While I was inclined to say no to this question, I have been proven wrong. After asking it in the varied offices of several different clients, I was greeted with a variety of tips, tricks and methods for enjoying the time we spend at work.

Realizing what enjoy means

First, there is something very deliberate about the word enjoy. It does not imply being happy about everything.

In fact, as a line manager pointed out to me, one of her favorite things about her job are the problems. When she worked the line, she was often frustrated when something arose that affected her productivity.

Instead of stressing about it, she notes she made a conscious decision to embrace the challenges and used the frustration as inspiration to get promoted to management, where she could make a difference.

Along the path, she kept track of her ideas, the good and frustrating responses of leadership, her own responses to issues and used that information to inform her current style.

EQ and IQ

While skills and knowledge help make any job easier, understanding and building emotional intelligence also informs our ability to enjoy work.

EQ is based on acknowledging, understanding and managing our emotions as essential components of workplace harmony. However, as a VP at a financial institution told me, those are tools. If you do not know how to use them, they are worthless.

He explained that understanding how others feel was what propelled him to liking his job to enjoying going to work every day. He noted that even though he was able to adjust his own perspective to see his way through challenges, the thing that elevated his game (and to which he attributes his promotions) was understanding and responding to others’ emotions and motivations.

Understanding and embracing the power of our emotions as well as others and synchronizing that understanding with motivations are the key tenets of EQ.

Step by step

The other common theme was crisis. Almost to a person, every employee that said they enjoyed coming to work every day had gone through a significant crisis at work.

Whether it was a merger with layoffs, the housing crisis at a mortgage broker or the failure of a significant product launch, going through the challenges of a workplace crisis and surviving it buoyed their confidence in their own ability and that of the leadership.

Out of these crises also came methodologies to which many of them still adhere.

For example, some learned to face every challenge in small increments; by breaking it down into management chunks they know they can get through anything. Others learned that crises bring opportunity for change and growth and now actively look for both any time an issue arises.

The bottom line is, whether it is semantics and perspective, emotional intelligence or a process, it is possible for employees at all levels of an organization to enjoy going to work every day.

Take a few minutes to identify the obstacles that stand between you and enjoying work every day and spend time addressing them instead of stressing over them. Whether it is an annoying boss, an unproductive system or a bad culture, each provides an opportunity to learn, grow and enjoy.