“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do great work. The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.”

These inspirational words of Steve Jobs might seem rather obvious. However, how easy is it to be ‘truly satisfied’? Is it too ideal to assume that it is possible for us all to find a job we love in increasingly competitive job markets? Can we even afford to be putting love for one’s career as the main factor when seeking work?

Whilst valid questions to ask, it is this kind of cynicism that is holding our generation back from factoring love into the equation when searching for work. The desire for high earnings appears too often to replace the search for an appeal and engagement in work that comes from loving what you do—remember that the two can go hand-in-hand and more often than not, it is the latter that leads to the former. It can be so easy to confuse ‘success’ with ‘happiness’, when in fact if you strive to do what you enjoy, you are far more likely to be successful. Steve Jobs is a clear example of this. His reminder to our generation that our “time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”, is a potent one. Too often, living our own lives is forgotten about in the rush of everyday life and in the need to get results almost instantly.

It’s clearly time we get back to the basics and keep in mind such everyday maxims in the way we approach our careers. As a generation accustomed to being given constant direction, by the time we graduate and are forced into the real world of work, more often than not, the ability to think for ourselves and provide our own direction becomes a frightening concept.

This week, Oxford AdSoc hosted Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP, the world’s largest advertising agency, at the Oxford Union. Sir Martin is the perfect example of a man who provided his own direction, by taking what he loved doing and making it his own. After leaving his role at Saatchi & Saatchi, at the age of forty Sir Martin bought a small company called WPP and has now turned it into the largest advertising and marketing services group in the world. Having now assumed the coveted title of the world’s most influential ad man, the experience and knowledge he built up through working for years in the advertising and marketing world, quite clearly contributed to the success of his own business. Like Steve Jobs, Sir Martin emphasised the importance of loving the work you do. He told us how his father had always told him to make sure he enjoys whatever work he pursues and then to take this enjoyment and turn it into something greater if he could—and this is exactly what he did.

Along with his clear message of making sure you enjoy the work you do, the advice Sir Martin gave on two crucial actions to pursue in the advertising world was also simple, but extremely relevant. He told us that to succeed in his industry, speed and persistence were essential. It is all about being quick and not giving up.

It is rather refreshing to hear such simple approaches being attached to the word ‘success’. It seems that this word is too often over-complicated in the desire to stand out and be different. Sometimes sticking to the basics of simply being effective, persistent and having an interest in what you are doing will yield the best result and make you truly satisfied. Taking from the achievements of two highly successful men…loving what you do clearly has its rewards.

Written by Lourdes Webb, your AdSoc Vice-President.