Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Mike the Boilerman's lessons in loving your work

I had the pleasure of meeting "Mike the Boilerman" a few weeks ago.  Mike, as the name suggests, fixes boilers.  There is, however, one key point that set Mike apart from the fleet of other similar engineers:

He loves his work.

I love my work too but when I initially meet my clients, they can struggle with the concept of "having a fulfilling career" (by which I mean loving your work more often than not enjoying it).  It's all very well in principle, it seems, but turning it in to reality can feel a bit far fetched.   

So what is his secret?

Know what you're good at

Mike was clear from an early age that he had an interest in and talent for fixing things.  He decided that, rather than fix lots of different things, he would specialise.  His quality of work meant that he quickly gained a reputation for being the "go to" person for boiler repairs.

So what?

What is your specialism?  What are you the "go to" person for?  This can be a practical skill or knowledge set but can also be expertise in bringing people together, high quality work or pragmatism.
What you know what you're good at - and are not shy about acknowledging this strength, others will see it more clearly too.

Set expectations

There is no "under promise and over deliver".  He's not out to make a quick buck.  He is clear about how he works and how he charges from the outset.  He doesn't do boiler installations or bathrooms.  He does boiler repairs.  That is all.

He found that, by setting expectations early, people could make more informed decisions and that made for a better working environment for both parties.

So what?

What are you prepared to say yes and no to?  How well do you set expectations; either personally or for your teams?

Make it easy

We are so good at making things way more complicated than they need to be.  In my experience, is it usually because we are concerned about what others may think, say or do as a result.

Mike realised that issuing invoices and chasing payment was taking up way too much of his time.  
His solution was to take payment either in advance or on site.  Would people resist?  Some did but, as he said, those that are resistant are usually the ones who would require chasing under the old process so they are no loss.

So what?

What if it really was that easy? What are you telling yourself about the consequences and what facts do you have that this is the case?

What next?

Mike and I are not the only ones who love our work.  I am meeting more and more individuals now who have found a fulfilling role which they enjoy.  Whether in a large organisation, a start up or your own business, there is something out there that will light your fire.  
Get in touch if you'd like to see how I can help you find work you love.
And if you still don't believe it exists, just ask Mike.

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