Find a job you love, with people you love
Kate Carter

“Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

My dad used to repeat this old quote to me daily when I was in college, working for him in the summer and thinking about my future career.

It was surprising to me that this man loved his job so much. He had dreamed of becoming a football coach, and he did it for 10 years professionally. But eventually he changed paths and went into Property Management, which to me couldn’t have looked more different than football.

My father recently passed away from a difficult journey with Alzheimer’s, and a family member shared with me some photos they took of him on his last day on the job.

Looking at the photos, a couple of things really stood out to me.

The first was the date. His last day at work was less than 2 years ago, more than 7 years into his diagnosis. He was well into the throes of Alzheimer’s at this point, and it was surprising to see just how recently these had been taken.

The second thing was how much you could see people really loved him. Like earnestly, genuinely loved him. People graciously giving their time to him, to sit and visit, to share their memories with him even if he couldn’t hold onto them for long.

The final thing I noticed was that he genuinely loved the people he worked with back. He was always interested in others. Curious about who they were, their lives, how he could help them, their families, their children.

To anyone else in the world, they would have stopped coming to work as soon as possible. But my dad loved his job, because he loved the people. He kept going to work as long as he absolutely could, because it gave him so much purpose.

I didn’t become a football coach, or a property manager. I went to art school, got a BFA in Art and then an MFA in Design (”One Art degree wasn’t enough?” he would joke), and eventually became a Creative Director.

But I know with complete certainty that my dad would be happy I followed his advice. And that I learned real the secret to having a job you love is finding the people you love working with.