The Best Job in the World

Published: October 1, 2012

In the morning, the organization's Chief Innovation Officer laughed as she detailed the creative tasks that filled her typical day. At lunch, another company's Controller described how good it felt when the books balance. In the afternoon, a school teacher lit up as he told the story of one of his students' "aha!" moments. At dinner, the real estate agent described the perfect fit between the family and the home they had located together.

I had started my day believing I had the best job in the world. Mind you, I still believe this is true. By day’s end, however, it was clear that I am not alone in this belief. Many among us have discovered that ideal match between our strengths and the activities we define as our work. So what, exactly, is the recipe?

WHAT WE DO: The best job in the world has to be aligned with our personal mission. We have to believe that our work has meaning and somehow brings value to the world.

WHY WE DO IT: The best job in the world reflects the themes of our history. Somehow, a thread runs through all of the important people and events of our lives and lands in a role that, for this moment in time, furthers the reason we are on the planet.

HOW IT GETS DONE: With our own unique strengths and abilities, the way we approach our work becomes an extension of our natural wiring. Every task, every project, every interaction, therefore, becomes energizing and fun.

Take a look at your day. With whom did you interact and why? What activities filled your schedule? Does what you do, why you do it, and how it gets done occur in harmony with your values? Then, you have the best job in the world!

Photo of Steve Ritter, the co-founder of The Center for Team Excellence

Steve Ritter

Steve Ritter is an internationally recognized expert on team dynamics whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional sports teams, and many educational organizations. He is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst University where he earned the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching. Steve is the former Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, named the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 and winner of the American Psychological Association's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve provides ongoing workplace culture consultation to many thriving companies including Kraft Foods, Advocate Health Care, Kellogg's, the Chicago White Sox, AthletiCo, and Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.