When it comes to work, whatever your job is, there is no substitute for loving what you do. It is commonly understood that the following age-old saying it true: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work another day in your life.”
You and I get the gist of that, although there is another dimension to that truth. If you love what you do, you’ll work harder than ever. Passion kicks in and once it does, everyone organizationally from top to bottom better look out for the man/woman with passion! They are a force to be reckoned with; hence, the title of this brief series.
I suppose the moral of the story is that if you truly love what you do, you’ll love doing it and it won’t seem like the drudgery that all too often is synonymous with work. We’re going to get into that but before I elaborate on that allow me to briefly digress.
Too often, in the up and coming generation, the workforce in this instant everything world in which we currently live, this microwave generation wants everything now, including success. They are all too picky about what they are and aren’t willing to do when it comes to work. Their thinking is short term and unknowingly undermines future possibilities.
Consequently, they have no concept for climbing the corporate ladder or, for that matter, any ladder. They are in search of an escalator. Meanwhile, they are trying to walk up a down escalator and getting nowhere. More than likely, they are in a hurry going backward. As it is said, one step forward, two steps back. In their view they are full steam ahead, but in reality, they are going backward. They would do well to wise up. I hope they’re listening.
Somewhere in the distant past, they have lost sight of a necessary willingness to do whatever it takes to survive, prosper and blaze a trail toward the goal of actually doing something they love doing. Their expectation is to start out with something they love, which is a nice thought but in most cases, unrealistic.
Furthermore, it shouldn’t be a necessity when it comes to criteria during a job search. You have to fully embrace the opportunities you have, do your absolute best and see where that leads. I can assure you, it will lead up the ladder to what you love doing because that’s what you’re best at, and over time the world will recognize that.
In my generation there was no such thing as a boomerang generation. Living with mommy and daddy long term wasn’t an option. There was zero expectation that my parents would support me, much less my family. I was the breadwinner, and it didn’t matter if I was “loving” what I was doing. I did what I had to do to support my family because that’s what you did if you wanted to survive. I recall an entire decade where I didn’t take a vacation, a luxury that I couldn’t afford. I lived from paycheck to paycheck, so to speak. I had debts and responsibilities that came first.
Perhaps I can offer a bit of a bio here that may help. In my sophomore year of high school I had zero aspirations to enter the drywall workforce. It was foreign to me. I don’t think I had any idea what drywall even was. However, there was a drywall superintendent in our neighborhood, and I caught wind of the fact that a summer job was available. I took it.
Little did I know where that simple decision and willingness to work at something I didn’t love would lead. It led to a lifelong career, business ownership, management and, if the truth be told, this and hundreds of other articles. What I wanted to do all along was write. Journalism fascinated me. I was assistant editor of the school newspaper. I got straight A’s. As a student I had the top spot, and that’s what I saw as my lifelong ambition. Writing. Poetry and lyrics were where my heart was. I was captivated by all sorts of creative writing from the moment I discovered pen and paper. I have pursued it throughout my life with some measure of success, but drywall fueled that pursuit, paid my bills and set the stage for success on a higher level than I ever expected to achieve.
Along the way I found plenty of opportunity to write. I became a writing drywall contractor. Shoot! I wrote all kinds of things useful to my business and other pursuits: killer business letters that left the recipients stunned, SOPs, job descriptions, quality programs and other business correspondence. You name it, I wrote it. Many times respondents came back with the comment,“You have a way with words.” I did, and (hopefully) at 65, I still do.
There have been bumps along the way. I’ll get into that next month. In the meanwhile, Google “seven wildly successful people who survived bankruptcy.” You’ll find names like Abraham Lincoln, Henry Ford, Walt Disney and Heinz, whose ketchup I just used on my hamburger the other day. I guess I’m in good company. I’ve learned some tough lessons, started from the bottom once and then had to do it again as I dug myself out of a hole. But, here I am at retirement age, better off than I ever imagined and who’da thunk it? I’m writing!
Now, I haven’t forgotten my topic but hopefully you will find enough justification in my blathering to wait another month to delve deeper into this topic.
Doug Bellamy is former president of Innovative Drywall Systems Inc. dba Alta Drywall, Escondido, Calif. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.