At 10Eighty we love any excuse for a celebration. Valentine’s Day is good because it involves both chocolate and flowers, we love both, though we’d choose sunflowers rather than roses.
Saint Valentine was a martyr, or possibly three martyrs, records are unreliable. During the Middle Ages, it was believed that birds paired in mid-February, this became associated with the romance of Valentine. Although the legends differ, Valentine’s Day is widely recognised as a day for romance and devotion.
Romance in the workplace, not appropriate, not going there. I did once work for a firm where, on Valentine’s Day, the Chief Executive gave each female employee a single red rose, in a beribboned cellophane cone, from a very smart and very, very expensive Mayfair florist. Nice, but a bit odd.
Which leaves devotion. As in loyalty, commitment, dedication – the devotion to duty evidenced by the engaged employee. For inspirational quotes about careers you can’t beat Winston Churchill’s, “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work again.”
Optimise the search for the perfect career
We think you should devote some serious time and thought to planning and managing your career. Most, but not all of us, want work that is stimulating, meaningful and rewarding. Some need teamwork, some want power, others need autonomy and meaningful work looks different to each of us.
We like to feel we are part of things, that we understand the corporate vision and strategy and that our contribution is recognised and counts for something. We are more likely to devote our energy and commitment to our jobs when we see the link between our performance and organisational success.
First, think about what you really want from your working life. Consider the factors that shape your career choices – how important are money and status? Do you need a job that embodies your personal values? Are you a specialist or a generalist?
Then, review your skills, values and drivers. Assess your strengths and preferences, and your aspirations. At 10Eighty we use a strengths-based approach. Strengths are what energise us, we enjoy using them and learn quickly when we can put them into action. A 2011 study showed that people who felt they were using their strengths have more positive emotion, greater vitality and self-esteem, compared with people who did not feel they used theirs.
If you want a rewarding career you need to work it. The ideal is find a job that suits you, so you are doing work you enjoy, working with people you find congenial, in a cause that resonates with your values. Your career is your responsibility. Invest in yourself, learn new skills and garner new experience, keep up to date with developments in your field and relevant technologies. Don’t restrict your learning to work-related studies, learning is good for your brain, learn for the joy of expanding your horizons.
It’s not pie in the sky, you spend a lot of time at work and many of us will either have to or want to work well into our 70’s, so finding a career that is challenging, rewarding and enjoyable makes sense.
Just so you know, the day of the week when people love their job the most is Thursday, believe it or not. I have no idea why.