Avoid Drifting through Your Work Life
You are going to work for 40 or 50 years. Try to find something that you like to do or improve what you have.
I started my first job out of college by writing an app that solved 40 equations with 90 unknowns. I did not realize then that it was fun and I should continue.
I wanted to apply my math skills, so I went the actuary route for a while and passed the first three exams; then left for personal reasons. It had become drudgery.
Finally, at age 33 I figured out what I wanted to be - a software developer.
From then on, it was fun and not work. Work and drudgery are not necessarily the same thing. All I did was go to the job, have fun, and they gave me a bunch of money. Your job becomes drudgery if you can’t stand what you do.
A year later, we filled out a career questionnaire for (1) our current job, (2) the highest position in our career path, and (3) our dream job. All three were scored. Half of the group got the top points on their dream job and everyone else on their highest position, except me.
The leader said, “You got the highest score on your current job!” Well, they told me when I started that “it is a new position and I could make it anything that I wanted, so I did.”
I did so at every company until I retired. It didn’t make any difference what the job description was when I started.
An accountant once told me that she wouldn’t be able to stand to do my job. We had so many problems to fix. I said that I wouldn’t be able to tolerate her job, either. We both laughed.
Every job has aspects that are good and bad. I have done plumbing and been a short order cook — a long way from mathematics and computer software.
It took me over 10 years to figure out how I wanted to live my work life. I might have never found it if I was just drifting in a job that I didn’t like. You have to consciously look for it and be aware of your environment.
Every job has its good and bad aspects.
You may not be able to make the changes that you would like, but if you feel stuck in a job, at least find something that makes it worthwhile and makes you feel good. You control more than you think, according to the Brend Owen article When Your Beliefs Hold You Back: Release Them to Avoid Regret.
Now, I write articles on whatever I find interesting.