I attended an event the other night where I encountered an excellent example of a person in the right job.
The person I met was a security guard, Joe, at the entrance to the venue. This man's job was to cover the door and check tickets before entry. My friend and I were at the start of the queue waiting so we had the pleasure of enjoying a conversation with Joe.
Normally I expect a security guard to present the tough guy persona - ie stand tough, tall, straight and no smile. Yet Joe didn't have this demeanour. He immediately came across as professional, friendly, courteous. He also had the aura of presence around him that said ' I am in charge here so don't mess with me' - but in a nice way'.
So as it is my favourite conversation pasttime to find out about people and why they do what they do I started up a conversation. Immediately my friend and I learned about Joe's experiences in Australia and overseas in Hollywood. He did not divulge any secrets nor betray the confidence of his clients. However he gave us enough of a feel for his job to then ask the question - "So what made you want to be a security guard".
He smiled and beamed to us "I am passionate to protect".
With amazement we enquired further. It turned out that Joe has been in the industry for a long time. He always finds work to keep him interested. He enjoys the variety of people he meets and always is professional.
It did not take much convincing for me to realise that this guy was a perfect match for his chosen work. I observed that Joe
- knows what he is passionate about and it relates to his work
- can state and share his passion confidently and clearly to complete strangers
- finds work in various ways that always relates to his passion
- acts in service to others through his work
What also stood out to me was that Joe did not see his job as boring.
I once met another security guard at an event who demonstrated the opposite. In fact the person was so not happy with the job that she explained to me all the reasons why she should not be in the job. Lucky her employer did not know this – or maybe unlucky. Given her role facing people she maintained a glum expression, slouched, never interacted with people nor seemed to have much life to her. When I struck up a conversation with her she seemed to be resigned to the fact that she could not do anything to change her situation and just had to put up with it as part of her job.
The contrast between the two experiences was enormous for me. If ever in a position where I needed a security guard I certainly would choose Joe any day. Why? Because I could trust that somewhere within him is a desire greater than the job title to do the right thing. I could count on him to ‘go beyond the call of duty’, be more than just reliable and do his job. He would put 110% in the effort of ensuring that his client was well looked after.
So think about your work. Think about your passion. Are they the same? Are they connected in any way? Can you state your passion wholeheartedly and say you are living and working your passion?
If not then what do you do? Well I am not suggesting you pack up and leave your job. I am not that crazy. Well unless you have your world lined up to make that work.
No instead take some time to fuel your passion until it powers you. So let me suggest a few ideas for now.
- Stop and think “Am I passionate about what I am doing right now?”
- Go through a day at work and monitor your passion levels. When do you peak and when do you drop down to a low point?
- Notice how you feel on the inside when you are doing what you say you love to do.
- Consider how your work serves others.
- Imagine looking back in 10 years. Will you say you wasted your time or it was all that you were meant to do?
So enjoy your passion at work whatever it may be.
Let’s go there…