Most of us need to work, to pay the bills, put a roof over our heads and generally get “things” that are important to us.
Given that we need to work, then there are many reasons why it makes sense to turn that into a positive. Work is such a big part of our lives that we should find ways to get pleasure from work.
The reality is it is not easy, and it is important that we set expectation correctly.
There is a phrase that people attribute to Confucius that says, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” It is a great saying … but is far from reality and I think we sometimes set young people up for failure because they don’t expect work to be so hard!
Here is the reality.
- Most people I know who love their job would never say it is easy.
- I don’t care whether you define success based on money, position, power, achievement of life goals, impact on others or any other definition … it is hard!
- I love my job, but there are days when the stress is BIG.
- I love my job but sometimes I find myself working many more hours than I had intended.
- I love my job but I know that the only way to get better is to try things, push limits, fail and get back up and go again.
- I love my job and despite all of the challenges, setbacks, pain and stress … I get pleasure from the wins, the learning and the growth.
- If you are looking for a job to love then recognize that perfection does not exist … you will need to work hard at your “perfect” job … and some days it will FEEL hard!
- Understand that “love”, “success”, “fulfillment” are all very personal, and that largely it is your state of mind that determines whether you achieve those things.
- It is possible to find a career that interests you and for you to learn to love that career.
- Be pragmatic about life and make your choices with your eyes open. Cute quotations and sayings do not replace reality.
Having said all of that, I would offer this advice.
- Look for work that is fulfilling.
- Learn and grow every day.
- Know that the tough times just help you to get better, IF you learn from them.
- You can choose to adopt a positive attitude toward your job, whatever it is.
- Work is work, but it can be fulfilling, rewarding, rich in experiences and you can learn to love it!
My quote might be, “Choose a job you love, and you will feel good about your hard work.”
Steve Jobs was famously quoted thus,
“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle…”
This man was noted for his work ethic and he did what he loved. He suffered, he failed, he sacrificed … but he loved what he did!
YES, find the work you love … just don’t expect it to be easy!
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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