Statistically most of us will spend roughly 90,000 hours of our lives at work. That's 3,750 days, 535 weeks, 123 months, or more than a decade of your life. Those numbers can be a bit overwhelming. Especially given that so many live for that moment when the clock strikes 5 and we get on with our "real" lives.
I've given quite a bit of thought to this recently as I work with my oldest daughter who is a sophomore in high school. We were just returning from a Burns and McDonnell engineering career event when I asked her what she thought. As a software engineer myself, I was hoping that event might be the spark that would launch her into this exciting field. But alas, my hopeful expectations were shattered upon the shore of my daughter's declaration "that (engineering) looks like the most boring job on the planet".
As we dug into this a bit more, it was clear that she has a strong desire for her job to mean something, to be more than a job. To my girl, she's looking for a mission where she can both grow through the human interactions she has daily while also pouring into those around her. And truly, what a noble goal and one I can certainly relate to.
I am a software engineer. You know, one those guys that sit in the dark and who have to have a translator in order to communicate with common folk. When I'm not programming, I'm at home playing video games and drinking red bull.
I am a software engineer. I love to work with people and learn each and every day therefore, I work with brilliant teams of people teaching and learning together. I love to help companies develop and grow therefore I seek out clients with needs that custom software may assist with and work alongside them to set their business apart from their peers. I love to do what is right according to my own values, therefore I run a business focused more on the well-being of its employees and clients than on its own bottom line.
At Integrity, we don't let the "rules" about how business should be done confine us to a lesser version of our selves then we could be on our own.
True satisfaction in this decade+ of our lives is found through the marriage of what makes us who we are with what needs to be done in our work. Employers solely focused on the work lose out on the super-powers they could unleash from the employee empowered to combine their strengths with the work that needs to be done. Employees solely focused on getting back to their "real" lives are robbing themselves, their employers, and the world of the profound impact their work could have on all around them.
The healthiest individuals use their passions and talents to shape the work they do. Employers - embrace and encourage the passions of your employees and watch them outperform your competition by a mile. When we combine our unique strengths and passions with our software engineering abilities, we get to be a part of something truly unique and beautiful each day. We may even find it difficult to find the difference between the joy we experience at work and our "real" lives at home.