I’ve never worked a day in my life

September 21, 2009 § 10 Comments

Find a job that you love and you will never work another day in your life.” – Confucius

I guess that quote from the great Chinese philosopher makes me the biggest slacker in the world because I love what I do. I always have. And I always will.

Oh sure, there have been days where I have not wanted to deal with a certain issue. And there were times when I knew an individual was going to be bothersome. But I can say, without a doubt, I have found enjoyment in every position I’ve ever held.

And there have been a few along the way.

I think this lifetime passion has happened for a few reasons.

I see what I do as a continuum of skill building and experiences. While I have had several positions, and operated my own business in the communications field, everything I’ve done has been a clear stepping stone to the next stage in my employment.

I’ve found variation in what I’ve done and have never allowed myself to get bored or stuck in a rut – common phrases from people who need a change but are doing nothing towards it.

New opportunities, creating greater challenges have always arrived for me long before complacency has had a chance to set in. You can always return to what you were doing before, but if you don’t examine the possibilities, you will likely be saying, “what if” some day.

You will notice I haven’t used the word “job” yet. I see what I do to be more of a calling or a vocation – to distribute information and to tell the stories that need to be told.

In my current role, that means promoting the City of Grande Prairie. When I began my career, my duty was to tell readers about the exploits of the St. Paul Jr. Canadiens. And profiling the local daycare director in the St. Paul Journal would also land me a future wife.

Perhaps my Dad rubbed off on me. It’s always been instinctive to challenge myself to do my best, and then some every day. I have never lost that thirst, that motivation. It was his attitude of striving to always come home having a job well done that inspired me.

Now no one will ever say I am the life of the party. But I do seek to find fun in what I do. And I figure, if you are going to spend most of your waking hours doing something, enjoy it.

I am also not one for setting one-, two- or five-year goals, but I do encourage readers to take action when they know it is time to move on or to move up in the organization.

Don’t wait for your supervisor to recognize you want to do more or that you are seeking new opportunities. As a manager, I try to be in tune with my employees, but I am not a mind reader. A good supervisor will be only too willing to listen to your career aspirations.

And if you really are in a poor work environment, don’t allow yourself to be mired in drudgery. As the words from a popular Trooper song remind us:

If you don’t like what you got, why don’t you change it?
If your world is all screwed up, then rearrange it.

Raise a little hell, raise a little hell, raise a little hell!

I am not recommending you go postal … just be the master of your own destiny so you can find satisfaction in your own career.

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§ 10 Responses to I’ve never worked a day in my life

  • Wendy Peters says:

    I couldn’t agree more. It’s a great way to live life. But how does one go about finding their passion?

  • davidolinger says:

    I think you find your passion instinctively, that it’s not something you have to search out. Although it may not be immediately obvious, passion is not one of those things where you have to go to the top of the mount to ask the wise, old wizard the meaning of life. The real question is more what you do with your passion once you find it. I believe many people don’t act upon their passion because they let other things get in the way, other priorities, family, spouses, etc.

  • renovatorswife says:

    I had a friend once ask me – what’s worse to never find your passion or never fully use it. I swear it’s to never fully use it and that’s why I write every day of my life!

    Thanks David – great blog!
    Ronda

  • laurabzowy says:

    David, your post is both timely and poignant. I have indeed raised a little hell lately, and it did some good to my career.

    Great start to your blog! I look forward to reading more. I hope this adventure is a success for you both.

    • davidolinger says:

      That is great, Laura, as that is what Wendy and I have chiefly set out to do … to inspire others with our perspectives and to encourage others to take action. I am glad if my writings motivate people, even in a small way.

  • Wendy Peters says:

    Ronda – Isn’t that a bit like the chicken or the egg? If you never find your passion, how can you fully use it?

    David – Before I actually found my passion, I was actively in search of it. Something in me said that whatever I was doing was not the way I wanted to live my life. But I had no clue how I DID want to live my life. So for me, it was a lot of trial and error, until I “instinctively” felt like I was onto something. I think, like anything, it’s different for everyone. Like finding anything that sticks in your life, some find it early in life, some not until the very end.

  • Angela MacIsaac says:

    David,

    A great first post. We former sports reporters, I think, are the lucky ones. With 15 years in the newsprint industry, I never once felt like it was a job. I awoke every morning with the knowledge I was getting paid to do stuff others would do for free.

    There’s been a couple of glitches in the program since but landing in Web writing with Shaw has become a close second to journalism. It’s relaxed, focused and creative work.

    Finding your passion can be a rather arbitrary thing, to answer Wendy’s question. Some of us, like me, were lucky to discover it at a young age. Matter of fact, I heard myself blurting out ‘journalism’ in a ‘what do you want to do with your life’ session in Grade 8. The next year, my English teacher dubbed me the editor of our junior high newspaper.

    And so it began, a lifelong pursuit to make coin off my talents as a writer.

    So maybe it’s about learning what makes you happy and fulfilled and figuring out how to turn it into a career.

    But I guarantee, few of you will ever be as lucky as a sports writer. 😉

    • davidolinger says:

      Yes, Angela, I think starting out as a sports writer may have been the basis of how I conduct myself. After all, I am also passionate about sports … so maybe having the opportunity to start my career by writing about something I am passionate about got my career off to a great start.

    • John Tyler says:

      I agree, I was passionate about trains since I was very young. It was always a dream of mine, one I thought would stay a dream. In high school I chose a path of computer information systems- which I also enjoyed, but I saw it more as a tool/stepping stone I could use in any other career. It was fortunate timing that after I graduated MRC that I couldn’t get a job in my field, and checked out the rail traffic control program at SAIT. Now I am in a job I absolutely love. Can’t imagine doing anything else 🙂

  • Diane says:

    great post David! I agree entirely with this attitude. Congrats on the blog — may you and Wendy receive an ever-growing list of regular readers.

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