I always liked the quote “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”. I consider myself fortunate to have identified early the general area of practice that I wanted to make a career. Doing my job motivates me to learn and become better at my craft. But it also gives opportunities to sow seeds of happiness and enjoyment for myself and others. Over the years I’ve developed a few habits that I think help make ‘work’ more than a place. For me, these habits help add the emphasis to the quote ‘you will never have to *work* a day in your life’. Everyone needs a list of amazing things that they intentionally do to make ‘work’ a job to love.
Here’s my list:
1.Laugh with your coworkers.
I told a coworker recently that if you aren’t laughing at work then it may not be worth the drive. To me, laughing is the spice that flavors the day. I try not to miss moments and events throughout the day that provide both smiles and laughter.
2.Keep a quote board.
I keep a log of witty, profound, funny, and obscure sayings that I hear from coworkers. Often, these are the sayings that spark the laughter and smiles that keep us connected to others. Then during special events or conversations, I reference the quotes. I find that these quotes often pinpoint specific elements of the company’s work culture or the personality of a coworker. They are a tool to strengthen relationships, motivate people, and find enjoyment. For me they also provide the basis for many of my blog posts.
3.Take pictures of events, people, or business artifacts.
I learned this one from a former co-worker who would take pictures of historical moments and physical artifacts related to the business or a project. Each photo tells a story about people and events. Unlike many things in life, the love of storytelling is something we never lose. Stories unite us, teach us, and provide insight into future decision making.
4.Reach out and touch someone.
I still use the phone on my desk. For me it’s a reminder that a simple phone call can often get me to the answer quicker than an email string of back-and-forth questions. No, it doesn’t create the CYA audit trail that comforts us. But it is more appropriate for some communications. It allows you to hear and feel the mood of the other person. It contributes to trust and friendship beyond what email can offer.
5.Help others be successful.
Common advice for being a good employee is to do things that make your boss successful. But I think the core of this advice goes much deeper. We should make it a goal to help all our coworkers be successful with their jobs regardless of their title or position on the organization chart. This is the concept of mutual submission and the assumption is that everyone in the company contributes to the success of the company. The best way to get there is to help others be successful in their work.