Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Career

3 Ways to Know if You Are Truly Enjoying Your Job

Confused if your job is the right fit? Look for these signs to clear the fog.

Key points

  • When work is unfulfilling, it can lead to burnout and negatively affect someone's personal relationships.
  • Satisfying work, on the other hand, enables a healthy balance with other interests.
  • Getting excited about work and the ability to enter a flow state are also signs of a good job fit.

Many people come to therapy feeling unfulfilled, uninspired, and disconnected from their jobs. They ask questions like:

  • “Am I actually enjoying my work?”
  • “Why do I feel so drained after a day at work?”
  • “Do I even like what I’m doing?”

Lacking job satisfaction and feeling unfulfilled at work can impact your mental health, relationships, and overall life satisfaction. Remember that you are not alone in these feelings.

Here I’ll discuss three signals to tune into to tell if you are truly enjoying your work.

1. You find yourself interested in things other than your work.

When you enjoy your work, you tend to have a healthy balance between work and other aspects of your life. You may find yourself devoting more time to hobbies and activities outside of work. These extracurriculars can bring a heightened sense of joy and fulfillment to your life—and can help you maintain a healthy work-life equilibrium.

While it’s important to be passionate about your work, research divides passion into two types, one of which is healthier than the other:

  • Harmonious passion requires that one pursues an activity with a sense of balance and flexibility.
  • Obsessive passion, on the other hand, suggests an overwhelming urge to engage in an activity and to become wholly preoccupied with it.

It’s better to be harmoniously passionate about your work than obsessively passionate.

Christina Wocinchechat/Unsplash
Source: Christina Wocinchechat/Unsplash

2. You enter a state of flow.

When you are truly enjoying your work, you may enter a state of flow. This means that you are completely absorbed in your work and lose track of time. You feel fully engaged and motivated, and you may even forget about the outside world.

According to research, the state of flow can be a sign of true job satisfaction and indicates that you are challenged in a way that is both enjoyable and fulfilling.

When you are in a state of flow, you are more likely to be productive, creative, and motivated, which can lead to higher-quality work and improved job performance. The state of flow also enhances creativity, boosts self-esteem, and provides a greater sense of purpose and meaning.

3. You find your work to be exciting.

Another sign that you have found a career that aligns with your values and interests is if you feel a sense of excitement about it. When you find yourself truly passionate about your work and look forward to the challenges and opportunities that each day brings, it makes waking up in the morning a much more enjoyable experience.

You may notice an increased eagerness to get started, tackle the tasks at hand, and connect with your colleagues.

Conclusion

No job is perfect, and we all have bad days and bad weeks. However, if you find yourself becoming interested in topics outside of work, feeling enthusiastic about your work, and frequently entering flow states during your workday, it’s likely that you’ve found a good spot for yourself. Be cautious about pursuing a “grass-is-greener” mentality. But at the same time, don’t ever be afraid to make a change if and when you feel the time is right.

advertisement
More from Mark Travers Ph.D.
More from Psychology Today