Bring your heart to it

Since founding Collegewise in 1999, I’ve hired over 60 people who became Collegewisers, the vast majority of whom had—or continue to have—successful runs during their time here. They didn’t all follow one path to get here. Some were admissions officers before Collegewise. Some were high school counselors. Some joined us from careers that weren’t even in education. Some went to highly selective schools. Many more did not. But they all shared one trait in common. It showed up in their cover letters, career history, and in their work here. It’s not easy to describe, but we always recognize it when we see it.

They bring their hearts to work.

People who bring their heart to work see their work as a calling. They want to find meaning and purpose in the work that they do. They don’t just want to complete a to-do list today. They want to create an even more interesting, challenging to-do list tomorrow.

They lean into learning, always looking for ways to be better, more knowledgeable, and more efficient at their jobs.

As ambitious as they are, people who bring their heart to work are also givers. They want to make not just themselves, but also their coworkers and their organization better. They’ll pitch in for a co-worker who needs help. They’ll share what they learn. They’ll look for meaningful opportunities to contribute even if it’s not technically part of their job description.

They tell the truth. They keep their promises. They treat their coworkers with respect even when they disagree with them. They do the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing.

They make a lasting impact while they’re here. They’re missed if they move on. And they leave a legacy behind after every tenure.

People who bring their heart to work are not workaholics. They know that life and family are always more important than work. Heart isn’t about how many total hours you put in. It’s how much you care during those hours that matters.

But most importantly, these Collegewisers brought their hearts to work long before they ever joined us. Whether they were in jobs that they loved or hated, it never occurred to them to hold their heart back until the perfect opportunity, title, or promotion came along. They’re just not built that way.

It’s that habit, that constant willingness to care and do even more, that made them so successful in the past, and that always leads to even better opportunities in the future.

However you plan on spending your time today—in the classroom, on the field, on the job, etc.—bring your heart with you. Care and do more than you have to. Not because it will help you get ahead, but because you just can’t imagine doing it any other way.

The first step to putting your heart into anything is bringing it with you.