Saturday, March 14, 2009

It's Just a Job

I remember years ago watching a show about "Cool Jobs". The one that sticks out most in my memory was that of the person whose job it was to arrange the cereal boxes on Seinfeld.

See them there in the kitchen? Someone got paid just to arrange those. Hmm. Part of me thinks "That is a cool job" but part of me thinks, "How fulfilling of a job could that possibly be?". And that's when it hit me. How much time did that job actually take? Probably not that much. And I would think that it paid a decent wage considering the immense popularity of the show. So then I think, "Well, if I only had to work a few hours a week and got paid very well for it, I probably would look for fulfillment elsewhere with all the free time I had left over!"

Bingo! And thus I segue into the book I am currently reading: Timothy Ferriss' The 4-Hour Work Week. I am loving this book. Not only am I learning to challenge my thinking of what is "normal" and what is "insanity" but he is quite a funny writer as well, even using the occasional profanity (which you don't normally find in the finance section....). There is a great comparison between those he refers to as the Deferrers and the New Rich. One of them says that the Deferrers are those whose goals are designed to free them from doing that which they don't like, whereas the New Rich set their goals not only for that but "also the freedom and resolve to pursue your dreams without reverting to work for work's sake....The goal is not only to simply eliminate the bad, which does nothing more than leave you with a vacuum, but to pursue and experience the best in the world." (pp23-24) He talks about "mini-retirements," essentially not waiting to the end to experience life but enjoying it throughout.

So I guess I am one of the lucky ones. I have a "job" that I love and that I find great fulfillment in. I work about 15-20 hours a week and can be at home with my kids. We get to travel as a family and it is all a tax write-off. I have networked with other people in my field in pools in Acapulco, on the Copacabana beach in Brazil and while waiting in line with my kids to go on Space Mountain at Disney. My commute is a simple set of stairs in my house and most days I can do the majority of my work in my jammies (I really hope they never perfect the video phone!) But out of it all, I get the biggest charge when I see someone else I've helped succeed/reach a goal. That is where I find the fulfillment. So for me, what I do is anything but "just a job". It is a lifestyle and one that I won't quickly be trading in for a cubicle...


Geosomin said...

I agree with this, but I think it's also important to remember that there are a lot of things that need to be done that are just work. Unfirtunately we can't all have the gift of the perfect job. There will always be toilets to clean and rubbish to haul, and to me, people who do these as a public service are great people.
I think we would all benefit form all having to share in the "crummy" work...If we all did a few days of the bad stuff a month, it would still get done, but we'd have more things to do to reward us and move forward. The noone would be stuck with the miserable work all the time.

I agree that if I had a job tha tI only had to work a few hours for I would end up finding other things to do. The problem with long work hours, is often that is the part of life that gets sacrificed. I think we should all have a change to do things "for fun". You are very lucky to do what you do with it babe :)