Lately, I find myself pondering the idea of work. At times, the decisions and options can be overwhelming as well as exhilarating. These interests can take me down many paths, but is it work that will matter? And when I ask myself "is it work that will matter" I need to define whom it will matter to—to me or to my neighbor, or to the world? I think that question might be a tall order based on the scope. In past work, I remember feeling a bit uneasy working on a product that I know people use and then discard. I felt this challenge to design the life cycle of that product to make it better for the environment, cradle to grave style. I read that the next generation's tech savvy graduates are demanding their new employer to create jobs that matter. See an interesting Forbes article (here). This new trend in work excites me. Young people are motivated by cause more than money or titles and are blazing trails for new forms of business. Since we all can not work for companies with a cause, like TOMS or Patagonia, how will we find meaning in the work we are doing right now?
my journal entry:
Coalesse show room space at Neocon
To me, work that matters all comes down to whom I surround myself with. A good team can make a project. Bad leadership can bring something exceptional crashing down. A well functioning group can let ideas flow while one sour person can taint the atmosphere. So maybe it is not even the title, or the paycheck, or the tasks, but the people that should be evaluated and weighed. My husband is working at a firm that is fantastic, and it all comes down to the attitudes of the people on his team. His boss noted that he does the airport test with each person he interviewed, internally asking himself if he would enjoy being stranded in an airport with this person. Such a good test! When I was leaving my last job, so many emotions were playing out inside. I enjoyed the tasks, but it was the people I was going to miss. I feel strongly that a major part of our work is how we respond to each moment while doing that work—giving compassion to that crazy co-worker, helping when it is not in the job description, giving empathy to that client that ripped up the work. I remember learning at a young age, that character is what you do when no one else is watching. Yes, literally helping people with your career is amazing, but if you currently find yourself in an unfulfilling job, maybe you are not looking hard enough. In the hopes of not sounding trite, it is the little things that add up and matter most.