Why Work is Like Nutella, NOT Peanut Butter

Plodding through the beautifully organized world that is LinkedIn.com, I stumbled on an intriguing article--Why Work is Like Peanut Butter by J.T. O'Donnell. Fortunately, I hate peanut butter. When I discovered nutella (thank you, dear daughter), I realized I'd found something altogether wonderful. Before jumping into that, though, let's get a better understanding of Peanut Butter and Work connection...this is my imperfect understanding of the article, BTW.

If you began your job enamored of it, then fell into disillusionment, then you've realized an important truth--work is like Peanut Butter. Huh?

Here's why says the author:

  • Peanut butter (work) is a surprise to your taste buds that have had to make do with boring healthy stuff (your old job). You put in effort to get a new job, and your brain is wrapped up in unwrapping the surprise.
  • Peanut butter (your new job) gets to be boring since you over-indulge, enjoying it for lunch every day. No matter what variations you try, the new job is as eventually as bad as your old one.
  • In spite of your realization that your new job has unpleasant crunchy parts, you realize it's your job and you accept it for what it is--a flawed, imperfect occupation in a crazy world that provides a paycheck.
Again, I hate peanut butter. I've hated it since I was a child, and even trying it again as an adult, I find peanut butter...repulsive. In fact, I usually know when a job is repulsive to me or not. I either like it, or start planning a move.

Realizing that this doesn't sound like your work because your job is sweeter? Then, maybe...

Rather than dwell on why jobs you hate are like peanut butter, I'd rather focus on why work is like nutella. This past weekend, I found myself buying an extra jar of nutella at the local grocery store. My daughter, an avid bibliophile, had requested a jar for herself. "Oh Dad, it's awesome! You've gotta try it!"

When I did, the blend of cocoa, hazelnut, sugar and other ingredients threatened to overwhelm me. No, don't get me wrong. This job, er, nutella, wasn't too sweet or sour. Rather it was a creamy, enchanted exploration of what peanut butter could have been and fell short.

Work is like nutella because of these reasons:
  • Peanut butter work is just you over-doing it, pretending to be someone that you're not. Nutella-work is accepting who you are and how you can enrich the lives of others.
  • Nutella work makes every job task a joy to perform, rather than a chore to crunch through with sticky residue.
  • Peanut butter work is all about YOU, while nutella work is all about listening to others and sharing positive, delicious experiences with new foods/tasks.
  • Work is like nutella because, instead of having a bunch of sticky junk stuck to your teeth, nutella oozes into every crevice in your fingers, making you grateful that it spreads--and cleans up--so easily. Simply, because work is so darn wonderful, you're not afraid to pitch in and get your hands dirty.
  • Work is like nutella because even though it comes in a small jar, you realize that you want to share it with others. You want others to experience nutella, that new job, because it's so heavenly.
  • Work is like nutella because when you have some place to be with exceptional people, you realize that you want to DO MORE NEW THINGS with those people. Variation is desirable in combination with nutella so that you can achieve new experiences that help define you as a team.
  • In the end, if you have to leave to leave your work, because nutella goodness has been exhausted, you realize that you'll spend every waking moment looking for the right set of circumstances to experience it again...and again, and again.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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