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Loving Your Work

Work has always meant fatigue. And there is no doubt that work is tiring, it requires sacrifice, effort, and pain: physical, mental, and sensory fatigue.

There is an element that has made work rise from the simple description of a physical or psychological effort to a higher dimension, linked to the goal that is pursued: it is dignity, individual fulfillment, and satisfaction of needs.

We can understand, in any case, that associating the verb “to love” with the verb “to work” may seem like a possibility reserved only for the lucky few, the privileged, perhaps deluded.

Yet, the concept of love plays a fundamental role in the life of each of us, and affects all spheres of our life, including work. You can cultivate love for a person, for a value, for an idea, for an activity, for a goal, and so on.

Love for work, in particular, gives us strength and self-esteem, and for this reason, we hope that everyone will be able to love their job, or find a job to love because, regardless of the type of work we do, our skills, our age, etc., when we can bring together the verb to work with the verb to love, our whole life benefits from it in terms of energy, creativity, reliability, quality, and ability to face the inevitable difficulties that every job entails.

Unfortunately, some studies and surveys seem to attest that the percentage of people who believe they love their job is low in all countries, with an average of around 12% of the total employed. All the others are divided between those who hate the job they do and those who experience a neutral feeling of indifference.

And instead, when you do a job you love, the probability of being able to work well producing “well-being” for yourself and for others is also higher, or at least you get this result by paying lower personal costs than those who must do more effort to try himself to work well even if he hates or tolerates his job.

One can love your job whatever you do. We must not fall into the trap of thinking that only those who do prestigious, noble, well-paid, perhaps artistic, or otherwise notorious jobs can love their work. Establishing a loving relationship with one’s work depends more on the person’s aptitude, will, passion, interest and, I would say, conscientiousness than on external factors. Therefore every job can be the object of love: from the simplest or humblest ones, to the most complex and coveted ones; and every person can be capable of loving their job, regardless of age, skills, qualification, role, etc.

People who love their work can be seen with the naked eye, we realize it by how they move, by what they say, by the gestures they make, by the decisions they make, by the way, they deal with difficulties. And, even if they are rare as mentioned above, we all know very well how to distinguish a person who loves his job from one who tolerates or hates it: the former, in fact, will show more attention, more interest, more kindness, more professionalism and it will most likely give us a feeling of sincerity, energy, and passion.

People who love their work are more resilient, more self-confident, generous, creative, sociable, energetic, innovative, and oriented towards continuous improvement.

Loving your job certainly gives you an edge and helps you to better face all the challenges and difficulties that every type of work inevitably poses. Because the love for one’s work gives more strength and courage, nourishes self-esteem, and makes us want to improve ourselves and take care of ourselves and of others.

Those who love their work essentially recognize that the work they are doing has a strong sense, a profound meaning: that is, they have managed to grasp that their work makes a useful contribution to something greater and more important, for themselves and for others, and this thought makes them proud and satisfied with what they are doing.

There is a little story that sums this up well: A traveler met three stonecutters and asked all three what they were doing. The first replied, with a certain hatred “I’m breaking stones”, the second replied, with a certain serenity “I break stones to support my family”, the third replied, with great pride, “I am building a cathedral”.

Moral: A person who thinks that work is a way of expressing one’s identity and worth, and not just an effort or a duty or a sentence, is more likely to be able to love one’s job.

In fact, a basic ingredient for being able to love one’s job is just the idea that work, whatever it is, can give us the opportunity to express our uniqueness, our values, our desire to contribute positively to the life of the society we live.

There are so many different ways to be able to do the job one loves. It takes patience and tenacity and it also takes an attitude of curiosity and sincere openness. You need to know yourself, understand your strengths and weaknesses, the humility to understand that we also need others to complete us. It takes the willingness to get involved, to experiment, to make concrete gestures, to make mistakes and to admit one’s mistakes. It takes constant commitment and the deep conviction that we really need and want to put together the verb to work with the verb to love. And, what’s very important, one can learn to love the job you do even if it’s not the one you dream of. One of the most outstanding skills of happy people, or those who have a more serene approach to life, is to be able to appreciate what they have. To succeed in many cases they adopt one or more of these tricks: they manage to keep the positive aspects distinct from the negative ones, and show sincere gratitude for the positive ones; they cultivate alliances with positive people; they try, even gradually, to modify some negative aspect or to strengthen some positive aspect; they try not to be prejudiced against the work they do, or the context in which they do it, and not to take anything personally; they don’t put themselves in a victim position.

Many people find themselves doing a job they didn’t choose (because they had no other choice) or this job can be a long way from their dream job (assuming one has a clear idea about what own dream job is). But even in this case, deciding to be passive or active, interested or unmotivated, victim or perpetrator is, however, up to us. Just as we choose, in our lives, to feel affection and to take care of people or things that we have not chosen and that are far from our ideals. Moreover, very often, true love is born and proves itself precisely when we are capable of loving the imperfect and the unexpected. Why not apply all of this to work as well?

Of course, loving your job doesn’t mean it’s always all rosy.

No love is linear, there are ups and downs, there are crises and rebirths, there are illusions and disappointments, and there are perfect moments and moments to erase. Usually, however, what love gives us is precisely the strength to overcome the most difficult moments, not to avoid them. As with any other type of love, there are loves that are more serene, others more turbulent, others even more contradictory, and so on. Of course, the important thing is not to make comparisons between one’s own story and those of others. Everyone has the opportunity to find their own personal way of loving their work.

Loving your work means taking care of it every day without taking anything for granted, nurturing it constantly, giving yourself time to think about what you can do new, different, and better, always setting new goals, and new opportunities, and always being present and attentive without leaving our work in the hands of autopilot, routine, “it’s always done like this”.

People who love their work are more likely to do well, to be appreciated and recognized by others, and become indispensable.

The art of working is also the art of learning to love your job or finding a job to love!

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Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

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