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How I had to stop working to love my work.

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I don’t have to work. I get to.

People are endlessly interested in work—though not exactly in the stuff they toil at daily. Every week I talk about work with lots of different people. Students looking for work. Careerists suddenly thrust out of (formerly) safe positions. Adjunct professors disgusted with poverty-level positions. University lecturers trying to fit research together with teaching and coming up short.

Work says a lot about who we are as individuals and what we like to do. It’s says things about our priorities and talents, but work could never tell the whole story of who we are. It is only a starting place for that question.

Roughly 15 years ago I realized I was hiring and paying expensive ad agencies to do the very work I wanted to do. So I quit to find a way to do the work I was hiring away. That was the beginning of a journey toward a new way of thinking about how I spend my days. It became less about going to a place and more about solving real problems that bothered real people, using ideas and words strategically. It felt great to jettison the internal politics of a large corporation, though I miss the great fun I had with friends in the workplace. That’s why I relish my current client teams.

But like the hero in the commercial below, being perfectly suited for something doesn’t mean someone will give you the chance to do it.

[http://vimeo.com/42808729]

Just because someone says you don’t fit the job, doesn’t mean you don’t fit. This is how you find your work: the thing you won’t stop doing just because someone won’t pay you to do it.

Today, even on a Monday, find a way to start doing the thing you love. And don’t wait for a company or boss or faculty chair to recognize your genius. Start the process now to expand and hone your particular genius. Don’t get to the end of a career only to realize you missed the opportunity to work.

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Written by kirkistan

June 11, 2012 at 5:00 am

Posted in What is work?

Tagged with , ,

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