Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love a Job?

What is like to have a job you truly love?

I was sent into a spin of thought-provoking despondency this week by overhearing the conversation of two individuals.  One was relating to a third party "When I saw Violet at the bar I gave her a hug and said 'How do you like your new job?' Her response was 'I love it!'  My response to her was 'I love my new job too!'"

This has provoked one of those nagging thoughts which has dogged my thinking for the rest of the weekend.

Have I done jobs I loved?  Sure.  The Firm was one - although financially fraught with peril (and consequences), I loved doing the research and crunching the numbers and presenting datq.  The Music Group was another - paid virtually nothing, but I covered costs and had an excuse to sing and play and learn the obscure languages I love.  Teaching perhaps - certainly the reading and the preparation of the lectures, if not so much the presentation of them.

If I look at the connecting factors in these, they 1)  Involved doing reading and researching; 2) Leveraged my interest in something I already liked; and 3) Paid terribly.  1 and 2 are alright; 3 becomes a bit difficult to swallow in a society that requires cash for a living.

I think the thing I remember most about all of those - the thing that  I miss now - is that I got out of bed excited to start to work.  Even in the case of teaching and music, where I had another job to support them, I still got up thinking "I get to do this today!  Great!".  

Was there a sense of doing good?  Possibly - maybe not in the more "direct" way I should be feeling it now, but there was at least a sense that somehow, somewhere I was contributing positively to the lives of others.

I understand that jobs which are loved are few and far between, and many have to endure that which they do not love simply because a job is, for most, a necessity.  But I equally understand that jobs that are endured inevitably eat their way into the fibers of being, replacing enthusiasm for anything or the zest to succeed with the dull retort of "I have to". 

And given long enough, "have to" becomes signature phrase of the intellectual and emotional walking dead.

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