Re-align with Work You Love

If you need to reinvigorate your work with meaning, gain clarity into your next steps on your current path, or are considering a career change, this is a great journal prompt for re-aligning with work you love.

Back in January, I was listening to the Second Life Podcast with celebrity stylist Elizabeth Saltzman when she mentioned a yearly journaling practice. Essentially, she revisits what she loves and doesn’t love about what she does to make sure she is aligned with the work she is doing and how she is doing it. It struck a chord with me, so of course, I shared it with the first client I met with, who expressed uncertainty about what type of work she should be taking on in her consulting practice. She found it hugely helpful, so I shared it with another client who was feeling a bit stuck and de-energized around her work, and of course I tried it myself, and now that I’m certain that it’s not just me that benefited, I want to share it with you.


The Exercise

Once a year, Saltzman grabs a notebook and writes for 7 days in a row the answers to these two questions.

What do I love about my job? What do I hate about my job? (I actually changed this to What don’t I love about my job? because the word hate makes me cringe.) 

You cannot type; you have to write it. For those that may have difficulty writing or would prefer not to, try using the voice memos on your phone.

At first, it will be all the usual stuff.

For example, you love working with people. You don’t love social media. And so on.


It Gets Deeper

But as the days pass, you get deeper, and you start getting away from the things you love doing to the way you love feeling and also the way you don’t love feeling. You realize some of the things you don’t like aren’t really about your job at all; they relate back to an experience you don’t want to repeat or that is still painful.

One of the things that came up for me traces all the way back to being 5 years old. I was not expecting that, and I would have told you before I did the journaling exercise that I didn’t love that part of my job, but I never would have understood why, and once I did realize what was underneath, it’s not nearly as prickly. You can cross anything off the list you don’t want to do or feel anymore.

So back to the journal prompt:
​​​​​What do you love about what you do? What don’t you love about what you do?


Trying Something New?

If you are making a career change or trying on a new business idea, then you can just play with the prompt and change it to,

What do I love about what I want to do? What don’t I love about what I want to do?

Do it for seven days in a row. The clarity it brings is worth the time investment. There will be layers, and it takes a bit to get underneath them. You will be surprised by some of the things that come up that you weren’t aware were under there. So be patient. Then see if you can cross off, eliminate, or de-prickle the things you don’t love!