What a classic line from the 1960’s film Spartacus with the wonderful Kirk Douglas in…
“I love my job”. This was a young Naval officer being interviewed during a TV series about Britain’s biggest and latest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth.
I don’t know why I found the comment unexpected. Yes, she knew she was being filmed, though she might not have known it would go out on national television. It didn’t feel ‘set up’. It was just a lovely comment.
She was talking about leading one of the teams of firefighters in the event of a fire on the deck of this super-aircraft carrier. “Sometimes it’s very tough. But every day I wake up and realise how lucky I am”.
It got me thinking about my job. Do I love it? And if so, when? And when don’t I love it? And does it make a difference?
For me, time goes much quicker and I’m much more positive when I’d doing the stuff I love to do: working with and helping people will come high up on the list. And I do know that sometimes I do make a difference in other people’s lives, though I often find it easy to forget that.
But that’s the easy bit, enjoying and valuing the bits we love. What’s more challenging, of course, is what we do about the stuff we don’t love.
And there will be lots of reasons why we don’t love parts of our jobs. One may be that we’re not very good at that part. Maybe it doesn’t come naturally, or we just don’t do it very well, or we’re not trained as well as we could be. (I met a mature salesperson this week who said to me during some sales training, “this is a revelation to me. Nine years ago I was a buyer, then they asked me to sell, but they didn’t teach me how to do that.”)
I guess one thing about the Navy is that they train very hard to get it right, whatever they’re doing. Now, this isn’t a plea to do more training, necessarily! (That would be too obvious from me).
But it is an invitation to stop and consider what would help you/me to love our jobs more. What can we do about it? If we care enough. Choose to do it better, or differently, perhaps, or just change our attitude to it. Or delegate it to someone who would love to do it?
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every day and, like that Naval officer, realise “how lucky I am!”
If you’d like a conversation about that, I’d love to share some of my thoughts with you. Do get in touch by email or by phone +44 (0) 7889 167486.