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Loving a Dirty Job

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Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, doesn’t just adore his own work. He notes that stars of his program—with their unusual, disgusting jobs—are surprisingly ecstatic about their own careers. Who could love a dirty job?

Rowe explains his perspective in a guest editorial in Forbes magazine:

It’s true. People with dirty jobs are in on some sort of a joke. Maggot farmers are ecstatic. Leech wranglers are exultant. I’ve personally witnessed lumberjacks and roadkill picker-uppers whistling while they work. And don’t even get me started on the crab-fishermen, spider-venom collectors and chicken-sexers—they’re having such a blast they’ve sworn off vacation. So why are people with dirty jobs having more fun than the rest of us?

The answer (aside from the fact that they’re still employed) is because they are blissfully sheltered from the worst advice in the world. I refer, of course, to those preposterous platitudes lining the hallways of corporate America, extolling virtues like “Teamwork,” “Determination” and “Efficiency.” You’ve seen them—saccharine-sweet pieces of schmaltzy sentiment, oozing down from snow capped mountains, crashing waterfalls and impossible rainbows. In particular, I’m thinking of a specific piece of nonsense that implores in earnest italics, to always, alwaysFollow Your Passion!

Cleaning the toilet

© Flickr user mollysabourin

Aren’t these sayings meant to inspire us to greatness? According to Mike Rowe, stock business phrases actually demoralize employees in the workplace. These are signs and speeches designed to create productivity and satisfaction through edict. The men and women of Dirty Jobs do not spend their days in the shadow of a motivational poster but out in the muck of work and progress.

This applies everywhere, not just on the set of popular national TV shows. You do not need to be told to follow your passion if you are already having a grand old time digging out, building up, tearing down, breaking apart, forging together, scrubbing down or burning in the stuff of your employment. Motivation to work comes not from the outside but from within.

AccelaWork believes that organizations succeed most effectively when stakeholders are satisfied with their role, purpose and contribution to the larger operation. When people believe in what they are doing and understand how their own work feeds into the work of others, they have the path to find passion for what they do. Get business consulting support to learn more about how to better engage enthusiasm in your business or organization. We believe that stakeholders make work worth doing.

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