How can your love language help your career?

BY Rachel Simms

14th Apr 2024 Life

2 min read

How can your love language help your career?
You've probably heard of the five love languages and how they can affect your relationship—but did you know that they can affect your career as well?
Each of the love languages—words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, quality time, and act of service—can affect how you feel about your career, and strengthen relationships with colleagues. It can make you better at communicating, and give you some clarity on what you want, and need, from your career.
Rachel Simms at Last Verdict explains how understanding your work love language, and those of your co-workers, can be the key to progressing in your career.

Words of affirmation

If words of affirmation is your love language, you thrive on positive feedback in the workplace. You need praise—but it's not about bragging or always being told you're perfect, it's about knowing your contributions have been acknowledged and are appreciated.
"Participate in discussions with your expertise and make sure to be heard by colleagues and managers"
Don't be afraid to share your ideas and participate in discussions to demonstrate your expertise and be heard by colleagues and managers. Volunteer for projects that allow you to show off your skills and put yourself in the spotlight, and seek out a mentor who can be a sounding board for your ideas and give you the encouragement and recognition that you need to succeed.

Physical touch

Work team celebraring a success together
The physical touch love language is self-explanatory, but when it comes to your career, it isn't so literal. You don't have to go and a hug all of your colleagues (a strong handshake will do!)—this love language is about the idea of physical presence and closeness, which translates more into a desire for a positive work environment and a sense of connection to your team.
Give your co-workers your full attention when they speak, showing genuine interest in their ideas and suggestions. Celebrate team wins, collaborate, and offer help when others are struggling. Being a reliable source of motivation, empathy, and support, helps create a work environment where everyone feels valued and understood, and can perform at their best.

Receiving gifts 

It's nice to be given gifts like work perks, but learning to advocate for yourself in the workplace is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
"Knowing your value at work will empower you to be able to negotiate for pay rises or promotions"
Be clear about your career goals and aspirations, and what you bring to the table. Self-awareness and knowing your value will empower you to communicate your needs and wants effectively, and be able to negotiate for things like pay rises or promotions that align with your goals. Schedule regular meetings and check-ins with your manager to discuss your progress—don't be afraid to advocate for opportunities to learn new skills, take on more responsibility, or be a part of more challenging projects that are outside of your comfort zone.

Quality time

Young woman talking to older woman at work
If your love language is quality time, focused one-on-one interaction is what you want at work. You need more than a quick Zoom call with your boss; you’re looking for meaningful connections and mentorship.
Looking for a mentor at work who can invest time in your development and progression can be incredibly valuable. Look for someone who you admire and respect, that you can discuss your career goals, areas for growth, and challenges you're facing. Seek out opportunities to collaborate with colleagues who have skillsets that compliment yours, where you can share knowledge and brainstorm for ideas that neither of you could think of on your own.

Acts of service 

If you feel the most appreciated when someone goes the extra mile to help you out, your love language is acts of service. At work, this manifests as feeling valued when co-workers give practical help, or offer to share your workload when you're feeling overwhelmed.
"Sharing the workload means you can build stronger relationships and develop new skills"
Acts of service is a two-way street; by helping others, you not only feel appreciated and less stressed, but you also contribute to a more positive and productive work environment that benefits the whole team. Sharing the workload means you can build stronger relationships with your colleagues, and develop new skills outside of your comfort that could broaden your horizon.
Banner: Teamwork is key to people with some love languages. Credit: Fauxels
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