Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 November 2019

Why loving your career is essential to your success

Passion for your profession drives purpose and income it generates

Passion and motivation in the workplace are contagious. Getty Images
Passion and motivation in the workplace are contagious. Getty Images

During a recent panel discussion, a fellow panellist and I debated whether being motivated by love or money was more important for our business’s success. I said that passion and love for my career is what drives its success and the income it generates, while he argued that money was the case for him, and he didn’t believe that love should be in the equation; that managing his business was purely a rational exercise.

Loving one’s job or business, isn’t something good to have, or a nice addition to our career. On the contrary, it’s important for our well-being. Think about it. A lot of us spend most of our day at work, and we interact with our colleagues more than we do with our own family members. A colleague of mine drove every day to a job she despised, and dealt with a supervisor she didn’t like. Her only reason for staying at her job, was because she didn’t know where to start looking for a new one.

During the time she spent at her job, she put on a lot of weight, which the doctors said was affecting her health, and she endured several panic attacks. Her career and her negative feelings towards it were sabotaging her well-being.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemoiology & Community Health in 2016 even revealed that workplace satisfaction could help people live longer. We read those jokes all the time about dragging ourselves to work at the start of the week, and how people long for Thursdays and Fridays. But when one thinks about it, it’s no laughing matter at all. In fact, it raises a lot of questions. We should be concerned if we are doing something we don’t like, and it is affecting our health.

When I want to get my nails done, I always go to a beauty parlour close to my house. To be frank, the place is not aesthetically pleasing, nor is it trendy or hip. But their nail technician compensates for that. She’s always beaming with love for her job. She’s detail-oriented, and files my nails with such love and care that I can’t feel help but feel great about the time spent there when I’m done. My friends constantly comment on how healthy my nails look, and I always laugh and say they were made with love. Two new, and much more famous, nail salon franchises opened adjacent to that parlour, but I wasn’t tempted to switch. Even when I’m out of town, I would wait until I got back home to do my nails.

Seeing the nail technician’s passion for her work, and how I enjoyed my time spent there, made me realise that passion for a job attracts clients and makes them enjoy the service provided too, which leaves them longing to come back again. I also notice it when I interact with businesspeople who obviously don’t love their job.

I don’t want to come back and deal with them again. You could argue that you could train staff, especially customer-facing ones, to recite certain greetings and put on smiley faces but something enjoying a job can always be picked up and is always distinctive. No amount of training can cover a lack of enjoyment.

Loving your job and the motivation and drive to do it well is important across all sectors of the business. An unmotivated manager, or one whose heart isn’t into their job, could easily bring down their entire team, even those who really like their job. The opposite is also true. A deeply motivated team member can positively drive their team to success. Passion and motivation are contagious. I know that through experience, working with both a motivating supervisor, and one who was putting everyone around them down.

A successful career is often a result of loving what you do, and finding your purpose through it. I understand that in some situations we have no choice but to undertake a certain job but if there is even a slight chance we could do something about a job we don't like, then we should take action. My friend ended up asking the company director to be moved to another department she’d be more productive in. Three years later, she is managing that department, is happy and is thriving at her career. Taking action was an essential turning point in her life.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati journalist and entrepreneur, who manages her marketing and communications company in Abu Dhabi

Updated: October 28, 2019 04:16 AM

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