At this time of year lovers everywhere will be preparing for the one day of the year when tradition commands us to celebrate LOVE and all it entails. There is a certain amount of cynicism about the day. Many people complain about the commercialism of an emotion that we should be expressing and demonstrating every day of the year and not just on one designated day.

Restaurants experience their busiest day of the year, red roses cost three times as much as they normally do and the sale of cards, chocolates and pink champagne goes through the roof. Putting cynicism and commercialism to one side, isn’t it a good thing to dedicate ourselves for one day of the year to celebrating those we love and expressing it with not only actions but gifts and celebrations? Doesn’t it serve to make us think, spend time reflecting on what they mean to us and what we can do to express our love more profoundly?

Valentines Day OnTrack new

Maybe we should do the same for our jobs? In many ways the job we do is similar to a partner and lover. They are a vital part of our life, we spend many hours with them, we can become complacent and we can focus on the negative rather than the positive. As we all know familiarity can breed contempt!

We should all have a Valentine’s Day for our job. Take some time to celebrate what is good about the job which you do and also take time to reflect on the things you would like to change and how you will do that. After all a job is just like a relationship where we have to ‘give’ to ‘get’. Use the following five easy steps to help you say Happy Valentine’s Day to your job:

Concentrate on the positive rather than the negative – just as with a person it would be very unusual if there was nothing about your job you didn’t like. Write down all the positive things about doing the job you do just to remind yourself. Then write down all the negatives – If by any chance the negatives outweigh the positives then maybe you should ask yourself the question: ‘Am I in the right job?’ or ‘What can I do to make some changes and reduce the painful parts of my job?

Consider how you could do things differently – an emotional relationship benefits from taking a new perspective. Being ‘stuck in a rut’ doesn’t do anybody any favours and the same is true in a job.

Ask for feedback – Communication is the lifeblood of a healthy relationship. The moment couples stop talking then trouble can be in store. Talk to your colleagues and stakeholders and find out how they feel about you and the job you do. Actively seek out feedback; after all it is a gift. Be prepared to receive feedback and to give it.

Diarise the equivalent of a ‘Date Night’ – devote some specific time to thinking about your job, how you feel about it, assessing your performance – are you delivering to the best of your ability? Consider your successes and the things you want to concentrate on. Self-examination is a powerful activity and is the hallmark of a successful individual.

Take the rough with the smooth – most relationships do not run smoothly, there are ups and downs. The same is true in our careers – very few people will do a job which runs smoothly all the time. This is normal – so consider how you can deal with the challenges in a strategic and intelligent way and celebrate the successes…..maybe with some chocolate and a glass of pink champagne????

Happy Valentine’s Day to the people and the job you love.