We’re in the countdown to Christmas. The advent calendars are being opened, and and we’ve got four reflective blogs for you, using four words associated with this season, but applying them to the workplace. We hope they’re an encouragement to you, and give you something to ponder. Enjoy…

In this final crescendo, we look at love.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you that you have to love your work or love your colleagues… well not in a romantic way anyway.

Let’s start with you. Love for you can look like self-respect, and boundaries in your working. Love for you can look like giving everything your best shot so that you know you did your best. Love for you can look like working hard to achieve something amazing, and also look like looking after yourself and taking a day off when you’re unwell. Loving yourself is about being kind to yourself, and not about being your own worst critic or beating yourself up. Loving yourself is about being fair to yourself, and treating yourself like you would a good friend.

Let’s move on to others. Your close colleagues/ team. Let’s remember that in normal times (pre-covid when you worked in the office) you spend more waking time with them than your family, or any close loved ones. Let’s remember that even if you do/ are working from home, your concentration is probably still on them more, and you’re probably even taking your thoughts more easily beyond the boundaried hours of work as the separation between spaces is harder to maintain. If you can love these people, for goodness sake love them. Your experience of work will be more enjoyable, and theirs will be too. Seek out the lovable things in each of them – what they’re passionate about, what motivates them and what matters too them. Humans are not ‘assets’ or ‘resources’, they’re people, with lives and loves. Take a genuine interest. Who are the people you connect with?

Joy is love rejoicing

Peace is love at rest

Patience is love waiting

Kindness is love interacting

It’s easier to find work you love when it aligns to your values. When you seek out a new role, look into the company ethos, ask about the culture, and at interview make sure that their goals are something you can jump on board with. What are your strongest values? How are your values aligned in your workplace?

Positive impact always makes a difference too. If you know the work you’re completing is helping someone somewhere, or making a positive impact, it can encourage and motivate you to love your work. What positive impact are you making/ do you want to make?

The absence of loving your work can be demoralising and exhausting. It can be disappointing, frustrating and hard. If you’re not loving your work, have you considered a mentor? A mentor may be able to help you reflect on the areas you can grow to love, or how to move into a position that you might love more.

I guess the aim is that we all work in a job we love. But the hard news is, to get there, we may have to work in some jobs we don’t love. And that’s ok.

A physician once said ‘the best medicine for humans is love’.

Someone asked, ‘what if it doesn’t work?’

He smiled, and said ‘Increase the dose’.

If you’re in a situation of working that you’re not loving, here’s a few practical tips to help you find some love in it whilst you’re in that place:

  • Personalise your workspace. Add a photo of people you spend your weekends with, or a quote that reminds you what you’re working for/ towards.
  • Create a playlist of music that you love, which you may be able to listen to in headphones as you work, or can at least look forward to on your journey home.
  • Encourage others. This can be a culture-changing exercise for an office. Make it your secret mission to see how often you can speak highly of others. See how often you can say amazing things about people to their faces, and to others in their absence.
  • Practice and attitude of gratitude. Each day, write 3 things your thankful for. It can be any time of day, and on hard days all 3 things don’t have to be connected to work, but the more you look for those things, the more you’ll find or create them.

Don’t forget, over this Christmas break, we continue to be here for you. Our Live Chat is available for you at the below times, and accessible via the Careers & Enterprise Hub, or you can email us on careers@canterbury.ac.uk and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can in January.

If you have any more ideas for others, feel free to add them in the comments below.

Getting further support from The Careers and Enterprise Team at CCCU

You can get ongoing careers support via the following ways: