Enjoy your work


When I got my first job bagging groceries at age 16, I noticed something that surprised me. It took a few months to sink in and ended up impacting everything in my career.

I noticed a big difference in how work was done, depending on the shift I worked. At first, I couldn’t figure out what was different.

The baggers and checkers were usually the same. The customers were very similar. Time of day didn’t seem to matter much. But one thing was very different:

The Manager

Some managers made work awesome. They were fun, they cared about customers, and they were respectful. They were also the ones who were fantastic at the actual work. They knew how to do the work with quality and speed. And they took the time to teach others. Everyone was better when they were around.

Then there were other managers who weren’t great. They brought everyone down. They blamed others, worked slowly, and didn’t seem to care as much. Everyone suffered.

Same company. Same team members. Same customers. But radically different experiences.

But over time, I realized something that forever changed the way I felt about work. The manager had a huge influence on the shift. But I discovered that I could also have strong influence over the shift, even though I wasn’t a manager.

We can influence our work.

My attitude, enthusiasm, and skill could help a work shift turn out great, even with a manager that didn’t seem to care.

I was quickly promoted to management when I discovered this. And this mindset has gotten me promoted at every job I’ve ever worked.

I share this to show what’s possible. I believed I had power to influence my work. And I poured my soul into it.

Management is a sacred calling. You can enable others to be great. Leadership isn’t something given to us. It’s something we share with others. And leaders can make even tough situations enjoyable (those quotes were given from employees of an hourly call center).

Here’s what it can look like to enjoy your work:

Here’s to the joyful ones.

The people who give us energy.

Those who inspire us to smile, even when things are hard.

What I love most is that there are patterns we can follow to find work we love and enjoy the work we have. There’s a mindset + mechanics that apply across industries, roles, and companies.?

Everyone can enjoy their work.


Want to work with more joy? Join Patterns


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Mental models, inspiring stories, action-oriented tips, and challenging questions to help you make your work better. You’ll learn how to discover what matters to you, design your life + work with more purpose, and decide on immediate action.

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