In his 1992 book The 5 Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman defined and analyzed the many different ways that people prefer to give and receive love. While identifying your own love languages can help you navigate your personal life, it can also be beneficial in your work life. Finding a career that aligns with your love languages can not only help guide your educational journey but also help guide you toward a fulfilling career.
The 5 Love Languages
Understanding how their partners, friends, and family members prefer to give and receive love can help individuals feel valued, understood, and appreciated. Chapman’s methodology identified the following five love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Individuals who prefer to receive love via words of affirmation are looking for words of encouragement, loving text messages, and uplifting compliments. These individuals want to receive love via praise.
Loved ones who identify with the love language of quality time feel loved when they receive undivided attention. Turning off the television, making eye contact, and silencing electronic devices speak volumes.
Physical touch includes everything from light touches to the back or arm to hugs, cuddles, and massages. Individuals who prefer to receive love via physical touch often enjoy situations in which they can be physically close to their partners.
Acts of Service
Individuals who identify with acts of service feel that actions speak louder than words. They enjoy when their partners help them run last-minute errands, contribute to chores, or engage in activities that help make their lives easier.
For some individuals, receiving gifts and presents isn’t just about the gift itself, but about the thought behind the gift. Gifts don’t have to be lavish or expensive; rather, they should be thoughtful and resonate.
Careers Aligned with Receiving in Your Preferred Love Language
Individuals who understand how they prefer to receive love may be drawn to certain positions and roles. They may also want to work for an organization whose culture reflects their love language.
Words of Affirmation
If your work love language is words of affirmation, you may prefer team-oriented positions that prioritize praise, mentorship, and feedback. Working for a company with a good leadership team that provides frequent feedback or offers a strong mentorship program aligns well with this love language.
Individuals who prefer the love language of quality time may be drawn to organizations that incorporate workplace bonding activities into their culture. Examples are team lunches, outings, and retreats.
Individuals who prefer the love language of physical touch may have an affinity for team-based, goal-oriented employment in which congratulatory handshakes and fist-bumps are common. They may also be drawn to organizations in which the employees are empathetic to one another’s circumstances and needs.
Acts of Service
Individuals who use the love language of acts of service are likely to favor employment at organizations that have supportive teams and management and an even workload.
Individuals who prefer the love language of receiving gifts may choose to work for organizations that reward staff with gift cards or financial bonuses or provide concrete benefits, such as gym memberships or tuition reimbursement.
Careers Aligned with Giving in Your Preferred Love Language
Understanding your work love language can help you choose a fulfilling profession. The following are just a few career paths that align well with the love languages:
Words of Affirmation
Individuals who prefer to give in the love language of words of affirmation are often drawn to leadership or managerial roles in which they can affirm and build up their teams. Some career paths are as follows:
- Communication. Communication experts serve as spokespeople and cheerleaders for their organizations.
- Human resources. Human resources (HR) professionals conduct employee reviews and oversee employee development.
- Business. Business professionals, especially those in leadership positions, work closely with team members from various departments.
Individuals who use the love language of quality time may prefer careers that allow them to work closely with a small team of colleagues or clients. Some career paths are as follows:
- Human resources. HR professionals often develop company events and activities to forge quality connections among colleagues. They also spend time with new employees to provide onboarding and help them adjust to their surroundings.
- Psychology. Psychologists work with clients one on one and lead group counseling sessions.
- Technology. Information technology (IT) professionals, such as systems analysts, network engineers, and software engineers, often work closely on various projects. They may also work one-on-one with clients to offer technical support.
Individuals who prefer to give in the love language of physical touch may seek careers that use touch to help people overcome physical barriers or reach physical goals. Sample career paths are as follows:
- Exercise science. Professionals who choose exercise science work with clients to help them improve their health and fitness.
- Nursing. Registered nurses (RNs) provide care to patients with various healthcare needs.
- Physical and massage therapy. Individuals in the fields of physical and massage therapy help clients rehabilitate injuries.
Acts of Service
Individuals who prefer to give in the love language of acts of service are likely to be interested in careers with the potential to make a difference in people’s lives. Career paths may include the following:
- Education. Teachers help students nurture their educational interests.
- Criminal justice. Criminal justice professionals advise their clients on various legal matters, allowing them to make informed decisions.
- Social work. Social workers provide assistance and support to vulnerable individuals and families.
Individuals who prefer to give in the love language of receiving gifts are likely to be interested in careers that allow them to reward others for their efforts. Career paths may include the following:
- Nonprofit coordination. Individuals who coordinate nonprofit programs specialize in organizing fundraising events and mapping out how charitable money is allocated. Coordinating grants and gifts for meaningful organizations and those in need can be gratifying work
- Financial services. Those who work in financial service professions, such as investment advisors or accountants, help companies and individuals make the most of their assets and gain financial rewards.
- Management. While management responsibilities can be intense, individuals in leadership roles have the unique opportunity to provide employee promotions, bonuses, and other perks.
Choose Your Path Forward
Understanding your preferred love language isn’t just helpful in forging closer interpersonal relationships — it can also help guide your career. Are you ready to take the first brave step toward a fulfilling career? Maryville University’s online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral, and certificate programs can help prepare you for the profession you want.