“Love what you do…” (Taking advice from Steve Jobs)

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to truly be satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speech (June 2009).

There’s no doubt that those of you reading this blog have in fact heard or read the quote above in the past month or two.  With the recent passing of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs I can’t help but notice that there has been a lot of chatter on social media sites about not only the way Steve Jobs’ products have changed our lives but how he, as a man, lived his life and how we, as a society, want to align our lives with his philosophies.  Love what you do.  Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your success.  Life is short so make the most of it.

I recently decided it was time for a change in my career. To be completely honest I just wasn’t “feeling it” in my former position.  And by “it” I mean I wasn’t being challenged, I wasn’t getting the opportunities I had asked forI wasn’t being mentored and I was beginning to feel like just another warm body producing construction documents. Now, let me stop there and say that my experience at that firm was great, I worked on two of the largest projects in Denver, collaborated with some great designers from large national firms and met a lot of wonderful people, but it became clear that I was not going to reach my professional goals if I stayed.

About the time I decided I needed to move on, an opportunity came to my attention that I couldn’t pass up.  This new position offered me the mentoring I was looking for, the opportunities I knew I needed to succeed and a much different office experience than I have had in the past 5 years.  I couldn’t pass it up. I accepted the position without hesitation, well, without too much hesitation. Changing jobs in this economy is scary.  I was leaving a position that I had been at for over a year, a firm that was established, and was heading to a newer company with higher risk.  I weighed the risk involved, I calculated out the pros and cons, I asked myself the question, “What if I get laid off again.” And in the end I decided that the opportunity outweighed the risk and the potential of this position outweighed my current situation. I took the risk, the leap of faith and didn’t settle.

We all face the challenge of making our careers what we want them to be.  So I’ll ask you this, are you doing what you love? If not, what risks do you have to take in order to live your dream?  What’s standing in your way of having the career you want, the career you envisioned as a student? Are you willing to settle or are you ready to take that risk, the leap of faith in hopes of living your dreams?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to be come. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

One thought on ““Love what you do…” (Taking advice from Steve Jobs)

  1. Thanks for writing this Heather.
    Personally, I’ve known in my heart & soul what I wanted for my career, my life.
    When I was laid-off in Kansas City two years ago, I moved back to South Dakota to live with my family for a while. There was pressure that I find a job in my hometown and safely wait for the economy to get better.
    I could not do that.
    If I had chosen that path, I would be playing it safe and living out someone else’s plan for my life. I had to seize the timely opportunity to move to Denver and try to build the life I had always wanted.
    Yes there was a lot of risk involved, but I was being true to myself and that mattered the most.

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