Are you passionate about the work you do? Do you love what you do? If not, think about what you can do about it. Hating your job is not good for your health (or the health of those around you).

We spend too much of our day working not to love what we’re doing. Research indicates it’s bad for your health to work at a job you don’t like. Most of us can’t just change on a whim because there are reasons we need to work. Like all those bills to pay and mouths to feed.

As I approach my 60th birthday some of these questions are gnawing at me. It’s why I’m trying to refocus my business. I love helping to solve communication problems, but I want to work with clients I love. I want to work for food companies because that inspires me. The people I’ve met in the food world are inspiring, fun and innovative. I want to do that too.

If you can’t change your profession or your job, what can you do?

  • Control your work hours. Today we’re connected to our jobs 24 hours a day, but you can change that. Set a deadline after which you’ll turn the phone and computer off and pour yourself a glass of Washington wine, or go for a walk (and then have that wine).
  • Use your non-work time to do what you love. For me, that’s cooking, gardening or volunteer work. Whatever you choose, make it something you enjoy doing.
  • Go back to school to learn more about your passion. Take an art class if you’ve always wanted to be a painter. Cooking classes are everywhere today if you love food. Whether it’s one class or a full degree, take the time to get some formal training in what you love.

Before you jump into what you think you’re passionate about, take a minute to make sure it’s your passion. After all, life is too short to spend a lot of time doing things you don’t enjoy. Think about whether or you’d rather eat or sleep than do your passion. Do you care if you get paid to do it? What in your life would you give up do this all day every day. The answers to those questions might help you realize whether you have discovered your true passion.

It’s scary isn’t it. If you’re passionate about something you’re more likely to be good at it. No faking as people can see right through phoniness.

What do you want to do when you grow up? Or, are you like me and never want to grow up. But that’s a subject for another week.

Photo credit: Katie Gatti