How to use your love language to further your career

Two women in armchairs are sitting and talking. Woman psychologist practicing with  patient women. Coach session between girlfriends. Therapist's gestures. love language Female talking in the office
If your love language is quality time, then finding a mentor could do wonders for your career. (Getty Images) (Fiordaliso via Getty Images)

While it’s well known that the five love languages can tell you how to communicate with your partner – did you know that they could help you in a work setting too?

The five love languages are: words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, receiving gifts, and acts of service.

"Each of the love languages can affect how you feel about your career, and strengthen relationships with colleagues," Rachel Simms at Last Verdict says.

"It can make you better at communicating, and give you some clarity on what you want, and need, from your career."

So, how exactly can you use your love language to help with your career? Read on to find out. (And if you don’t already know what your love language is, you can find that out here).

Words of affirmation

If your love language is words of affirmation, Simms says you thrive of positive feedback and 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," Simms adds.

"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."

Businesspeople explaining and listening at meeting
People whose love language is words of affirmation should always be willing to put forth their ideas. (Getty Images) (Klaus Vedfelt via Getty Images)

Physical touch

When it comes to your career, it’s best not to take physical touch literally – so maybe refrain from going around and hugging all of your colleagues.

"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," Simms explains.

"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," Simms explains.

She recommends being clear about your career goals and aspirations, and about 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," she adds.

"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

"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," Simms says.

"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 skill sets that compliment yours, where you can share knowledge and brainstorm for ideas that neither of you could think of on your own."

Smiling businessman in discussion with colleagues during informal project meeting in office
Helping others at work can help you to feel valued if your love language is acts of service. (Getty Images) (Thomas Barwick via Getty Images)

Acts of service

If your love language is acts of service, it’s likely that you feel the most appreciated when someone goes the extra mile to give you a helping hand.

"At work, this manifests as feeling valued when co-workers give practical help, or offer to share your workload when you're feeling overwhelmed," Simms explains.

"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."

Love languages: Read more