How would the world look like if everybody loved their job?

We were walking home from a restaurant. It was dark, cold but kind of cozy. Suddenly there was this crowd. Everybody was holding a glass of wine. They enjoyed themselves. They enjoyed other people's company. They looked relaxed and happy. It was their after work drink.

the wine store (source: Noelka's winery FB page)

And then there was this man. He was different. A bit dressed up. He was dancing in the crowd. Holding at least one bottle of wine. Pouring the wine into other people's glasses. Smiling. Engaging. Listening and then moving to another group. This guy was at work and he was excellent at it. I couldn't stop myself from asking him: How come you're so happy while working?

“ I just love wine, miss!” he answered and gave me one of his big genuine smiles.
The wine man (source: Noelka's FB page)

This guy doesn't just love wine. He loves when people enjoy it. He loves to see them smile and unwind. Honestly, he's the perfect wine store owner. He's the one to make you come back every single week, twice.

It made me wonder:

How would the world look like if everybody loved their jobs as much as the wine man?

It would be an awesome place!

Full of smiling and deeply engaged people. #MotivationMonday hashtag will no longer exist. Monday will be celebrated as much as Friday. A lot more people will look forward to work as much as they do to getting home.

But come on! No rainbows 🌈& unicorns 🦄! People won't stop being annoyed with work from time to time. They'll just enjoy their work more overall.

So how do we get there?

Let's take a look at our wine man. What's so special about him? Why he loves his work so much? Why he's so good at it?

I believe, he chose his work wisely.

He chose the work that combines his passion, life mission and his strengths.
  1. Wine is his passion. He loves wine. He cannot stop thinking about it or drinking it. :)
  2. Wine is his mission. He wants everybody to understand wine and fall in love with it as he did once.
  3. He's really good with people. Which helps him to be a good salesman too. Important skill when having your own business, right?

It's important to say that most of the people would suck at his work. They would hate it. I would. But he's just brilliant! He made an excellent choice for himself, because he knows himself well. And that's the most important.

For anybody seeking their dream job,…

learn about your strengths, mission & passion first.

Okay, I get it. Not all passions & missions stuff can actually pay for your rent. At least not from the beginning. But if you know your strengths well as well as your weaknesses, it's the gold right away! Realizing that will help you to be true to yourself. It'll also help you to decide whether the “dream job” you chose is the right ONE for you. It definitely helped me to do much better choices.

To give you a bit of inspiration

Below is a short list of my strengths & weaknesses created together with people that know me the best.

My strengths:

  • Positive & energetic
  • Curious
  • Communicative

My weaknesses:

  • Impatient
  • Overwhelming (as I'm sometimes too energetic — e.g. when people wake up with a hangover and I shout: “Good mooooorning, guys!” oops :))
  • Too nice

And my career choices? 8 years in tech with one exception …

  1. Diplomat — I'm not kidding. I wanted to be a diplomat since I was like 8 years old. I have a Master's degree in diplomacy & international relations. I had 2 internships (Geneva & Israel) after which I decided that I would be deeply unhappy if I continued to pursue this career. It makes sense — have you ever met a nice, energetic and impatient diplomat? Me neither. :)
  2. HR (employees' happiness)— I never even thought about becoming an HR person. It was like “Kate, now you are head of HR, we need to hire more people” and I was like “okay”. It was an awesome job! We grew our team from 6 to 146 employees by the time I was leaving. Perfect use of my all 3 strengths.
  3. Customer development — Then I badly wanted to learn how to build a successful business. Eric Ries, was saying that the key is to master customer development. So I was like — let's learn it. Being positive, curious and communicative helped me a lot while executing customer interviews. Impatiency was a bit of a pain. But it was a good challenge. Overall, I really enjoyed this work.
  4. CEO — or a juggler. :) I found my true passion and mission in our startup ( My strengths — positivity and high energy helps me and our team to stay motivated even when it's hard (like as it's always :)). Curiosity is why I started the business in the first place. And being communicative is important at all levels — team, customers, investors etc. Challenge can be found in the “too nice” weakness. But I'm actually thinking about turning it into one of my strengths. Ask me in a year or two how did it go. ;)

Some tips on how to learn more about your strengths & weaknesses:

  1. observe yourself for couple of days like you were a stranger
  2. ask at least 5 people close to you about your strengths and weaknesses (ask them to be brutally honest with you and then don't be mad)
  3. my least favorite option, but still: you can try some strengths' assessment tests like this one on authentic happiness or a 16 personalities test to get to you started.

If you want to dig in deeper, I highly recommend this book Strengthsfinder 2.0 or Harvard Business Review articles.

And then hopefully cheers to more “wine man-like” people among us.

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