Fall (Back) In Love With Your Work

‘Tis the season of red and pink and hearts everywhere you go. We’re being encouraged by the marketing gurus to spoil our spouses and delight our dates with all the stuff and things to tell them just how much we really care.

Perhaps Valentine’s Day fills you with lovestruck glee as you organise a lavish celebration. Maybe you sit at the other end of the spectrum as you step up onto your soapbox, insisting it’s all a marketing scam. Maybe you sit somewhere betwixt the two!

This year, as you tuck into overpriced chocolates or attempt to avoid the day unscathed by the hearts whacking you in the face, why not consider thinking about the relationship that takes us a third of our entire lives – the one we have with our work…

Rose-Tinted Spectacles

Our working lives have many dimensions and our relationships with different areas can be complex and complicated. We have the work itself, the people we directly work with, our bosses, customers, clients, partners, other people, other teams, the leadership and that omnipotent being we call “the organisation” (and this list is only scratching the surface!).

Our level of love can range from the rose-tinted spectacled, totally besotted throws of passion (the honeymoon period), to the “I know you by heart” phase where everything is in flow, to the “better the devil you know” when the reality comes in to view and of course the “I wish I never had to see you again” of the impending break up… and all of these can apply to the different types of work relationships – the possibilities are almost endless.

You could be feeling wonderful about our team yet feeling un-connected with this work itself.  Perhaps you’re ready to break up with the organisation yet you’re loving your customers. Maybe your organisation does inspirational work that you love, yet the team isn’t quite your cup of tea.

Feel the Love

Whether it’s a small niggle or you’re heading towards a separation, why not consider a few things to help you feel more of the work-related love:

  • Remind yourself why you decided to hook up this job in the first place? At some point you chose to move in together – there must have been a reason (even if it was a “you’ll do for now”!).  Have you lost sight of that connection and it just needs sewing back together? Has it been lost over time or through change? Does that reason no longer serve you as it once did?
  • Go on a new first date with your work! Dive deeper into your projects, get to know your team better or seek out what’s going on in the far-flung reaches of your organisation. Have a poke around the nooks and crannies and see what you might find. Did you find anything unexpected or exciting? Or is there genuinely nothing left to explore? Has the relationship run its course?
  • Choose to put on your rose-tinted spectacles for a while. Spend some time focussing on the good stuff and working out where the joy comes from*. Could building an even stronger relationship with the good stuff might outweigh the “it’s complicated” areas? Would a little extra effort in a challenging area go a long way? Or are the rose-tinted spectacles not strong enough to deal with the darkness?
  • Go on a work safari. Allow yourself to explore new roles, teams, and organisations to see how a new or different relationship might fit. Explore the different elements, get a tour guide, seek out feedback from the locals and consider the good, the bad and the ugly. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it a mirage? Or is it like a tatty old town for you now?


Always remember you have choices. Even if there is no such thing as a perfect job, team or organisation, you can craft a working world that fits you well. A world where you can bask in the joy, enjoy spending your time there and be able to negate the little niggles – because overall, you’re comfy together.

Maybe it’s not a forever thing. Maybe it’s right for right now.  Perhaps you’ll meet a new organisation, your eyes meeting across a job advert, a new manager coming to sweep you off your feet! For now, in the words of Stephen Stills (from back in the day!)

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with…”

Stephen Stills

*check out my free WorkJoy: Where Do You Get Yours experiment to help you with this quest!





Fall (Back) In Love With Your Work

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