Spaghetti is my favorite meal to prepare. There is something so organic about cutting fresh vegetables like green peppers and onions, as well as celery. The blending smells are incredible. And the forming of the meatballs is a ritual in and of itself. I am not one of those that mixes anything in with the ground beef either. It has to be pure ground round with 15% fat, perfect for rolling into 1.5 inch meatballs. The flavor of the meat is important, I just can't bring myself to add egg or bread crumbs of any kind.

Tossing the diced veggies over the meatballs and bringing it all to a good simmer just feels good. More smells rise in the kitchen and give way to the sounds of cooking, boiling water, clinking pans. Pasta waits for the water to boil and fresh tomatoes are folded into the sauce. I typically buy sauce and then doctor it up with freshly ground seasonings and a little sugar for good measure. The sugar is a must. It's kind of like my secret ingredient. I guess it's not so secret anymore.

I love to make spaghetti. I can't really tell you why except that as a young woman, it was one of the first dishes I perfected and made with any kind of regularity. Served with a fresh salad and/or French bread, it just always feels like the perfect meal. And my kids like it, too. My youngest daughter almost always says, without fail, "That looks so good, I'm starving." I think the smell of spaghetti actually make you hungrier. They compel your instincts to begin the craving process, as if it were a new or unusual thing. For me, for my family, spaghetti is home. It is motivation. Ultimately, it is a reward. I enjoy making it and I enjoy eating it - it is truly made with love. And it's a win-win.

How do you stay motivated to complete your work? Do you really enjoy the process or are you only going through the motions? Does your work require you to truly live in the space, to keep your head in the game? Or are you just buying the canned sauce and dumping it in the pan? Is your heart in this at all? There are those that love their work, I mean truly love what they do. It shines through, it's easy to see. Then there are those that just want the paycheck, that are only driven by money. If the end result is the same, does the motivation matter?

I am sure there are plenty that make better spaghetti than I - they may even hate to make it. Even so, their spaghetti is still good. The talk about transactional recruiting versus relational is really kind of silly when you think about it. The purpose of the work is to fill an opening, solve an issue. If the tactic you use completes this task, does the method really matter as long as the need is met or a placement is made? It is all relative. Not everyone likes my spaghetti. And I'm ok with that, cause in the end, I'm the one that has to eat it.

by rayannethorn

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I am not sure I love my work. But I love my wife and kids so work must go on....
Interesting discussion Rayanne. The idea of loving work may be a bit overstated. I agree with CB's comments entirely. However, I would say that the key to delivering quality in whatever you do is to be completely connected to whatever activity you are performing. If you've ever had a chance to read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, you probably are aware of this premise, but I really have to agree with it. If you are not at one with your work, there will always be a noticeable disconnect. If you pay attention to great musician's you can see it, and the same properties are present in any activity, even the most menial of tasks. Be what you are doing when you are doing it, and the results will have quality. When we attempt to distance ourselves from our work, I believe, the work loses some level of quality.

To your analogy- I've had very average-tasting meals prepared with love and by someone who is truly connected to the cooking process, and they've been some of the best meals of my life. While at other times, I've had exquisitely prepared meals that were delicious but left something missing. Yes, both meals fed and nourished me, but one left me feeling completely content, while the other simple left me feeling full.
Rayanne, most successful teams are really engaged and passionate about their work. Studies have shown that more engaged teams actually are more profitable and people stick around longer: http://rypp.ly/bVvfV3.

I think that most of us have the potential to be passionate about work and want to love their work, but so many managers and companies miss that point: they don't make engagement a priority. According to another study (I've been reading a lot lately!), 82% of people aren't passionate about their work: http://rypp.ly/cQTbn2.

It doesn't make sense to me: we spend so much time recruiting for top talent, looking for energetic, smart people and yet seem to pay so little attention to it after the hire. How about giving more feedback to help learning? Or more praise for good work?

I don't understand why so many teams and companies turn their hiring energy into wasted effort by not making it more of a priority to keep that passion alive.
I worked two years in a job that stole a piece of my soul every single day. I was doing LR for a theme park. The staff made minimum wage and the relationsjip between the union and the organization was poor at best. I now work for a non profit where no matter what kind of day I have, I know the work I have done has helped to make someone's life better. I manage a wonderful team of recruiters and we get to offer people employment. How cool is that?!!

I am also fortunate to be surrounded by coworkers that I respect and that get the work done. To me, the work is not as important as the people you work with. It has made a huge difference in my life!

My point is that combine a job you love with poeple you love to work with and that is a darn good recipe!
I don't love my work. I love the lifestyle it affords me. I'm good at my work and don't have to suffer through it as being difficult each day - though my true love is for my family and being with them.

I love not setting an alarm clock. I love taking a vacation whenever the mood strikes me. I love being able to do my work in a park or on my porch. I love the freedom. But I don't necessarily love the work. (Though I'll add I can think of nothing else that would give me the lifestyle I absolutely enjoy!)

Though in closing - I have a very, VERY strong "like" of placements......
Nicely said, Jerry. After 25 years as an HR specialist owning my own company, I agree completely. In fact, I've quoted you on my FB Wall

Gary in Toronto
http://is.gd/fTaVl


Jerry Albright said:
I don't love my work. I love the lifestyle it affords me. I'm good at my work and don't have to suffer through it as being difficult each day - though my true love is for my family and being with them.

I love not setting an alarm clock. I love taking a vacation whenever the mood strikes me. I love being able to do my work in a park or on my porch. I love the freedom. But I don't necessarily love the work. (Though I'll add I can think of nothing else that would give me the lifestyle I absolutely enjoy!)

Though in closing - I have a very, VERY strong "like" of placements......
Awesome Rayanne. I look forward to reading your next post!


Rayanne said:
Ooooh, Jesse, you are going to get me started on something that should just be saved for another post, so I will just touch on it briefly...

Recruiting is the first step in retention. Whether you are an in-house recruiter or a third party, you are a significant contributor to the formation of a team or department or lone reed. If we fail at the follow up and follow through, if the lone reed is left alone, chances are that search will have to be re-done. I am a firm believer in doing it right the first time. I have no desire to give back a fee or have to face the wrath of a hiring manager. Engage. Even if you don't love what you do, you should at least care about your reputation, having to re-do work, whether or not you get repeat business and if a job has been well done - whether the placement solved the problem, resolved an issue, cured a pain....

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