Are You Doing Work You Enjoy or Just Working?

January 11, 2011   //   Careers, , , , , ,

Over the years I have done a bunch of stuff at SWC. Not a particularly descriptive or impressive way to shape my accomplishments but in the end, no one needs to read the particulars of my career, at least in this blog. Let’s just say that I have had the chance to roll up my sleeves on a lot of projects.

But as with any growing organization, the roles within the company have become increasingly specialized and as individuals, we find ourselves contributing in more focused ways. As for me, I seem to be spending more time managing client relationships. I have always done this throughout my career, but no more than now.

In the midst of this new focus, it has occurred to me how much I truly enjoy spending time with many of our clients. So many companies have a story to tell and they are fascinating.

The truth is that I am the guy that looks forward to the “quick tour.”  I love listening to a customer talk about the company history and how the founder lived off canned tuna for a month just so he could keep the doors open.

Usually I get this type of story as we walk by a piece of machinery that is slamming steel together with no more effort than it takes to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

It’s loud and hard to hear, but eventually I begin to understand that whatever the machine is making is being done with the kind of precision that seems more appropriate for a neurosurgeon. It’s awesome. Every day I learn something new about what makes business run. I absolutely love this part of my job.

Most of us have heard the saying, “If you enjoy what you do, then you won’t have to work a day in your life.”  For the most part I get that. It’s not that we need to really enjoy everything we do in our careers, but there should be those core elements of what we do that we truly love.

I wonder how many folks feel the same way? How many of us are happy enough with our jobs that we don’t feel as if we’re actually working?