Feb. 14, 2005 -- Every year for about the past 1,500 years or so, people have chosen the chilly second week of February to warm up to those special people in their lives - the one's they "love." But this Valentine's Day, Dr. Beverly Kaye asks - where's the love for your job?
Though work may be more of an object of your aggression than your affection, Dr. Kaye, co-author of, Love It Don't Leave It: 26 Ways You Can Get What You Want At Work, says that happiness is all a state of mind and though complaining about work is always en vogue, taking action is now the newest fashion.
"It may be hard to change people, but you can make your job more loveable," she says.
In her book, Dr. Kaye's includes enlightening quizzes, insightful case studies and personal anecdotes that illustrate her key point - it not about finding the job you love - it's about loving the job you've found. She adds that it's all about "finding what you want, where you are."
But Dr. Kaye admits that there are a few reasons to hit the door. "You may need to polish your resume and move on when the organization's goals, vision or mission change and simply don't match yours anymore," she says.
A new study conducted by The Creative Group asked 250 of America's top advertising and marketing executives for some additional reasons given by members of their teams who were leaving.
According to the survey, one employee left "because he didn't like the smell of the office," and another quit because "she didn't like the lighting in the building."
Dr. Kaye advises that the first step to nurturing the delicate flower of job love is to open communication with superiors - she says it can only help to speak up when unhappy.
"If you don't ask, you are less likely to get what you want," she says. "They expect their bosses to somehow figure out that something is wrong."
The Creative Group survey highlighted some instances where a one-on-one consultation just might have prevented an employee's departure.
According to the survey, one employee "quit because he said he was 'over-employed," and another decided it was time to go because "he said he couldn't get up in the morning." Perhaps a workload reduction or a later start time could have prevented these untimely workforce reductions.
But, as Dr. Kaye alluded to, some problems are just irreconcilable.
This was the case with "one guy who said he was making too much money and didn't feel like it was worth it," and one former employee that actually "had to join the Witness Protection Program," according to the Creative Group study.
The study also found some cases in which the pursuit of a more lovable job could have been the only conceivable reason for their departure.
The study highlighted one employee who left "to join the circus," another "to join the clergy," one "to become a golf pro" and another to "tend bar in Costa Rica." One employee was so dedicated that she "moved to Italy because she didn't like the outcome of the [presidential] election."
With reasons like these contributing to what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects will be a 10 million person labor shortage by 2010 and with 75% of companies admitting that they don't have a dedicated retention department, Dr. Kaye says that "the best thing we can do for people is help them to see what options are there for them and let them know it's okay to talk about it."