need to understand, and again, go back a couple of weeks to listen to that episode about creating passion and being passionate about the work you do. But you need to understand what you’re passionate about, what you enjoy, what are the factors that are important for you in order to create more of that? But a couple of obvious suggestions would be, are there new projects or initiatives within your current role that could break the monotony if you’re feeling a bit bored or create opportunities to learn new skills or work with different teams, maybe you’re just feeling a bit stagnant and you’re looking for those new projects that can also obviously demonstrate to your leadership that you’re taking the initiative and then you’re perhaps ready for promotion in due course and so on. Right. So lots of positive implications from that. If you’re running your own business, you know, how can you hesitate to, say, launch a new programme? Because you don’t want to be constantly launching new offers and things.

But certainly, look at how could you run an event or create something, do something differently that will bring a bit of a new energy and excitement into your work. Right. The second obvious area is to look for development opportunities. So if you’re running your own business, you’re in charge of your own training and development. So is there a course, whether formal, learning, informal, possibly a bigger, more comprehensive programme? If you’re really clear on reskilling in a particular area, but more likely some shorter courses or workshops and conferences that you can attend, listen to podcasts and so on. Right. Maybe look for a mentor within the organisation to help you navigate the next stage of your career and of the business. Or maybe more subtle but also very powerful, is to change your approach to the current tasks.

If you’re feeling like, oh, this is just so routine, and I’ve done this so many times, is there a new way that you can approach your work? Can you really look at the impact you’re creating through the work that you’re doing? Maybe find a way to bring more of your unique strengths and interests into the work that you’re doing? Funny enough, the idea that comes to mind was someone who I follow on a podcast actually lost interest a little bit in her work that she’s doing. And from the outside I thought, wow, my goodness, she’s so successful. But she has become now an expert on AI in the self publishing industry. It’s Joanna Penn. I’ve talked about her before for the record, the creator Penn, and she’s hugely successful in publishing books and helping people to publish her own books and so on. But she has reinvigorated her business and her passion for her business because she’s found this interest intrigue in the world of artificial intelligence. So is there some new technology or new way of doing things that could reenergize you with your work? So that’s kind of how you can practically create more enjoyment in your current work. But of course, mindset is really huge, right? And I think, gosh, it’s so easy to say this, but being grateful, expressing gratitude to ourselves and to perhaps our boss or our partner or our clients, whatever it is, to really reflect on the aspects of the work that we do that we’re really grateful for.

Maybe you feel frustrated that you don’t get to do this thing that you really want to do or get that next promotion, or you’re not quite earning as much as you wanted to in your business yet. But remember that you have clients who are paying you their money, trusting you to work with them and to support them on their most important priorities in their life, you perhaps have, again, really good, flexible working hours. So although the work itself is not as exciting as it could be, that flexibility allows you to live your life in a more flexible way, to, again, to be a carer, to take care of your health and well being, to perhaps pursue your hobies a bit more, whatever that might be. Right. Or maybe it’s the salary that you can be grateful for that allows you to buy the things you want and so on, right? So I think gratitude is really, really important then growth mindset is something we’ve talked about a lot on this podcast, but really, again, thinking about how can we get out of that comfort zone, how can we look for challenges as opportunities, by the way? So whether we create those challenges ourselves with those new projects or things, or perhaps we’re finding work really frustrating right now, can we shift our perspective on those challenges and see them as opportunities to learn and grow? Whether it’s a terrible boss, we can learn how not to be as a leader, right? Or how can we stay calm and positive and protect our team members from that toxic leadership, for example? How can you embrace those challenges and possible setbacks as learning experiences? And then related to that, I always talk about resilience as well, right? So how can you try to maintain a positive outlook despite those ups and downs? Looking at what might be a realistic goal to set, what kind of support might you need to look for? And how can you, if needed, create more space for rest and play and being compassionate with yourself, taking care of yourself. And then finally, because sometimes this is necessary, you’re not going to be able to bring the joy back, you’re not going to find the satisfaction in your current role or business and so on. Now, if it’s your business, you have basically every freedom to evolve exactly as you want to. So it’s almost difficult in itself. 

It’s hard to turn your back on something that’s been working. If it’s not working so well, you know, it’s a little bit easier maybe to close that chapter, start again. But if you’re not able to bring back that passion, if there are no opportunities, if that work dissatisfaction really persists despite attempts at reframing things and being grateful and getting support and doing all these things we’ve talked about, then maybe, or maybe there’s a massive misalignment with your personal values. Maybe it is time to then look for a bigger change. As ever, you don’t need to take a huge leap and quit today and go cold turkey. Probably not the right thing. Unless of course, the work really is causing you issues from a health perspective and there’s a real values misalignment and so on. Generally something a bit more soft, a bit more gradual will be more effective.

And then the reality is most of us are going to have multiple, not just jobs and roles, but careers in our life. So see that as a natural path of professional growth. See it as an opportunity to develop personally, professionally and ultimately you’ll be surprised, I’m sure, by how much things can change in quite a short space of time. So a bit of a kind of a stream of consciousness there about how we can enjoy work more. Again, have a listen to last couple of weeks of episodes if you are looking for new opportunities, the networking that we talked about last week can be pretty powerful. But think about okay, as I said right at the beginning, what is your ideal? What are the things that matter for you? One of my first bosses ever said, when considering the next role, what are your criteria? What are the non negotiables and what are the kind of the nice to haves? So maybe work life balance, flexibility, the hours are really absolutely non negotiable for you right now. Maybe you could compromise a little bit on the salary or whatever the criteria are for you getting really clear on what that ideal scenario would look like. Secondly, looking at where you are today and what those gaps are.

And then third, looking at what steps you can take. So whether they be short term, things like talking to your manager, talking to your team, trying to adjust your role, create new projects and opportunities and things within your existing role and business, or longer term skills development, or transitioning to a different role, different industry, or different career entirely. So really looking forward towards your thoughts on this one. Job satisfaction, it just sounds like such a low bar, doesn’t it? So it’s so much more than that for me, being satisfied with job. I know it’s a privilege, but it feels like it’s not quite enough. Maybe for most of us these days, and certainly all the data shows that more and more people are questioning and wanting more purpose and value and passion for what they do. So I think this can only be a good thing. And especially we mentioned AI briefly.

Ideally, artificial intelligence is going to take away some of that drudgery and the boring routine tasks, allowing us, in theory each to be more creative and do more fulfilling work. So here’s to that future. Thanks so much for listening. And next week I have the final episode on this theme of love for February, which will be an interview with someone who looks at how you can be as successful in your relationships as you are in your career. So super interesting one. Hope you join me then. Bye for now.


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1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring.


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