Do What You Love

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Last week I had the pleasure of spending the week coaching a group of emerging leaders.  During one of our sessions we had some fun with a “lightning round” of questions for each other.  If you’re not familiar with this, it’s when each person is asked a bunch of questions for one-minute and has to respond as quickly as possible with the first answer that comes to mind.  Some of the questions take a few seconds to respond (for example, “If your life were a movie, which actor would play you?”).  Others come instantly (for example, “iPhone or Blackberry?”).

When it was my turn to respond, one of the questions was, “What career advice would you give someone graduating college today?”  Without hesitation I said, “Do what you love.”  My response sparked additional conversation amongst the group as many of them felt as if they made a more practical career decision upon graduating college.  They didn’t necessarily choose to “do what they love” but instead chose what would provide them with job stability and financial security.  This is a common choice for many of us, isn’t it?  We end up doing things we may not necessarily “love” but instead provide for us and our families.

From that point, our conversation morphed into finding things you love about what you do so that you can obtain more job satisfaction.  Each person shared at least two things they loved about their job.  Answers ranged from “my clients” to “my peers”, “the on-site gym” and, for a few, they actually said they loved the work they did.  The conversation resulted in them committing to finding things they loved about their job each day, even if they didn’t necessary love their particular line of work.   This is actually a great way to increase job satisfaction because you are focusing on what’s right with your job instead of what’s wrong.

Despite how true all that is, my response to individuals graduating college today remains the same, “Do what you love”.

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