Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seven Things I love about my Job

I was listening to something on NPR today about telecommuting that got me reflecting on how much I like working virtually in my job.  That made me think more about all of the things I like about my job.   My job is not perfect, but sitting back and reflecting on the good parts helps me get through those days where I'm frustrated and want to call it quits.  A lot of people will probably roll their eyes, thinking I'm glossing over the flaws, or sucking up.  Trust me, I could give you a list of what I don't like.  A long list.  My company is far from perfect, but there's a reason I've been here for 13 years, and it's not because I couldn't go somewhere else.  Every company has their flaws, and I just think mine has far less than others.

  1. This is the big one: I love the people I get to work with.  Some of these guys and I go back 16+ years.  We spend time together outside of work, traveling around the country to meet up a couple of times a year.  There are a group of guys who have each other's back and work to make sure the others are taken care of and promoted within the organization.  I genuinely like a lot of the people I work with.  They are guys who will call me out when I screw up and let me know when I hit a home run.
  2. I get to work virtually.  I've worked out of my house for the past 13 years.  My only commute is to the airport and back.  I hate the traffic in the metro-detroit area with a passion.  I hate being stuck in traffic and all of the time I would waste commuting back and forth every day.  I can be 10 times as productive working out of my house.  With the travel schedule I have, I love the flexibility working virtually gives me.  I can schedule around field trips with my kids and lunch with my wife.  I can get my work-out in, cut out of work at dinner time and then work at night if need be.
  3. I like working in a diverse company with people who are very different from me for the most part.  Xerox makes diversity a big priority and it's been ingrained into who it is an a corporate entity, and they give people a shot that might not have the opportunity in other companies.    I work with so many companies that are simply "white-men clubs".  Not Xerox.  Xerox has a work-force that looks like America and gives you an interesting view of the world that makes me better, and makes us better as a company.  Now being a white man, I've got to say that I've been passed over for a job because I am a white man and not a minority, and that sucks.  Overall, I like working for a diverse company. 
  4. I like that I can be myself and emphasize my strengths.  For whatever reason, I'm given a fair amount of freedom to work from my areas of strength in terms of being innovative, being out in front of customers, leading through challenging situations and building relationships.  Part of the reason I can do those things successfully is because I'm allowed to be myself in terms of my personality.  As a person, I try not to take myself too seriously, but take my job and what I'm doing very seriously.  This gives me the ability to have fun with those people I'm working with and work in the context of relationships, but hammer through the tough stuff when I need to and have the tough conversations from a position of relationship and credibility.
  5. I get to travel.  I don't enjoy the part of my job that takes me away from my family, but as much as their are parts of being a road warrior that I dread, I also enjoy having the chance to travel to new cities.  The points I earn and the knowledge of some of the new cities lets me do stuff like this trip with my daughter to New York City.
  6. I like my company's leadership.  Since I have bosses and co-workers that read this, I don't want to be too specific here, but I've blogged multiple times about my admiration around Xerox senior management like Ursula and Anne.  For some reason, I have very good relationships upward and I'm  given great access and exposure to senior management in my company that most would not be.  I've had multiple Senior VP's in my company over the years take me under their wing and mentor me, covering for some of my dumber rookie moves.  All I had to do was make the ask.
  7. I'm good at what I do and I like doing it.  Oddly enough, this is only one part in seven of the overall equation.  This sounds arrogant, but I believe that in the right role with the right management, I'm one of the best at what I'm doing in this job in my company.  Over time, I've able to find positions in my company that stretch me and push me to make me better.  I get bored every couple of years and I'm able to find a new role or change things up enough to push me to be better.  I need the constant challenge in a job, something that keeps my RPMs up high enough.  When I can do my job in my sleep, I know it's time to move on.

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