How to love your job

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Disclaimers:
– I already like my job and company a lot.
– This is not advice for everyone (or anyone).
– The following is probably just a symptom of The Summer Season when I’m a nicer, more socialable and optimistic person.

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I am currently with my fourth workplace (third company) since leaving the ranks of graduate school and it’s mildly impressive to me how much things change in six years… and how much they stay the same.

At my first workplace, I started at the very bottom, that’s how much I needed a job. Within three months, I transferred to a better position but I couldn’t connect with my co-workers or other colleagues in the office. It had a bit to do with the field and where the office was located and people were a little uncouth for my taste.

At my second workplace, in an academic setting, my colleagues were really intelligent but we were such a small and somewhat misunderstood group. I shared an office with two colleagues and I spend enough time with and knew them well enough!

In Toronto, I was pretty frigid for half a year until I started talking to one of my female colleagues who is my age. The addition of a young, talkative, male colleague made the conversations more fun overall. And I really got more comfortable only when I knew my next step, which was to transfer to the Vancouver office. Such is life!

Vancouver is my long-term place. I eschewed putting down roots for seven years but have now bit the bullet, as they say. My current company is one with plenty of career opportunities so I’m a real fan, to say the least. Emulating one of my older colleagues, I was hesitant to be friends with my peers with my position and made my first friends elsewhere in the company and learned through them about different aspects of our business. Further, if you don’t work together or for the same people, you have to talk about things other than work – you won’t hear me slagging about my work or other people. And as I moved into my second year with this office, I let loose a little more. And seriously, having friends at work makes the workplace better.

Which is just a segue to tell you about the super fun and remarkable (for me) things I’ve been up to this week.

On Sunday, I went on that long and dangerous hike with two co-workers. They don’t know it directly but they have been an inspiration for my current healthy lifestyle including eating habits and exercise. On our long drive back to town, I was able to have a really good chat with a co-worker in the same role as me about our future opportunities with the company.

On Monday, I learned a manager and I were both in a bind with expired/expiring passports so we arranged to keep each other company to get passport photos done and then a passport office run. His passion for his work is really inspiring and refreshing and stimulates me to work smarter and towards the possibility of joining his or a similar team.

On Tuesday evening, since the official company Badminton Club hadn’t start up all summer, I organized for a small group of us to go to drop-in at a gym in Burnaby. It’s always fascinating to see colleagues out of suits and “business casual” and learn who is good at badminton and be wildly impressed. My co-worker kept shouting, “You’re a horrible person!” when I would get a good shot off her, which is not a bad thing. :P

On Thursday, my lunch date at the nearby Nespresso shop was with a marketing colleague with us on contract. She’s so awesome I’m always a little saddened that there might not be a role for her after a permanent marketing staff returns from leave. But you still just take the opportunity to get to know someone.

On Friday, my team was treated to a catered lunch from Meat & Bread and then a co-worker and I walked it off with a trip to Bella Gelateria in Coal Harbour. The queue is usually so long this was a smart way to try it out! Gosh, I’m glad the office isn’t so close to Bella for it to be a constant temptation!

Next week will necessarily be more quiet because this week – while really exhilarating – was unsustainable.

On this day..