Victus Spiritus


Ode to all tasks unclean, in particular "Dirty Jobs"

02 Mar 2009

So a guy (and his production crew, don't forget those intrepid souls) gets to climb through and handle all manner of things unclean (Nurgle would be hard pressed to dwell in some these places).  What's so special about Dirty Jobs?

This post was instigated by one helluva Fast Company article based on a brief story of Mike Rowe and his career.  If you look beyond his humble and humorous presence, his story boils down to a personal transformation.  An evolution of work for the sake of a paycheck to a labor of love.  Talk about victus spiritus, look no further! 

Mike's TV career started much like most of our 9-5 jobs, something that he did to pay the bills back in his late night QVC hosting days, to something he has a passion for.  He went out of his way to make sure his name was in the credit line of Dirty Jobs.  The strong connection he has for the material of the show is rooted in how he perceived his grandfather, a man who performed all manner of hands on dirty jobs.  It reminds me of my own Grandpa Joe, the old hootin'!, who was a physical labor machine even moving a massive curio cabinet for my mom in his later years.

When asked about following one's dreams, here's a response on Mike's blog and it bears repeating:

"I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I learned from doing this show was the idea that following your passion is not nearly as important as bringing it along for the ride. I’ve talked to more than one entrepreneur who laid out this basic same strategy -

1. Step back and look what direction everyone else is heading.
2. Go the other way.
3. Look for something that no one else wants to do.
4. Start doing it.
5. Get really good at it.
6. Find a way to like it.
7. be happy.

I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who wind up dirty and successful as a result of this approach. It’s a bit mercenary, to be sure. But there are many roads to a happy career, and this is one not often taken.


Interested in a brief explanation about MikeRoweWorks check out my descriptive site.  When you're ready to witness the real mccoy (an ongoing web creation inspired and fueled by Mike Rowe's ideas) enjoy MikeRoweWorks (give the site a chance to load, try The Office to get a more standard interface).