Out of the blue my oldest asked me a very simple question as we were finishing up dinner last night:
Appa, what makes your job so special?
I told her that that was a really easy question to answer and I gave her these three reasons (she was specifically talking about The Iron Yard):
I told her that I get to work with some of the brightest and most talented people possible. I also told her that I really like them, a lot, and that they apparently like me too. I told her that it’s really important that you like those that you work with.
2. The Mission
Secondly, I told her that the company’s mission was worth pursuing. I said it just like that even though I know she wasn’t quite sure what a “mission” was but I wanted her to hear that particular word. I told her that the work that we do is important and valuable and that it ultimately helps a lot of people have better lives.
Lastly, I told her that I have a very flexible schedule, one that allows me to take her to soccer practice and school and that allows me to take care of her little sister when Umma needs a break. Essentially, I told her that my ability to be more “present” and “available” is a result of the work that I get to do.
She seemed satisfied with these answers and proceeded to annihilate her plateful of Thai cuisine.
Later that evening I pondered this question even more and I marveled at how easy it was to come up with these answers. I think that was the most important realization in that brief exchange. There was zero dilution, zero hesitancy, and crystal-clear clarity.
I wondered how many others could answer this question not only quickly but with resolve and satisfaction. If you can’t then I think it’s time to go find something much more fulfilling to do.