Did you ever have that one career, that one job, you told yourself you would never do? Well, I did. It was sales. I truly convinced myself I wasn’t the sales type. I told myself, I don’t want to talk people into spending money on something they didn’t really want and never really needed in the first place.
But I am the type of person who will sit down and talk to a perfect stranger for 15 minutes and learn their entire life story. That’s not the same thing, though, right? That doesn’t mean I can sell someone something? No one will take me seriously … will they?
My Career Story
First, I was an airman, and I loved my job! During Desert Storm, I found myself elbow-deep in the bowels of an A-10 gun, or at the end-of-runway arming the MERs, TERs, and BDUs on an F-15, F-16, or F-111 before its flight. There was excitement — and just a hint of fear — as the plane would whoosh overhead. I knew my actions were just a small part of the whole, but there was never a prouder moment for me, career-wise.
Next, I was a reporter. I wrote stories highlighting public events and exploring the lives of people living in the community. Once, I was honored to tag along with the Springtown High School Band when they were invited to march in the Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C. (I had written a lot of fundraising stories throughout the year.) When the day of the parade arrived, it was hot — not Texas hot, but hot. The air was thick with pride and anticipation. We could feel as much as hear the beat of the approaching drum. Then suddenly, “Deep in the Heart of Texas” rang out. The crowd erupted in cheers, and they all began to sing. It was beautiful!
Now, I am a salesman, saleswoman, salesperson — oh, whatever, I’m in sales. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I love it! I walked into ILSA not knowing the admitted market from the produce department, but I’m learning. It’s wonderful. While it’s only been a few months as I’m writing this, believe it or not, I think I’ve found my place. Granted, I am not selling something no one needs or wants. Instead, I get the opportunity to help insurance professionals solve real problems.
Why You Should Love What You Do
According to Business News Daily, there are four reasons to do what you love for a living:
- Fulfillment: The editor at BND puts it beautifully, “Your job shouldn’t just be a source of income. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you’ll end up missing out on your life.” After all, who wants to dread going to work every day?
- Productivity: When we love what we do, we’re more excited about tackling each day’s tasks. Additionally, we’re more motivated to learn more about our industry and to expand our skillsets. (I know that I come in each day thinking, “What am I going to learn today?”)
- To Inspire Others: Enthusiasm is contagious! We talk a lot about the challenge of attracting the next generation of insurance professionals. When we obviously love what we do, that passion inspires everyone whose lives we touch.
- Greater Success: Having a true passion for our careers not only motivates us when things are going smoothly, it can also sustain us when things get rough. That perseverance and positive attitude are success boosters!
It’s a Gift
Marc Anthony said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” In that case, I’ve been incredibly blessed. From my years in the military to my days writing for newspapers to now, I have never “worked.”
Of course, that’s not to say that it’s always easy. There will be frustrating times, but those moments are usually few and far between. But when you can leave your home for eight hours (or more) and feel good about what you are doing, it is a rare gift. So, from the ILSA Sales Team with love, find your passion for your career.
Looking for another inspiring story about following your passion? Check out Leading With What You Love, by Ted Taveras.