Loving Work

How quickly we forget.

Do you remember the feeling you had when you started your new job? The excitement and enthusiasm? Have you looked in the mirror lately to see where that is?

Or where it went?

Periodically I meet shiny new hires – first day on the job. I'm struck by how most (not all) have so much of the enthusiasm noted above. And yet some of these people lose that energy sooner rather than later. By the same token, there are those who retain excitement even after years of service.

What makes the difference?


First of course is ego. While a healthy ego is necessary for adult communication its clear that some of us are a little bit beyond healthy. In the group environment most organizations function in today having a sense of place and belonging is important. Healthy ego helps maintain that place while providing perspective. Unhealthy ego can be unbounded – me, me, me – or a whisper in the wind making us feel like we don't belong. Ego is essential and since so much is known about how to manage ego today it behooves us to do so enabling an adult view towards work, roles and employers. Enthused employees have healthy egos


Buzzword popularity notwithstanding, collaboration is the way we work today. If you're not skilled in this essential tool its not surprising that you might find your work less satisfying than it otherwise might be. Work is no longer siloed. There are fewer real “individual contributors” any longer. Even researchers rely on extended teams to perform their work. Collaboration is more than give and take, its synergistic. Its building solutions via group interaction. Because of this some of us – like me – need to work harder to become a better group member as its not our talent. But the reward in job satisfaction is worth it. Want to feel excited again? Learn to collaborate


By far the single biggest factor you control relative to work satisfaction is your own perspective. While other factors – capital, technology, tools – may be outside of your control the way you look at your work is entirely up to you. There is no nirvana in the workplace. There is no perfect job. There is however the opporunity we all have to choose how we look at our employment. We chose the work we do, and we always have the right to opt out. So given that we can leave at any time why would we stay in a position that makes us feel miserable? Why do that? Excitement and enthusiasm are functions of hope: with hope for the future you have every right to be enthused

Enthusiasm for work is largely self-generated: no one else “does” this to us. External factors can interest us short term, but the act of getting up every day and making your way to the job has much more to do with you than with any outside influence.

Onerous or second-nature we all need help over time maintaining or regaining our sense of energy and excitement about our work. Take a look at the three elements noted here to help rediscover yours.



5 thoughts on “Loving Work

  1. As usual, I agree with what you have to say! Another thought from me. How much of the disappearing enthusiasm is down to the individual and how much the organisation. I am sure many of us will have seen it. Unlrealistic information given in the hiring process. A lousy induction. The line manager who doesn’t give the appropriate level of support.
    Some people are better placed to cope with this, are able to draw on their inner reserves. Others become drained and introverted and check out – whether mentally or actually by resigning. I agree that much enthusiasm can be self generated, but managers need to encourage the feeling too!

    • Yes, of course you’re right Gemma! Its the combination that makes the difference and yes, some of us are better suited to handling this on our own. Definitely takes two!

  2. One of my program supervisors just asked me about this, today. All three of his new staff seem unenthusiastic about their contribution. The program design allows staff– all artists– the freedom to make the job what they think and want it to be. The newbies seem to be sort of lost, or uninspired. Ironically, the staff with the longest time in, are still very enthusiastic. He asked me, “Do you think there’s such a thing as too much freedom?” It certainly sounds like it.

    • I don’t know… Its an interesting question: do some of us need boundaries and constraints to become more creative? Is a ample time too much?

  3. Pingback: Wanted | ChristopherinHR

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