Why is what I do so not interesting?
This hit me yesterday as I was meandering about my day at work, attending to this thing that needed to be re-signed and that thing that need resolution and that other thing that needed my review: I am working on nothing of interest. Not at all. No interest to me personally and not much interest to the market.
When I let this thought settle in for a moment I was a bit appalled - after all, a great many of the jobs I have held have all been working on things that for one thing or another were interesting: interesting technologies, interesting applications. Even in the midst of the tasks that I do (which across companies have been very similar and, let us face it, mundane) there was always that element of doing something that that was interesting and innovative.
I miss that. I think that may be part of the reason that I find my energy has slacked off so much for what I do - it is that I am doing it for something for which I find no more excitement or interest. Work has simply become somewhere that I go to do things.
Value, you may say. Are you bringing value? Because f you are bringing value then that is what can motivate you and drive you forward. Work can be interesting or not - it is how you work at it when you are there that is the important item.
I agree in the concept of bringing value. I agree that value should be the ultimate measure. At the same time, I struggle with the fact that value is not recognized as the only universal and lone metric. One can bring all the value in the world and be ignored or put aside because of other elements - here, office politics can play a brutal role. Or simply the bias of some that some functions are more important than others based on a particular view of the market place.
This is where interest can play a crucial role. Interest can push me forward when a lack of recognition cannot. If I am a perhaps bringing value but am not recognized, interest in what I do can keep me moving forward. But a lack of these two - interest and recognition - is a recipe fora long life of sameness.
How do I resolve this? Pretty simple really: find something interesting. Easy to say, difficult to implement as the things that I would find interesting are not in this area.
Which leaves a question: if the choice is between interest and stability, to where does one turn?