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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Can you really love your job?

Feb 27, 2018
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

A group of up-and-coming leaders asked if someone can really love their job.

I asked them a question back:  Do you always love your family, friends, significant other…even your dog (think about a middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom only to step in something squishy)?

What I heard was chuckles and the truth—not all the time.

My theory on loving my job is the 80/20 rule. There have been jobs in which there was no love. And there has been work I truly loved. Over the years, the challenge became to slowly learn the tasks and atmosphere I love to work on, or in, about 80% of the time. If that did not work, I either changed my attitude (yep, sometimes it is me) or changed the work/job.

Yes, sometimes there is squishy stuff (you know, upset clients or associates, a missed deadline, or—shudder—timesheets). The goal is for that to be 20% of the job, not most of the job.

However, I have never been one to “work to live” or to “live to work.” Who wants to enjoy every moment in this life? Me! At least as much as possible, including when earning a paycheck.

  • What is your 80%?
  • What is your 20%?

Seriously, inquiring minds want to know.

I am great friends with people whose 80% is timesheets (paperwork). They would HATE to have to do my 80%, which is facilitating training/learning for adults (public speaking), building business (sales), or helping people solve problems (consulting).

Wishing you a great day, and remember:  Lead with legacy.


Tammy Jelinek has over 20 years of experience in working in and with fabulous organizations. This blog will explore what it’s like for her to lead as a woman, as a GenXer, and as a person who truly wants to lead with legacy—meaning she wants to walk her talk. Tammy has presented training nationally across the United States, built businesses, coached amazing people, and built a career in the squiggliest path known to man…or in this case, woman. She has a passion for being curious, helping people, and making actions happen. 

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Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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