Do what you Love . . . Don’t just Work as a Means to an End by Jennie Norris, ASPM, IAHSP President, Owner of Sensational Home Staging
I was listening to a radio show the other day and they were talking about jobs and how people should not whine about having to work – it’s a means to an ends. . . There was a caller that kept changing jobs because she was unhappy with her workmates, they annoyed her, they were not intelligent enough, she got bored, or whatever other reasons she tossed out there – she was not happy at her work. I just kept thinking, “She is in the wrong industry.” If someone is that unhappy in their job that they keep looking for “it” somewhere else – and job hops, and hates going to work – they need to do something else. I kept thinking to myself: “They need to find their passion.” However the advice from the radio people was, “Suck it up.” They actually said for working, “We do what we have to in order to have the life we want.” In other words a job is just a paycheck and working is part of what we all HAVE to do in order to pay bills and have a life that we hopefully enjoy. It does not really matter if you really like it or enjoy the people you work with . . . you do it because you have to in order to live the life you want. WRONG. Anyone else find something wrong with that advice? Settling for a job just to pay bills – is a miserable existence. I know many people do it and I also know for many in this economy having any job is a blessing . . . but I just feel sad for those people. Finding a passion is the key to happiness in the work world. I think high school counselors (and parents) should be helping kids discover their passions – whatever it is – and steer that child into an industry they will enjoy – not just figure out what jobs pay the best and steer that kid into an industry they will hate. Why did I have a physician in one of my recent ASP® Training classes? She has a full-fledged career as a Doctor – M.D. – and yet wants to be a Home Stager. This person was so full of life and creative energy – her field (oncology) was stifling that in her – and dealing with death and dying was just not fueling her passion. She was good at it – but she wanted something more. Realizing there is an industry that pays well and will fuel that creativity opened the door of opportunity for her . . . I expect her to be very successful and much happier as a professional Home Stager! Follow your Passion! Then work is not drudgery or just a means to an end . . . it is something you look forward to every day! As Barb Schwarz has always said, “My work is my play, and my play is my work.” You know how some people just get through the week and then live for the weekend? I live for Staging! I get so excited when I get to work with a client and help them get their house ready for sale! But in order to follow your Passion, you have to know what your Passion is. It might be working with kids, or gardening, or writing or health and fitness, or old cars, or any number of things. . . There are careers for all those fields – they may not pay the same as you are making now – or maybe they will pay more – but what I have found is that I would easily give up $$$ in order to be HAPPY in what I am doing daily and be motivated to be the best in that field that I can be! I thought about all this and realized how lucky I am to have found Home Staging. And how fortunate we all are that Barb had the wisdom and foresight to create this industry nearly 40 years ago. I had a passion for creative things – decorating, painting, remodeling houses, and found this industry. It is my work – and yet it is not a means to an ends only. It’s not just a way to provide income to my family so we can do what we love. It is my passion! My motto is, “I do what I love so I can live the life I love.” I love Staging. In fact all the Stagers I know love Staging. We did it for free for much of our lives for crying out loud! Finding there was an industry that would actually pay me for my creative energy and ideas is the icing on the cake. Knowing I am helping other people (one of my passions), using my creativity and talent (another of my passions) and earning great income (a great benefit of the industry – and OK a passion as who does not want to be paid well?) is the proverbial trifecta of working for me! So if you are reading this and are doing what you love, say a little prayer of thanks as you truly are blessed. If you know someone that is unhappy in what they are doing – ask them, “What you are really passionate about?” It’s never too late to re-invent yourself. Age is just a number and I’d rather go out of this life doing what I love than suffer in silence or never discover and use my true passion.