Playing Badly Well: Sign of a Good Career

Yesterday, I awoke from one of those nights that parents know well. One of my three children is sad – dealing with mean girls – and, as the adage says, parents are only as happy as the unhappiest of their children. So…. I didn’t sleep well, as in perhaps 4 hours.

On days that I didn’t sleep well or felt under the weather and was working as a private sector attorney, I was miserable.  I wanted to just go home and sleep but… the boss, face time, work I didn’t want to do…

But yesterday, as it has happened numerous days, my work was my mood salvation. I went into the office tired, feeling low and stressed. At the end of the day, I came home feeling energized, upbeat, and stress free. Imagine that!

There is an athletic saying: playing badly well. It means that the athlete is so good that he can have a bad day and still play well. I remember back in the day of Michael Jordan’s dominance. Even on an off day, he still was better than everyone else.

My work is a mood enhancer, not a mood deflator. I rarely tell my friends who are in tough jobs about my work happiness because I know it might bring them down.  But I do tell my career counseling clients of Career Counseling Connecticut because some have almost given up hope that there is such a thing as “happy work”.

While it is true that more people are unhappy because of their work than happy due to work, it is equally true that you can become one of the lucky ones. If so, your whole life will change because even your bad workdays will be pretty good.