Between thinking about my first seven jobs and the fact that it is Labor Day, I have been reflecting on previous positions and work that I have done. Some of my most enjoyable assignments revolved around the IBM Selectric typewriter.

I was a wizard with that machine, and it served me well through dozens of office placements via the temp agency and as the machine that powered my terms as program board secretary. Just seeing one brings back many happy memories.

So imagine my elatedness when I found an IBM Correcting Selectric II machine at Goodwill. (Well, maybe you can’t imagine it, but try.) I was giddy. Here was this magnificent machine, even in the same blue I used in college. My very own Selectric!

I could not see a price, but was ready to take it home no matter what it was marked. We asked the clerk and I steeled myself for figuring out how I could fit it into my budget. The answer was $4. Four dollars. I would have easily paid ten times that.

So now I have my authentic blue Selectric, along with my old Royal, Underwood and Royal Safari. Between the four of them, I have paid less than $10 total and received immeasurable joy each time I glance at them on my shelves.

I think these old typewriters are a good metaphor for work. You may dismiss something that I love. I may find joy from something you want to be rid of. I can find pleasure in something that you see as a burden. And I can get giddy about something that does not move you at all.

I hope on this Labor Day and on all the days that follow, you find work that brings you as much enjoyment as my typewriter did — and again does — bring me.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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