Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Enjoying What You Do

Plato said that work should be play. Some airline employees are taking him seriously. After landing, one flight attendant announced, "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride." (I like the honest approach.)

As a plane touched down and was slowing to a stop in Washington, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!" (Who says you can't have fun with your job?)

One pilot made this weather announcement: "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but they'll try to have them fixed before we arrive."

"As you exit the plane," a flight attendant said, "please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

And passengers reported that they heard this from the crew just as they began to exit: "Last one off the plane must clean it."

To enjoy your work more, I think it helps to put some play in what you do. And if you don't like your work, can you find something to do you enjoy more?

Authors Doug Hall and David Wecker tell the story of Ken Davis, a man who found a simple way to enjoy his work (Making the Courage Connection, 1997). Ken just couldn't find his occupational niche. He worked at a variety of jobs and disliked them all. While Ken was working as a door salesman, he noticed that at least half of his customers had malfunctioning doorbells. And suddenly, Ken's life career became clear. He opened his own doorbell repair service.

Ken's wife laughed when she first heard his idea. When she realized he was serious, she cried. Whoever heard of making a living repairing doorbells? But Ken is making a comfortable living at his unique job, and he's happier than he's ever been. Ken didn't enjoy what he was doing, so he is now doing what he enjoys.

"The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else," Earl Nightingale asserts. "Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember, jobs are owned by the company; you own your career!"

It's true that, no matter where you work, you actually work for yourself. After all, it's your life. And with a little creativity and imagination, maybe your work can seem less like drudgery and more like play. Wouldn't you really rather have it that way?

-- Steve Goodier

Image: flickr.com/mj ecker


Larry said...

Hmmmmm...odd that this message should come on a day where I am having problems 'Enjoying what I do.' Thanks as always Steve, adding a little inspiration when some days are just unbearable.

You hear so many people say 'Be happy with today. Don't worry about tomrorow. Today is where you are supposed to be.'

I believe in those statements, but it doesn't mean some days I wish I was supposed to be somewhere else.

I am like Ken. Looking for my own doorbell business.

Thanks again, Steve.

Anonymous said...


As always, your writing is wonderful! This one really speaks to me right now because I am at a place in my life where I'm needing to change jobs/careers, and it was a good reminder to look for opportunities I enjoy. Thank you!