In any economy, employment is a blessing. Still when delivering corporate training seminars, I meet many people who are dissatisfied with and burnt out by their jobs. This is not being ungrateful – it’s being human. Do you love your job? Does your work fulfill you? If you are unhappy and disconnected with your current position, maybe it’s time for a change. And, I don’t mean quitting your job to find a new one, although this may be a long-term goal. I mean taking a different approach to connecting with your job and making your work more enjoyable, if not meaningful. Let’s call this creating work chemistry.
Love vs. Work
Chemistry is most often associated with romantic relationships. You either feel it, or you don’t. For example, you know someone who seems like a logical match in terms of lifestyle and goals, but physically and emotionally there is no connection. No chemistry. The dynamic lacks the type of energy and passion needed for a great love affair to develop. When it comes to romance, chemistry cannot be forced.
Along those same lines, consider how chemistry can be created at work. Jobs may match our credentials and skills but not satisfy our passions. It’s rare to love every aspect of our professional position and organization all the time. Yet, leaving jobs because we’re not feeling connected and attracted to our work may not be possible for financial and other reasons. And so, it is useful and often necessary to combine logical and emotional approaches to create work chemistry, thus infusing new energy and passion into how we show up in our jobs.
Logical and Emotional Approaches
At first, trying to create work chemistry may feel like forcing a fit. Yet, what are the alternatives? Feeling disempowered and stuck everyday or walking an employment line? Sometimes we have to approach work with fresh perspectives to create a mini-love-affair of sorts – if not with our job – with ourselves while we do it. Focusing on and appreciating what we do really well and most enjoy on the job are smart anchoring points.
To generate work chemistry, we must first choose to logically acknowledge the purposes that our job serves in the present time and space. Paying the bills is a big one. Then, we must choose to emotionally connect to certain aspects of our job that feel most authentic and worthwhile like problem-solving, meeting deadlines or providing outstanding customer service.
In this way, we leverage the job to serve and empower us rather than allowing it to drain us. Otherwise, we go through the motions of daily roles and responsibilities with little motivation and negative attitudes that take physical and emotional tolls on our well being overtime.
Tips to create work chemistry
- Set one or two new goals for yourself within your current role. Proactively discuss your ideas with supervisors for approval and support.
- Research the new skills and education necessary to move into the role you aspire to hold. Find out what assistance your current organization can provide and create a training plan.
- If uninterested in setting new goals or acquiring additional skills, accept your current job for the purposes it serves. Find ways to fuel your passions outside of work and create more work-life balance.
Changing our approach to work can result in valuable insights about professional strengths and weaknesses as well as personal passions. In healthy ways, being logically and emotionally connected at work makes sense and feels better – whether we are in love with our jobs or not. The formula for creating work chemistry is based on working with rather than against ourselves.