Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Here for the Party...

Today I interviewed a job applicant who was telling me about her lazy co-worker, and she said, "You know, I'm here to work." I literally stopped, wrote it down, and thought: Blog #2 in the Why I Work series. Then I finished her interview and, of course, the day, which was, by the way, brutal. Brutal. But that's not what I'm here to discuss.

I've interviewed so many people, talked to so many people about their jobs, and almost 80% of the time, when you ask them how they deal with stress, crises, etc., in the workplace, they will say, "I don't let it get to me, you know, I'm just here to work..." That phrase literally thumped me on the nose today. I've explained why I work - to have a better life. But my question is now: What am I here to do?

Quite honestly, I'm here to enjoy myself. When I have found myself in the job market, I have never been content to find 'just a job'. I have always looked for something I could enjoy, something I would like. And I like what I do now. I have a big job ahead of me. Huge, even. But I like it. So that's one reason that I'm there.

Next, I'm here to make a difference. It is trite, but for me, it is true. See, I have been miserable in a job before. Usually my level of misery was directly influenced by my manager/supervisor/boss. Of all my leadership goals, perhaps one of the most central is a desire to create a positive, encouraging work environment for my employees. I want to be the boyfriend who buys you roses for no reason after two years with some dude who forgot your birthdays, Valentine's Day and Christmas. I don't want to do this because I am a saint. I want to do this because I want to be good at what I do. If I am good at what I do (leading people), then my success will grow. Next, I want to hire good employees, and then I want them to stay. It makes my life easier when they stay because I do not have to spend time hiring and training new employees. Finally, I want my employees to like working for me. I want them to say, "Now, she is a good boss." It's interesting, and not at all surprising, that even within this desire to create a positive environment for my employees, there exists a set of subdesires serving my needs alone. I am such a selfish creature.

I'm here to use what I know. When I learn something, I'm not content to just throw it on the shelf. I want to use it...teach it...hone has to remain a fluid process for me, or I see no point in learning the thing in the first place. One of the most gratifying ways that I use what I know is in teaching and training positions. Perhaps that is why I always gravitate to positions of leadership. Well, it's one of the reasons, at least.

I feel like there is maybe another 'Why I'm Here' or two, but this is what I've got for now. And it is, of course, open for discussion.

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