For many, duty and commitment mean the same thing. It means doing something you ought to do.
But there is an important difference between these two terms in the context of work.
What’s the Difference?
When we hear about people doing their “duty”, we get a sense of the responsibility these people have and that they are working for the greater good. What we don’t see is that for the person, this duty can feel like a heavy weight on their shoulders. They are expected to act in certain ways, sometimes sacrificing their own beliefs, morals, and freedoms.
On the other hand, “commitment” elicits a different set of emotions from us. There is a sense of camaraderie, compassion and unity. It’s more like a promise that comes from the heart, not necessarily required but you are compelled to follow through anyway.
Now, of these two words, which one would best describe your work? Which word would you prefer to use to describe your career and profession?
Do Your Duty or Create a Commitment?
If you’re like me, you want your work to feel like a commitment rather than a duty. While doing your duty might be a worthwhile pursuit, it means your doing work someone else wants you to do. And who wants to be bossed around, right?
But when you see your work as a commitment, there’s a compulsion inside of you to work on it. You’re not by any means forced to do it, rather you’re happy to do it.
The question now is: how can your turn your “duty” into a “commitment”?
Create a Commitment at Work
To truly enjoy your work and be productive, you need to love the work you do. After all, you did choose to apply for your job so there must be something in it that you love.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to turn the burden of duty into a commitment to work.
1. What are your core values? These are values you are known for, like being trustworthy, hardworking, curious, etc.
2. How can you live out your core values in your work? For example, if you value creativity, maybe you can find ways to make reports more pleasing to the eye.
3. Create a commitment to do work well, not because it’s imposed on you, but because it’s a way to show others your core values. You can keep this in mind but even better, you can write it down so that you have a reminder of your commitment on your desk.
All it takes to love your work is to make it a part of you, by making it an extension of yourself through what you value.
And the happy side effect of this is that not only will you be fulfilling your commitments, you will also be doing your duties at your company.
Here’s more proof that reminding yourself of why you do your work is beneficial.