Wikipedia says that a job is “a regular activity performed in exchange for payment”. I never feel like I have one of those things, a “job”. Doing something in exchange for payment.
At least that’s not why I am still at Engauge.
I stay “still at” because I’ve blown past the average amount of time that a person spends at a company after that company acquires their business. I recently passed my three year anniversary of the day that Engauge acquired Spunlogic. March 26, 2008. But who’s counting.
If I don’t love what I’m doing, I either find a way to change it or I’ll move on to something new. In a post a few months back I wrote that if you’re not passionate about where you work, you have two choices: change the place you work or change the place you work.
Ever since I started Spunlogic back in November of 1998 with Raj, and then later Danny, I never felt like I was doing that “in exchange for a payment”. I loved my “job”. I did it because it consumed me. I bounced out of bed every day eager to get to that “job”.
My first year and a half at Engauge I was running the Digital side of the business. And during that time I enjoyed that role. Mostly because of the challenge, because that was a very, very hard time for almost every business. So it was a challenge that I had not ever experienced before (Spunlogic had significant growth every since we started it).
But toward the end of 2009 I started to feel like I wasn’t as passionate about that role as I had been before and it was time for a change. I had gotten the train back on track, the digital side of Engauge was performing really well, and the challenge wasn’t there as it had been a year earlier. Fortunately, Engauge agreed with my vision of creating a group within the agency that would focus exclusively on emerging technology, where my passion was at that time. And the Digital Innovation Group (DIG) was born.
After a year and a half building the DIG group and assembling an amazing team, I decided it was time for me to focus on the agency holistically, not just within the DIG team. Fortunately, again Engauge agreed and created the role of President for me.
Both times, I felt I would be more useful to the company in a new role and that my passion had moved to that area. Both times, my first hope was that Engauge would agree because I love this company. But truth be told, had there not been a role for me or the board not agreed with my change, I likely would have moved on. It would have been the most fair thing for the company because my passion/heart would be in a different place.
So, what have I learned? Life is too short to have a “job”. If you do something every day you don’t enjoy and you can’t wait for the weekend because every hour at your “job” is unbearable, then you should work to change that, either internally or externally.
I guess its because I always feel like an entrepreneur, even if I have a “job”. An entrepreneur can change on a dime. Do something different. Create their own path.
And they very rarely ever do something “in exchange for payment”. And neither should you.