There is little else in life that requires as much time, and diligent effort, as your job. Your workplace is likely your second home, and your desk is easily the single place you log the most hours anywhere in a given week. However, work is also the place most people would prefer not to be. Wouldn't you agree, that 99% of people would prefer to be at home, watching their dog chew up their brand new sheets (as I am currently doing) or just on their own time? Well, I am here to say that this is one statistic that desperately needs to be lowered.
A good day at work, nevertheless an entire work life, that you absolutely adore puts your entire life in a new perspective. You feel more energized to return those phone calls, happier with your social life (as you no doubt feel supported not only by your friends and family, but also by your coworkers). It takes a 40 hour chunk of your life, and makes it amazing.
So, what to do if you aren't quite this euphoric about your work life? Quit? Possibly... But unless you happen to have a secure financial position or already have another job lined up, the stress will probably land you in another hated personal hell with a bitchy divorcee who never quite lost her pregnancy weight, and will eventually try and get you fired. (If this sounds good, I hear University of Phoenix is hiring). Instead, introspection is necessary.
What are the qualities of an excellent work environment? #1) Are you working with people like you? If you're bubbly, outgoing, and love to spend weekends in the North Fork of the lake... You better hope your coworkers do, too. #2) Do all your coworkers hang out after work? This is not good. There is a fine line between the occasional pre-meeting brunch, and the obligatory Friday, Saturday, and occasional weekday nights. If you don't feel up for this socializing, you will basically be ostracized. However, absolutely no outside contact signals less than to be desired of familiarity. #3) Do you believe in what you are selling? I am hard pressed to think of a job where you aren't in some way assisting the sale of something. If you don't like your product, or you don't believe in the company, you are going to be miserable devoting so much time to it, #4) Does your family/friends support your employment? This is sticky. In some cases, this might not even matter. But, generally speaking, just because you're a knockout in a g-string doesn't mean you'll love being a stripper when your mother breaks into tears at the sound of you voice, and your favorite uncle refuses to look you in the eye. #5) Is your job tolerable? Do you dread going to work? Almost no one is going to wake up at 6:00 am, and bound out of bed so elated they can finally go to work. But, if you start thinking of ways to break your car as to have a valid excuse for ditching work, you need to be somewhere else. I call this reasonably tolerable. Time probably won't whiz by, but it really shouldn't drag. You'll have favorite tasks, and hated ones. But nothing should give you a sick pit in your stomach the night before. I hate mopping, but I don't start avoiding it until I'm at work and it pops up on my task list. #6) Is your environment suitable? Personally, I'd prefer to stab myself with a wide blunt object before enduring hours of elevator music or silence. I like good music, and I like to be able to hear it. I also hate being surrounded by coworkers, but I like them accessible. If you're more of a loner, just embrace it. You'll just hate your coworkers, and ultimately dread work otherwise.. See above.
When you reach nirvana, or "job love", you will just know. It is like really falling in love in almost every way. You'll feel excited, generally upbeat, and you'll just know it's the real deal. Like real love, it may not last forever, and your feelings might change, but there will always be a special place for that job in your heart.