From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide to How to Enjoy Work [In 4 Steps]

Imagine yourself in the elevator of a tall building, the building that you’re very familiar with. 

You’re moving up slowly through the floors, leading yourself to the floor that maybe the last five years of your life have passed in. 

You’re walking towards your desk and thinking of all the work you have to put in for today.
Although it’s nothing extraordinary, it’s the same amount of work you had to put in yesterday and will put in tomorrow. 

You sit down to think about where your life is moving towards as the dishes of your meals cumulate more and more in your kitchen sink. You realize that the job you applied for five years ago has now become your life.

The tone doesn’t have dark all the time, but one can’t help but wonder if it’s ever possible to transform a person’s relationship with work from a surviving story to a thriving adventure.
The topic is open for countless discussions. There have been many studies to organize this relationship. 

With psychology’s unstoppable increase in research, determining factors such as motivation, productivity, efficiency, and communication have stepped into the scene as regulators of a person’s relationship with his work.

The focus point of the studies is usually finding a reasonable balance with the needs of the company and the employees. 

However, someone’s approach to work-life is not definite enough to be scoped down into scientific variables. It’s, more than anything, a personal story, and each person needs to consider certain aspects to take control of their work life. 

Admit that working will always be a part of your life

“Duh?” right? Sure, it does sound simple to say that working will be an inseparable part of our lives because it’s already the reality of it. However, there’s a deeper meaning to it than it seems.
As we progress towards life and come to the point where we have to work, we try to find a job and start our career as soon as possible. But did we admit the fact that it was going to be the new center of our lives?

Let’s be realistic for a moment; from a life where we had few responsibilities, we advance into a new one that comes with numerous responsibilities. No one can achieve this transformation smoothly. So, what’s the critical point in incorporating our jobs into our lives?

The most important thing is to remember that work is not a burden but the new environment that you step into. 

One of the most common misconceptions about work-life is deeming it the manager of our life. No, having a job doesn’t, and should not, mean that you’re giving up on who you are, your dreams, and what you’ve been striving for the rest of your life. 

So, it would be best if you did not view your work life as your only life but replace it as an aspect of your life so far.

Define your life in the long term

When making a career decision for yourself, you have to consider what kind of life you’d like to live in the long term. You may ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you be happier in an office environment, or would you instead prefer working remotely?
  • Do you see yourself more fit for productive positions, or will you be better by being a doer?
  • Is traveling your bread and butter, or would you prefer living a more stable life?
  • Do you want to commit yourself entirely to your job, or do you think you should create another environment other than your job? 

It would help if you answered these questions to achieve control over your work life.

Mark your future milestones

Do you have specific milestones envisioned for your life? In other words, do you plan to make some major changes in your life throughout your career? 
For instance, is there another country you’d like to move to? 
Maybe you’d like to get married and have kids in the future?
A post-graduate education, buying a house, and many more can be defined as milestones. Clarifying such milestones for your life will help you better understand how you will approach your work life in general.

If you’re aspiring for an overseas opportunity and the job you currently have is open for such, maybe it’s worth the effort and time you’re putting in.

Understand your characteristics

Finally, and maybe the most important one, it is fundamental for you to find a link between your characteristics and your job.

It’s not easy to choose a career path that matches our personalities; however, the important thing is to remember that the connection between your job and your personality doesn’t have to be 100%.
The key point here is to find a solid connection to motivate you to commit to your work life. It might even be a subtle point; for example, maybe you don’t fit the work you’re doing; but you get satisfaction through the prestige it brings. 

Another example could be when you are not content with the money you’re making, but you can produce by your creative nature.

The possibilities are infinite, but you must establish a work-life that somehow satisfies you on a personal level as well. Because at the end of the day, you can only be happy as long as you feed your soul.

So, what can one achieve through going through those questions above?
In its simplest sense, it allows you to take control of your relationship with your work life. When you feel like you are getting control of things, you’ll find in yourself that you have the strength to master your work life and turn your story from surviving to thriving.



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