Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Caring For What You Do

Yesterday as I was driving to work, it occurred to me that I do not really care about what I do.

Oh, I care about doing a good job.  Fair enough.  But the underlying passion for what I do is simply not there as it used to be.

I like to do good.  It is funny, so many people look askance at you when you verbalize this at an interview (or at least you can hear them raising their eyebrows over the phone).  It sounds so much like a canned response that a fresh-out-of-college student would give, so eager to land that first job that they will say almost anything to get in the door.

But it is true.  At least for me.  In what I do, I have had (and continue to have but on a much diminished scale) the opportunity to impact people's lives for the good.  And that is an important part of what I do.

So what do you do when you have lost that feeling?  That is where I seem to be now.

There are really only two options of course.  The first is to simply find something else within the industry that I work in and do that.  And that is a possibility, of course - the difficulty is that for what I do, there is not much around here to go to.

The second is to figure out what I really care about and find a job doing that.

So I sat as I drove and started to make a list of the things that I care about.  Responsible land use and good farming practices, for example.  The preservation of skills and techniques from the past, such as Iai.  Writing that changes things.  Homes for all the rabbits.  That sort of thing.

Does any of this look like a job?  Not really.  But does this all reflect things I actually care about?  Absolutely.   And when I do these things, do I put attention and care into how I do them?  Yes, because I care deeply about them.

So perhaps my overall search needs to take a slightly different tack.  One will never successfully execute on that which one does not really care about.  Important, then, to find opportunities in the things one does care about - and do those.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog and this post in particular struck a chord with me. I've been working in this, my second career, path for over 25 years and it has recently dawned on me that I don't care about what I do. It's not that the job is bad, the people aren't hard to get along with. It just seems that no matter how well I do it doesn't really make a difference.

I also have tried to decide what I really care about, but, at present, don't see a way to support my family going forward with a job in the things I care about.

I can just say "Hang in there, I feel your pain"

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you so much for the comment. You write some of the things that I thought about this very day: I have done what I do for a fairly long time (essentially my first career), my job is not terrible, and the people are pretty okay - but there is just that sense that no matter what I do it will simply morph into something I deeply care about.

And like you, I cannot think of anything that I do care about that would support my family. I am grappling with the fact that this field may very well be the field I spend the rest of my meaningful work life in. I honestly do not know how I feel about that: Resignation? Sadness? Dutiful? Certainly not anything approaching more than a general acceptance.

I wish I had answers. All I seem to accumulate is questions.

Thank you for stopping by! - TB