Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers broadcaster, Vin Scully, announced recently that next season will most likely be his last on the job. While leaving your job or retiring is rarely newsworthy, 2016 will mark Scully’s 67th year on the job.
To put that amount of time in perspective, take a look at this fun fact. In his first year on the job, he worked a game that Connie Mack managed. Mack was born in 1862. This year he’s calling games that feature players that were born in 1994 and 1995. Not many of us will reach this milestone in the jobs we do, so when it happens it’s worth taking a look at the components that are necessary for this type of longevity and what it might teach us about our own work.
Here are a few of the highlights that make our list:
- You have to have passion. Although Scully has given up long road trips with the team and today focuses on home games, it wasn’t that long ago that he was working every Dodger game. This means he was working, often 7 days a week for 6 months a year. That means he was putting in the same amount of work days you and I put in for an entire year, but he was doing it in half the time. There’s loving your job and then there’s loving your job enough to do it every day for 67 years.
- You find ways to keep the work interesting. While most baseball teams use a two broadcaster system, one to call the play-by-play, and one to provide color commentary (usually an ex-player). The two usually end up talking to each other. Scully chooses to work alone. He talks to you. He calls the play and tells stories as if he were sitting in your living room and you were the only person in the world listening to him.
- You put in the work. At the end of a long career, many people might be tempted to coast toward retirement. When you love your work, you put in extra effort to make sure you are still at the top of your game. On a regular basis, Scully shows up at 3 or 3:30 for a 7pm game. He pours over data about the teams and players and makes notes and highlights information he wants to make sure he talks about during the game.
- You take care of yourself. A lot has been written about the effects of self-care on your performance at work. In this case the two are hard-wired. Vin’s voice is his work tool. He takes great care to maintain it. Claiming that he’s never smoked, he doesn’t raise his voice and strain his vocal cords, and gets plenty of rest. It’s a great reminder for all of us to exercise, rest, and stay healthy so we can be our best when it comes to doing our jobs.
- You remain humble about your accomplishments. Humility is a wonderful asset when it comes to career and individual development. Scully has an awe shucks response to all the praise about his great work. On a regular basis he says that he’s been lucky to have a great talent and he’s been able to use it to his advantage. He’s never too big or important to make a visitor to his booth feel welcomed. This humility helps keep you resting on your accomplishments. This keeps you focused every day on what it takes to do your job in the best way possible.
Here’s hoping you all have a career that’s fulfilling. Even if it doesn’t last 67 years!