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  • Kevin Bakewell

#LessonsLearned = #EnjoyYourWork

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

One of the best pieces of advice my Dad ever gave me was this: Son, whatever job or career you pursue, make sure it is something you enjoy. Money isn't everything!

He spoke from experience, having worked 20 years in a job that he "really disliked" followed by 20 years in a vocation about which he was incredibly passionate: Teaching. I come from a family of educators. In fact, with the exception of my wife, our son, my brother and Yours Truly, my entire family - parents, sisters, daughters and even in-laws - are or were educators.

Teaching is a calling; it won't make you rich but knowing that you've played an important role in preparing our future leaders is gratifying, particularly when directly reinforced by a former student who stops in for visit as a young adult to share what a positive difference you made in their life. That is the very definition of #EnjoyYourWork.

To be clear, #EnjoyYourWork doesn't mean you will #AlwaysHaveFunAtWork. We have our good days and our bad days, but if we stay focused on the ultimate positive impact of our roles - to the company, its customers and the community at large - we can enjoy the fruits of our labor.

I was blessed with a 45+ year career supporting a trusted national brand (AAA) whose "DNA" included a unique commitment to traffic safety advocacy. In full disclosure, I had no idea that a part time summer job would turn into such a career. But as my role expanded to include direct responsibility for advocacy, I grew to truly enjoy what I did knowing that - not unlike the teacher - I was making a positive difference and saving lives.

About 15 years ago I worked as part of an executive team to develop a communications plan that clearly articulated the company's purpose, goals, core values and envisioned future. The company's stated desire for its employees was front and center, and is just as relevant today as then:

  • Enjoy your work...

  • Grow and develop...

  • Perform at your personal best!



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