Carl Mays: Love the job you’re with

Sep. 05, 2013 @ 11:57 PM

Vicki Jenkins, co-owner of Gatlinburg’s “Beneath The Smoke” shop with husband/noted photographer Ken Jenkins, came to mind as I sat down to write this column.

A while back I wrote a column titled “Do it now!” The purpose of the informative (but, as I was told by many, “entertaining”) column was to encourage people not to put off getting a colonoscopy.

The column contained the sentences: “Usually, the colonoscopy is a piece of cake – compared to the preparation that almost kills you. If you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m talking about.”

In a rather humorous manner I proceeded to paint a descriptive picture of the preparation, not taking into consideration when or where people read my column in The Mountain Press. Since Vicki sometimes visits her mother’s house during the lunch hour – and sometimes reads my columns as she eats, she offered me some advice shortly after the colonoscopy column appeared: “Carl, you need to give some type of warning, like, ‘the following column contains graphic material.’”

With Vicki’s advice in mind, this column doesn’t contain “graphic” material, but does contain diverse resources: Dr. Billy Graham, Stephen Sills, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1970, folk rock singer Stephen Sills wrote and recorded as a solo “(...if you can’t be with the one you love...) Love The One You’re With.” Later recorded by the Crosby, Sills and Nash group, along with the Isley Brothers, the Supremes and many other groups and soloists such as Bobby Goldsboro, Aretha Franklin and Engelbert Humperdinck, it is still being presented and recorded today.

This week, I read an article by noted minister/evangelist Billy Graham in which someone told him, “I don’t hate my job, but sometimes I hear people talking about how much they love their work, and it makes wonder if I should’ve done something else. Did I fail to listen to God when I was choosing my career?”

Dr. Graham responded in part, “God might lead you to another career as the years go by, the important thing is for you thank Him for the job you have now, and ask Him to help you be the best worker you can be.” Dr. Graham indicated that the more you get into whatever you do, the more the possibility you will grow to enjoy it more – and, of course, the more productive and of value you will become to your company.

Several years ago, minister/motivational speaker Norman Vincent Peale told how an employer said he was going to fire a man. Dr. Peale suggested to the employer that he should “fire the man into the business” rather than out of the business.

He meant that the employer should have a heart-to-heart talk with the man – that he should encourage the man to mix his basic talents and abilities with a good dose of enthusiasm. The employer chose to work with him, and the man developed into a valuable employee. Enthusiasm and greater appreciation for his job “fired the employee” on to develop new participation, leading him to find more enjoyment and success in his work.

If you need to inspect how you can put more into your current position and get more out of it, consider this advice from Martin Luther King, Jr.: “If a man is a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’” In other words, as I like to say, “Wherever you are, be there.”

Another way to put it is, “Love the job you’re with.”

© 2013 by Carl Mays, National Speakers Association Hall of Fame member and author, whose mentoring site is based on his A Strategy For Winning book and program. Contact or view