Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Things that make you go "hmmmmm"

I was reading a blog post entitled How Good is Good?. It was written 8 years ago by a graphic designer by the name of Stefan Sagmeister. The post was speaking about creating designs that were meaningful and make an impact on the world (or the part of the world each design is directed toward). While the post was interesting, it was one of the comments that caught my eye. Most of the commenters were inspired by the post but one commenter, in reference to the idea of making a match between good causes and good design a priority vs the more mundane every day marketing stuff, said:
Simple, don't go into graphic design, Choose something else. Cause if you don't do "that" work, other designers will. Do people really think that everybody enjoys their job?

It was the commenter's question that made me thoughtful: Do people really think that everybody enjoys their job?

I've always felt very fortunate to be able to do work that I really love doing. There may be times when I get frustrated with some of the particulars, but overall I know I'm doing "the thing" I'm supposed to be doing.

My choice of career path came to me in college. I started out as an accounting major but after my first computer-related course, I switched majors and knew that working in the information technology field was for me. So, I got my degree and have worked in the field ever since.

I honestly can't imagine working in a job that I didn't like. So, it was just a bit of an "ah-ha" moment to consider the idea that not everyone enjoys their job. What would that be like? What would it be like to wake up every morning and go do something that you don't enjoy for 8 or more hours? That would seem like torture to me.

But, I suppose it may be more likely that more people don't enjoy their jobs than do. Have you ever seen the TV show "Dirty Jobs"? Some of those jobs are (in my opinion) just horrid. I can't imagine having to do some of those tasks every day. But, there are a lot of jobs out there that I can't imagine doing that many people love.

However, I think that it may be more about "doing what you gotta do" many times vs actually choosing a job you want/enjoy/love. I just find it sad, and somewhat humbling, to think about all the people who do things they don't enjoy just to make enough money to maintain a life for themselves and their families. To think of spending such a large portion of my life doing something I found no enjoyment in really makes my heart ache.

Are you doing what you really enjoy?

6 comments:

Jeni said...

I can't imagine spending my whole life doing something I hated... At the moment I'm looking for my first priper job, and am not sure whether to just accept anything or aim for the jobs I really enjoy!

Great post :)

www.jeniwren.com

Brian Tkatch said...

If it's low pay and what i dislike, that's not good. But the job can be experienced as good, if the pay makes up for it. Or, if there is enough time off on the job. Like an infrequently called help desk that requires an expert.

There is another point. A job that i love is a job that i don't leave. I take it home with me. I stay late. I lose my life because the job becomes my life. Is that really a good thing?

Hmm... If i work from home in a spotty fashion, and i love what i do, dispersing a day's work throughout the day makes sense amongst the other things i (love to) do.

There's a point is used to make to people. I don't work for money. I come to work because of the money. Once i'm there, however, i work just to get the job done.

Perhaps it isn't loving work that is important, but satisfaction when the job is done.

Karen said...

"Perhaps it isn't loving work that is important, but satisfaction when the job is done."

Likely true but I still think the best/most satisfaction comes when you enjoy the road you travel.

"A job that i love is a job that i don't leave."

Perhaps. But if there's something you love more at home then it's certainly easier to leave work at work.

Brian Tkatch said...

"Likely true but I still think the best/most satisfaction comes when you enjoy the road you travel."

I would think it's the amount of effort that is put into it. It is most likely that a loved project gets more effort and therefore more satisfaction, but that isn't always the case.

"But if there's something you love more at home then it's certainly easier to leave work at work."

True.

PattyC said...

I am a true believer in the power of positive thinking. If you can find and see the positive side of your job, you can like it, no matter what it is that that you do. The woman that works on an assembly line in a pharmaceutical company is not filling bottles with flu vaccine day after day, she is saving lives! :)

Noons said...

The way I looked at it many years ago was:

I spend 12 hours a day at home, 7 of which sleeping. That leaves 5 with the family.

Of the remaining 12 hours, 8 are at work and 4 travelling and/or eating.

That makes work the biggest period of my day. It better be interesting, then!

I always picked jobs that kept me interested. Didn't have to be work nirvana. Just enjoyable.

"Challenging" I suppose, is the PC term. Doesn't matter: just semantics.

Do we have any say in how interesting work is?

I don't think so, unless we work for ourselves or have a senior position.

There is always the option of moving somewhere else.
And it's important that stays available, no matter how much employers would like to tie every one down to a desk.