Do you love what you do? (Article)

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This free High Performance Newsletter article explores the relationship between work enjoyment and employee engagement. It makes a difference to both individuals and organisations if people feel that they are making a real contribution.

Derek Stockley is a training, learning and performance consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. He conducts in-house and public training courses.

Do you enjoy your work? Do you love your work?

At the start of my training programs, I often say "conducting training is what I love to do".

There are a number of different meanings for love. In this case, I mean an 'intense emotional attachment'.

I enjoy what I do. In my case, it is more than enjoyment. It is intense, because I work very hard to meet participant training needs.

The attachment comes because I genuinely believe that I am making a difference. Sometimes people tell me what they intend to do. Often, I can see changed behaviour in the training room.

Sometimes my work is life changing.

I see this most in the Train the Trainer programs I conduct. I recently met someone who attended a train the trainer program I conducted some 18 years ago. We had not seen each other in that time. As we discussed what we had being doing, I discovered that he had moved from accounting into the human resources field. He did this shortly after his involvement in a train the trainer and the associated training program I was responsible for. As we talked more, I realised that the train the trainer had provided the impetus and opportunity for the career change. He was now in a senior learning and development role.

Over the years I have had enough encounters with previous training participants to know that there are lots of similar stories. This is one of the reasons why I love what I do. I would like to hear more about the success stories. If you are one of these people, please contact me!

Dr Martin E.P. Seligman, a proponent of positive psychology, has identified three types of happiness. The highest level he defines as having a meaningful life. He defines it as follows:

A meaningful life consists of again knowing what your highest strengths and talents are and using them in the service of something that you believe is bigger than you are. *

What about you? Does your and life provide you with satisfaction? What are the things that are important to you?

In our society, work is still very important. Even if people have slightly altered the way the topic is introduced, it is normally one of the first things discussed with people that we meet for the first time.


Leading employers have people that are actively engaged with their work and the organisation. People who enjoy their work are engaged. People who love their work are highly engaged. As work is so important to many people, it is good for both the organisation and individuals to enjoy and/or love their work.


* The three types of happiness - highlights the latest research on the three types of happiness.

Related reading

"You have to find what you love" - text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. Steve Jobs tell three stories about defining moments in his life, including when he was sacked from Apple Computer, the company he co-founded.

Although this article is specifically about personal development, other articles under the following topics may also be useful:

To review the newsletter, see: Listing of recent newsletter articles. All articles relate to a performance theme, but individual newsletters cover a specific topic. Themes include customer service, leadership, management, website marketing and time management. You can see all articles in chronological order at: Listing of newsletter articles in chronological order.

You can publish this article, see: Publication.

Derek Stockley conducts in-house customer service training and consulting, see customer service training and consulting.

Derek Stockley conducts public training courses in both Melbourne and Sydney, Australia.

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