I Want To Do This

A young woman approached me as I was finishing work last night and said “I want to do this. What you just did. I want to have your job some day.”

Our conversation served as a catalyst for three thoughts.

  1. How can I approach my work every day honoring the years I spent dreaming of having this job.
  2. How can I help this person and others like her to win a job like mine?
  3. How can I develop my current role to make it even more awesome for the next person?

It’s worth remembering that there are a lot of people who would love to be doing what you’re doing, whatever the work you do.

Some of them already know it – they could name the role, understand the job description, can point to people who have already done it, and have some understanding of the career path.

Others don’t know they want your job, but they’re desperately seeking something to do with their lives that uses skill set in a context that fits with their vision of the person they want to be in the world. This person might want to be an Associate Musical Director or Director of New Product Development if she knew those roles existed.

It’s important to show up each day thinking about how privileged we are to do the work we do.
To honour our younger self who daydreamed about one day doing work like this. How might we imagine and create opportunities to harness the excitement and enthusiasm we had when we arrived at work on day one?

You have an obligation to lead others. To show them how to get to where they want to be and to offer a compelling vision of their future.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to share how you got to this place, and what you’ve learned along the way. There are various ways to go about this:

  • Conversation over coffee
  • Writing and sharing an article about my job from the perspective of someone who has been here and done this
  • Host a presentation for people who are considering this line of work. Share with them what helped you get to this point and what tips you would offer someone who was considering the same path

Once you start considering the person who will take over your role one day, what can you do to make that position more accessible, fun, and rewarding? What elements of your current job description can adapt, remove or amplify to make it even more of a dream job?

We don’t need to hold onto our positions with the mindset of scarcity, worrying that someone may rip the work out from under us. Instead we can choose to evolve what we do. To bring new talented and inspired people into our departments. By training and encouraging them to take over the tasks that we currently handle we can move onto doing even more valuable work. Replacing yourself at this level gives you the opportunity to solve more important problems and lead a greater number of people with impact.

Today I’ll return to work invigorated by the privilege of doing what I do. I’ll be looking for ways to do it even better and I’ll be thinking about how I can pay this opportunity forward to the next person.

Share This