Things I’ve learnt working in Jobs I love

by rodney on April 22, 2013

The last article was all about things I had learnt working in the jobs I’ve hated.  However, it’s not just the bad ones that have taught me important lessons. I have also learnt from working in jobs that I’ve loved.

While I can’t honestly say there has been more jobs I’ve loved rather than hated (who of us can?) there have been a great number of them. I know which ones they are too. They are the jobs that you feel sad when you leave.

While the jobs I’ve loved have been a little varied, the reasons why I have loved them are universal. It has been the work, the atmosphere, the leadership, training and the people. It is in these areas that I have learnt some of the biggest lessons in my working life.

Your life’s work should reflect your life’s purpose.

I’m going to tell you something that you will probably disagree with me on. Fulfilling work does not have to be paid. You heard right. You don’t need to receive an income for what you’re doing to be worthwhile. I hear some of you asking “If you’re not being paid, what’s the point?”  That is, sadly the mentality of many people today- if I’m not getting paid, it’s not worth doing. This is why many people spend their entire lives working in jobs they don’t like. They end up miserable, cynical and depressed. They then eventually take stock of their lives and think “Where did it all go?” This is a lesson I learnt working as a volunteer for Lifeline. I have spent 5 years volunteering my time to help people facing a life crisis. For all that time, I have loved it. I have found something that I enjoy, something that I am good at and something that is having an impact. That is my life’s purpose and if you want to have a life of value and meaning, your life’s work should reflect that purpose.  The purpose of your life is much bigger than to make money or just plain survive.  Don’t get me wrong, making an income and surviving is important, but don’t let it be the focus of your life. Don’t let these things take away all your time and your energy. Better yet, find your life’s purpose and make an income from that, whatever it is. These days, you can turn any interest or activity into a source of income. When you do make an income from your meaningful and purposeful work, you’ve won the rat race!

Whenever you work, Ask yourself, would I still be doing this if I wasn’t being paid?

Work within an atmosphere that inspires and motivates you

One of the best jobs I ever had was one that began me to make positive changes in my life. I was working for a company that sold educational software. What I really liked about this job is how motivating and inspired it made me feel. The company had a culture of goal setting and motivating people- it could have very easily made money as a self-help course instead of a software company! I also felt like I was supported. I embraced this environment as it made me feel good. I also performed quite well. I was working on commission only sales and I stayed for longer than a year. When you do good work, you feel better and you can do good work if you’re in the right atmosphere. As humans, we need to feel supported, inspired and motivated to work at our peak.

What is the atmosphere like where you work?

Work for leaders, not bosses.

These last 3 I learnt all while working as a support worker with clients living with mental health issues.  My coordinator wasn’t like any boss I had had before. That’s because she wasn’t a boss. She never identified herself as one, nor did she aspire to be one. She was a leader. When I worked this out, I thought to myself, what’s the difference?  Here’s what I came up with. A boss will tell you what they want you to do. They give orders, you obey, many of them rule with fear. You fear of being fired or reprimanded if you don’t do what they tell you. A leader, on the other hand, won’t tell you what to do. They will guide you, support you, coach you and allow you to do what you do. They don’t rule with fear, but inspiration. When you are doing something wrong they will not threaten you, but help you to learn and correct yourself. She taught me that my job was to serve my clients, and her job was to help me to do my job. She also taught me that people don’t need to be managed but unleashed (seriously, who hates being micro managed?) I’ve had the pleasure since then to work with some awesome leaders, and all have the same qualities. Working with leaders rather than bosses, makes me feel in control, empowered and respected. No wonder why it was a job I loved!

Do you work for a boss or with a leader?

Receive high quality training while you work

What I also loved about my about my time as a support worker is the training I received.  Every week, we had an hour or so of ongoing training and it was high quality. What happened is our team grew to be a highly competent team that had the knowledge and the confidence to challenge the system and we began to make differences to the lives of our clients. This was not common for our roles or our industry.  We were raising the standard. I am now taking that training and applying it in other areas and in other ways and I’m making changes and raising standards in many areas. Education is the way to improvement. When you also receive high quality training, you feel confident and valued.

What kind of training are you receiving?

The People you work with will either make or break your work

I’ve worked with bad people in other jobs and had already learnt that people are important, but you don’t realise how important until you work good people. Good people will make your work enjoyable. Bad people will make work awful. I have worked with great people in all the jobs I’ve loved and it is the bond with these people that keeps me there for as long as I stay. It is also the bond you have with people that makes you sad to leave.  People want to work with good people and it infuriates me to see so many accept that we all have to work with bad people and tolerate it. After working with so many great people, I could never work with bad ones again. If I find myself working with “assholes” I leave. Simple. Life is too short to let others ruin the good work I’m doing.

Who are you working with?

Many of you will probably disagree with a lot of these points.  That’s fine, but ask yourself, do you love what you’re doing? Not just like, or tolerate or handle, love. Does your work give you a purpose and a meaning in life?  I can honestly say I love what I do and what I’m doing is my life’s purpose and it’s these lessons that have enabled me to do that. I hope you can say the same thing.

Share the Love
Get Free Updates

Previous post:

Next post: