by Adam O’Neill MBA, SPHR
Sr. Human Resources Consultant
Growing up, I certainly never yearned for a career in HR. In fact, several years ago my then 5 year-old daughter asked what I did for work. When I replied, “human resources,” she puzzledly asked, “What kind of race-horses are those?!”
As children, we dream big. “When I grow up, I want to be a …”. Yet the sentimental value of pursuing our childhood passion is too often interrupted or altered by experiences and influences in our adolescence. Rarely does the young astrophysicist end up working for NASA, or the young firefighter for the FDNY.
For those who take comfort in numbers, rest easy. According to LinkedIn, a whopping 70 percent of working Americans never find their “dream job.” So out of the 157 million in the US workforce, could this mean that 110 million Americans are unhappy with work? Thankfully, not at all.
Some claim, “I never work a day in my life” to describe their complete fulfillment with their job, and that is wonderful. But rare. Continuously looking for ways to improve ourselves professionally and personally, most of us have to make concessions, seek out the best available job at the current time, and acquiesce to an occupation to which we never aspired. A job title perhaps furthest from our childhood ambitions may somehow appear on our nametag. Oh the horror!
Not so fast. Remember, you were hired because the company had confidence you would be able to perform the essential job functions satisfactorily. Your employer has decided to invest in you because you are important and you want to work hard because of what you value. So what do you value and invest in?
On average, work comprises less than 25% of our time in a given week, leaving plenty of opportunity for us to engage in other activities. Our labor pays the bills and expenses of life. Some of those expenses allow us to pursue off-work passions such as travel, performing arts, hobbies, continuing education, recreation and sports, community volunteering, mission work, and charitable giving. Whether the beneficiary is a loved one, a cause, or self, these investments reveal what we hold as worthwhile to our quality of life – what we value.
If we remain focused on what is important (to us) in life and place the proper perspective on our job purpose and title, we will realize they are a means to an end; a stepping stone along a path of employment that enables you to live a value-filled life outside of work. Success in employment and success in life are correlated for those who maintain this viewpoint.
Amazing things will happen. Doors of opportunity will open to those who work hard in pursuit of their passions. Decades ago, I never imagined I’d end up with Human Racehorses, but I’ve ridden them on some of the most enjoyable journeys to some of the best destinations of my childhood dreams.
Acadia HR has been helping businesses locally and nationally since 1989 by delivering tools and resources to build efficiencies in their clients through personal, customized service. For more information on outsourcing options, please call 845.876.1987 or email sales@AcadiaHR.com.