November 1 – Doing the job at hand with enthusiasm

November 1. “I found that the men and women who got to the top were those that did the jobs they had in hand with everything they had of energy, enthusiasm and hard work.” (Harry Truman)

Relatively speaking, it is easy to be successful in your job when you are doing something you love. When you get out of bed every morning, eager to get to the job so you can get to work and be productive on an exciting project or assignment, the work comes easily. When you have an assignment that “clicks” with you, success will appear to flow naturally.

While it might be romantic to consider the idea of following always your dream and letting the money take care of itself, the sad truth is that all too often we find ourselves in assignments that aren’t the ideal, dream job.

In today’s quote, President Truman notices that successful people find a way to be successful, even when they might not be in their dream job. The formula he sees is to do the job at hand with energy, enthusiasm, and hard work.

Being able to be enthusiastic, and to work hard at a job that isn’t the ideal, is indeed a path to success, especially in corporate life. There have been plenty of assignments in my nearly 29 years at my company that were not what I’d call ideal. Sometimes I have had to clean up messes that weren’t mine. I have had to manage projects that had little chance of success. I have had to do finances on projects until all I saw when I closed my eyes at night were spreadsheets. None of those were cherry assignments. How well I have done at those kinds of assignments has greatly influenced how successful I have been over the years. Sometimes I have followed Truman’s formula and been successful, other times I have lamented and complained my way through to a mediocre result.

Today my reflection is on success and taking on jobs that aren’t ideal. Today I am wondering where there are jobs at hand that I can attack with enthusiasm as a way to broaden my experience and move myself along the path of success.

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