I recently had the opportunity to read an article written by Alex Frankel entitled “Working for Happiness.” It was the very last paragraph of the article that caught my eye and make me suddenly understand why I was drawn back to the employer that I am once again employed by.
“In the best situations, the applicant hears a calling to the company long before applying; there is something out there that makes the place seem like the right fit. In the best case scenario, there is a moment when you are working at that place when you feel alive, when you are no longer questioning and thinking about life on the outside, life before the job, life after the job. In that moment, you are the job. It’s a rare, elusive feeling, I discovered. But it’s the secret to happiness at work.”
I spent five amazing years working for this employer in a seasonal, part-time and full-time capacity and each day left my personal life behind when I stepped out to perform. I wasn’t worrying about paying rent, who did what last night with whom, or whether I would get my college papers done in time to hand in. All I thought about was what I was doing at the exact moment I was doing it. During working hours I was my job and that’s hard for me to say because I’m not really one who wishes to be classified usually. Despite the drama that usually presents itself in every backstage area, I felt lucky each day that I was fortunate enough to perform for the company.
Now, years later, returning as a manager I still find myself becoming my job from the moment I walk in and until I walk out. I don’t dread getting up for work, even when I’ve had very little time to sleep from the shift worked the day before. I might be exhausted and barely able to keep my eyes open at times, but once I arrive at work I spring into action ready to contribute in any way possible. The idea of calling-in when sick doesn’t even cross my mind as I know I’ll enjoy whatever I’m doing at work that day despite being sick.
Maybe I did, without realizing it, hear a calling to my employer long before applying. I grew up as the daughter of an employee of the company and feel as if I was always surrounded by it. Sometimes I think it was almost inevitable that I would work there and only natural that I would be drawn to return to it years later. Thank you Alex Frankel for so perfectly summarizing inner thoughts that hadn’t even occurred to me yet. You captured the thoughts I never even realized I had into a perfect little paragraph that gave me my very own “ah-ha!” moment.