One quality of fulfilling work is immersion. The word here is taken to mean; the total engagement of your physical and mental capacities toward a task. The sensation is synonymous with the experiences we have in which time passes very quickly during an enjoyable activity. Imagine, a period of intentional work in which time flies by because you’re engaged in learning, growing and doing.
When you discover that work of yours has the tendency to be immersive, you might be onto a kind of work that will be fulfilling to you! This is an important quality of work because, immersiveness suggests you’re giving your whole self to the task. During this immersion, you aren’t concerned with the other anxieties of the day, or regrets, or when the pain is going to stop so you can go home and eat dinner. You’re instead staying present, and working fruitfully at what you enjoy. Immersion feels like an escape, but even more so, it is a signal. A signal that what you’re doing lines up with who you are.
The opposite of immersion in this case is….apathy, or more simply, boredom. In this idle state, you begin to think of every conceivable thing you would rather be doing than working. Boredom may be temporal, it may come and go throughout the day. However, if you accept this as an aspect of your occupation, and you neglect any type of advancement, then the work becomes far from fulfilling.
You may believe you cannot change your work. Perhaps you would defend that its a necessity to do what you are doing. Good, that is okay. You must then change your mindset about the work. Find a way to make it immersive by being more creative. Craft more meaningful conversations and relationships on the job. Observe your work more deeply. Immerse yourself in your day of work by working VERY hard. Have the mindset to seize the day, rather than let your day seize you.
Work is important. I would add that it is important to feel fulfilled while doing your work. An indicator of good work is your immersion in it. Find a way to have this experience of immersion, whether your current occupation is ideal or not. If the experience comes by rigorous focus in a situation that is not ideal, then let it be! Take pride in it. If the immersive experience comes from making great artistic efforts that fulfill who you are, then all the better.
Work hard and work well. Lend your whole self to it, and be surprised by what you discover.