(Note: This is based on one of the prompts from Robert S. Kaplan’s book What You’re Really Meant to Do.)
No matter what you’re doing, work is often drudgery. That’s been true in my career and I’d wager it’s a view shared by many others. Not that we can’t enjoy our jobs, but there are aspects of any job that aren’t a ton of fun.
On the brighter side, there have been times in my career where I’ve had, quite frankly, a lot of fun. There are things that I enjoyed doing for various reasons and at various times. So to make sure it’s not just about the grunt work and the things that very much feel like “work,” here are a handful of job-related tasks I’ve enjoyed over the years:
This should come as no surprise. It’s what I do. I’ve jumped at every opportunity presented to me to write because that’s what I enjoy most. As I’ve said to most everyone I’ve spoken to recently, my career has given me the chance to write on a number of subjects and in a number of ways. Social copy, op-ed blog posts, white papers, ghostwritten blog posts…everything. And the kinds of things I’ve had to write about have broadened my horizons quite a bit. I’ve had the chance to write about comic books, movies, health insurance, domain registries, dental procedures, digital cameras, content marketing and much more. Sometimes these come more naturally than others but damn if I don’t enjoy writing.
One of the things I was responsible for while running client publishing programs was maintaining and organizing the editorial calendars. These are something I’m extraordinarily proud of and, as odd as this might be to say, I had a blast working in them each day. They were filled with different tags and columns that allowed us to finely-categorize every post we published, something that came in handy when it came time for reporting. Not just that, but I had so much fun making those ed cals dance. Particularly the one for the DC Entertainment program, as it was a massive program involving something like 300-400 posts a week. I’d line everything up as best I could, making sure to balance priorities and timely news and looking for sweet spots for news that was really important. Then blow it all up and rearrange the whole damn thing when some bit of breaking news came down the pipe. Put in my headphones, block out the rest of the world, and make it work.
This might sound odd, but I kind of dug reporting. Thanks largely to the work done in the editorial calendar with categorization and combined with formal tools like SimplyMeasured, we had access to a treasure trove of data and insights. Measuring the raw numbers was great, especially when they were moving in the right direction to hit program goals, but so was teasing out the insights and stories from those numbers. I’ve never been a math guy, but I loved looking at these collections of numbers and saying, “Oh, that means this is working and this isn’t and so we need to make the appropriate change.”
How about you? What do you enjoy about the everyday job tasks you have to take care of?