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How to love your job and avoid burnout

QuartzQuartz 2019-05-07

In 2009, two US professors set out to study zookeepers and aquarium workers in an effort to discover what kept them motivated at work. The results pointed to an overwhelming similarity: The keepers gained a deep sense of meaning from their jobs. It didnโ€™t matter that caring for animals was extremely badly paid and offered little career advancement, or that many of the actual tasks involved could be classified as โ€œdirty workโ€โ€”cleaning up feces, chopping vegetables, scrubbing floors. The zookeepers, most of whom were highly educated, felt that they were fulfilling a calling, and in doing so were extremely dedicated, often volunteering for months before even beginning to be paid, and rarely quitting.

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