It’s Friday so we’ll start with food, and having just been in Las Vegas, it’s an easy topic to discuss. I think Vegas might be the second-best food city in the country in many ways (behind only NYC, of course). I’ll qualify that by stating that one needs a pretty hefty bankroll to take full advantage of the best of what’s available there, but let’s put that aside for a moment.
Every top practitioner of damn near every cuisine in the world has a restaurant in town. It’s an all-star aggregation, really, and not even New York has as many top chefs (where NYC kills Vegas is in hundreds of high quality ethic dining experiences as well as food carts). Yet with all this quality (and not all of it is expensive) around, you see them lined up at the casino buffets, eating unlimited amounts of food in between blackjack sessions. How does this relate to work?I think the buffet folks are like most worker bees. They’re doing what they need to do to keep going so they can pursue their passion (gambling) after they eat. It’s the Socrates quote about eating to live personified. It’s a shame.
Work and business, like food, should involve passion. While every day at work can’t be a glorious experience (neither is every meal), on the whole it’s something that should provide pleasure, sustenance, and joy. When something interferes with that – your boss, your field, your co-workers – it’s time to move on. I mean, would you eat the same lousy meal every day if there were comparably priced choices around you?
Obviously the economy has made job-changing more difficult than it once was. But you should be thinking about opting out of the buffet line as soon as you can and laying the groundwork to do so. Maybe it’s not another firm, maybe your role needs to change. Maybe you don’t like the industry but your skills can work in something similar. What if you were to become your own customer (think agency folks becoming sellers and media peddlers going to agencies). In short, remember that there’s great work and great food all around you. Find your passion and enjoy!