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7 ways to feel more passionate about your job

If your goal is to get happy, focus on your work-life. (You spend most of your time there!)

7 ways to feel more passionate about your job

Wondering what you can to do have a better time at work? Our friends at Happify have science-based tips on how focusing on your work-life balance can help you find more passion and purpose in your job.


If your goal is to get happy, focus on your work life. Americans spend about half of their waking hours on the job, and being energized and excited by the work you do can have a big impact on how upbeat you feel.

Not sure where to start? Reinvent your career the same way you would change your health, relationships and other aspects of your life: with small steps and a clear plan. We’ve recruited two career pros to help you succeed at work, whether you’ve just landed a new position or are one of the old-timers around the office.

Here’s how to feel happier + be more successful at work.

1. Practice ‘yoga’ while you work.

Forget poses at your desk: This is all about mindset. It’s time to “get flexible, mindful and stay open,” says Matt Morscheck, a career counselor and the talent development specialist at FamilyCare Health Plans, in Portland, Ore. “Careers today are less about creating detailed long-term plans for achieving goals, and more about strengthening daily habits of flexibility, optimism, learning, partnering and resiliency.”

Does your boss keep talking about creating a presence on social media? Set up an account, search for best practices and get going. Working off-script like this “challenges us to stay active and nimble, frequently recalibrate to meet shifting demands, and always be prepared to take advantage of new opportunities as they present themselves,” Morscheck says.

In our quickly evolving and changing workforce, it’s important to rise to the occasion rather than long for the way things used to be.

2. Identify your internal assets.

How many times have you taken on a project at work, only to learn that another colleague has been tasked with something similar, or has access to a lot of the information you need?

Joining forces can lighten your workload, bring fresh ideas to the table and help all involved shine. “Find out who the stars are in your company and department and find shared opportunities, ways you can both benefit,” says Adam Reiter, founder of Career Kung Fu, a career coaching business.

You might collaborate on a project, create a process to pass leads and information back and forth, or simply invite an internal subject-matter expert to a brainstorming session. People are often a company’s biggest asset, so come up with ways to engage the ones around you so that everyone wins.

3. Turn on the self-promotion.

The humblebrag shouldn’t be relegated to Facebook! The office is an important place to broadcast your wins and let those around you know what you’re capable of. Just keep in mind that there’s a fine balance between softly sharing accolades with the right people and blasting everyone with your successes.

“Detail your wins during regular check-ins with your boss,” Reiter says. “She will see you as a star performer and trusted asset. Plus, it allows you the ability to check your performance so you know where you stand and provides the basis for promotion opportunities and succession planning.”

As in: Allow these check-ins to be a back-and-forth conversation, not just an announcement. We’ve all got room to grow.

4. Find a network of mentors.

Wisdom says you should be working today to prepare yourself for a job opportunity that might open up tomorrow. But what if you’re not exactly sure what you want to do, let alone how to get there? “The most successful careers are built in relationship with others—trusted advisors who can provide support, perspective and honest feedback,” Morscheck says. These mentors and advisors can offer advice and insight on current projects and long-term aspirations.

Consider reaching out to former bosses or teachers, acquaintances you admire or even strangers in the same industry whose career path you hope to follow. You can also hire a career coach or counselor for guidance.

5. Ask for an investment.

“Once you’ve identified an aspiration to change your work situation, to learn something new, to advance to a higher role or to make a significant change in the type of work you’re doing, it’s important that you find ways to let this be known, even if nobody is asking,” Morscheck says.

Your colleagues and superiors can offer guidance, and if your goals and aspirations align with your organization’s goals, the company might offer financial support, too. “Leading organizations understand that supporting employee career development is not only a nice thing to do, it’s also good business—so as individual employees we must do our part to let ourselves be known,” Morscheck says.

He suggests framing your pursuits in terms of what you’re “most excited to learn next,” or “areas of growth that are drawing your attention,” or better yet, how your career aspirations can help your company, department or boss be more successful.

6. Look for consistent + reliable wins.

This may sound counterintuitive, particularly if you’re new to a job or organization, but hitting home runs at work is not a winning strategy. “It’s hard to repeat major accomplishments with good frequency,” Reiter says. “Focus only on knocking out game-changing wins and you’ll strike out a lot. That’s not what you what you want to be known for.”

Instead, he says, try to hit a lot of singles, and often. Does your sales team need to increase its reach? It might be better to start with small changes in your script rather than a costly social media campaign. “You are as good as your last win,” Reiter says. “Win often and you will keep reminding decision makers that you are a consistent and reliable winner.”

7. Build allies around the building.

There’s that old allegory about being nice to the mail boy because someday he may be your boss. It’s never been truer than now, with careers taking unexpected twists and turns and emerging industries making stars out of sometimes unlikely employees. But even if the receptionist stays the receptionist, he can be a good friend to have.

“Take someone at the company to lunch or coffee every week that you believe provides no immediate gain,” Reiter says. By investing in the people around you without an agenda, you will become someone who is universally known and liked.

At first you’ll earn the reputation of a nice person or a team player. But over time, as you’re able to leverage some of these relationships, you’ll be thought of as a well-connected strategist. “Allow people to know you organically and vice-versa,” Reiter says. “Your success depends on this.”

Learn how to fuel Your success at work through science-based activities on Happify.

For more strategies on how to be successful and happy at work, plus personalized activities, games and quizzes that will teach you how to apply these skills in your daily life, sign up for Happify’s Career track. You’ll learn how to fuel your success at work, feel more passionate about your career and improve relationships, while developing your own happiness skills at the same time.

Written for Happify by Jessica Cassity. She writes about health, fitness and happiness for publications including Self, Shape, Health, Women’s Health, and Family Circle. Her first book, Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You, was published in 2011.

Join Motherly

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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