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The myth of the glamorous job

 5 October 2018     Donald Cooper 

Recently, I met a young man, about 30 or so, who builds and installs cabinets and kitchens for IKEA customers who don’t want to do it themselves. Having personally gone crazy trying to assemble several IKEA products over the years, I asked him if he loves his job. Without hesitation he replied, “I absolutely love it.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it!” I love this guy.

Over my 20 years of business speaking and coaching, many people have told me they’d be happy if only they had a glamorous job. By most definitions, building and installing IKEA cabinets and kitchens is not a glamorous job – and yet this guy loves it.

The ‘glamorous job’ that so many folks are hoping for is a myth. Being an airline pilot is not glamorous. Mostly, it’s pretty boring as the plane flies itself 90% of the time. Being a surgeon is not glamorous…except on TV. Owning a business is not glamorous. It’s mostly long hours of trying to solve problems you had no idea existed when you worked for somebody else. Making movies is not glamorous. It’s bloody hard work with 3am set calls, long hours, 37 ‘takes’ of the same scene and a lot of just waiting around.

Here’s what I’ve figured out. A glamorous job is when you love what you do; who you do it with and who you do it for – and when two out of three ain’t good enough.

So, how do you score on this one? If you don’t like what you do, for any of these three reasons, will you stay unhappy indefinitely or will you do something about it? Finding and thriving at a job that you (mostly) love is one of the most important things you can do in life. It sure beats living and dying miserable.

I’ve coached many business owners who feel trapped in their own business. It isn’t fun anymore for whatever reason and they don’t know what to do about it. This is particularly damaging because if the boss is unhappy, everyone in the business is likely unhappy. Joy, passion and commitment start at the top. If your business model doesn’t serve your life model, you either have to find a way to fall back in love with your business or it’s time to move on. Much of my coaching work is in exactly this area.

One other thing. We’ve all met people who are consistently unhappy in any job, in any business and it’s always somebody else’s fault. The problem is internal, and they need to work on attitude, gratitude, self-esteem and taking responsibility. They have work to do on themselves.

Who and where do you commit to be in three years? Find your glamorous job!

Here’s something else to think about:
What’s out-of-date in your business? Everything we do tells customers whether we’re paying attention to the details – or not. I was in a medical waiting room last week and noticed a sign on the wall proudly promoting an event that took place three-and-half years ago.

Then, because they were running late, I picked up a news magazine to update myself on what’s going on in the world. It was from April 2015.

Look around your business and check out your web site. I see web sites all the time listing ‘Upcoming Events’ from two years ago – and nothing since then. The message is clear, “We stopped giving a damn two years ago!

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This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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