It Just Works

Given that I work for the world’s largest professional network, I take work very personally. I’m also deeply involved in LinkedIn’s hiring process, which gives me opportunities to see how people make career decisions. I thought I’d share my own perspective here.

For me there are three things that matter to me about my work:

  1. Do I love the work I do? Does work feel like play, stimulating me intellectually and emotionally? Am I excited about the people I work with? Is work a grind, or is it something I do for fun?
  2. Is the work I do of value to my employer? Am I justifying my employer’s investment in me, or am I a freeloader lost in the inefficiency of corporate bureaucracy?
  3. Is my work making the world a better place? Specifically, is the work I do making the world by more like the world I want to live in?

Not everyone may share my above values, and in any case not every job can address all of these values. But I am fortunate to have found one that does, and I’m loving it. To borrow a phrase, it just works.

If you haven’t seen this video by Dan Pink on what motivates people, I urge you to watch it. It’s a great reminder that there is more to motivation than economic incentives.

Finally, I hope that you are doing work that fulfills you. As I work to grow my great team at LinkedIn, my mission is not only to to bring great people to LinkedIn, but bring great work and fulfillment to great people. Whatever you do, be amazing.

By Daniel Tunkelang

High-Class Consultant.

2 replies on “It Just Works”

As usual, reading your blog posts never disappoints or leaves me without things to think about or say.

I agree with all the points above but would also add a fourth: “Does it provide opportunities to learn”.

In particular, I find that a critical aspect of any work environment has to be the people you interact with and the attitudes/perspectives/expertise they bring to their work. As a telecommuter I find that every interaction I have with people in my professional field energizes me — more so if they know something I don’t and I can walk away the wiser or richer for that conversation.

I think an important part of any fulfilling work environment or job is to keep evolving and one of the best perks is to have people around whom you can respect and learn from as part of the broader process of contributing your own expertise.


Nitya, likewise I always enjoy learning from you. In fact, I took the liberty of adding a line to my post as soon as I read your comment: Am I excited about the people I work with? After all, it is those people with whom we enjoy working and from whom we learn.

But you’re right, the opportunity to learn is a key fourth point that is more than just the first point of the work being fun. My mentor Gian-Carlo Rota once said that “Learning is never fun. Having learned is fun.” I wish I could reproduce his delivery of that line. 🙂 But he hit the essential truth — learning can hurt while it’s happening, but it is what makes us stronger and happier.


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