Thursday, April 5, 2012

Love your job

This post has come about because a few people I know have recently expressed to me their dissatisfaction with their jobs. Not always the work itself - often it has been the people, the processes or the environment.

For those who know me very well (ie. wife) - they know I've never really liked any of my real jobs. Ironically, for me it's always been about the nature of the work that's left me unsatisfied - the people have usually been a positive (sometimes the only one).

My jobs have all essentially been about paying the bills. I've never been able to hit that sweet spot of enjoyable job that actually pays okay.

The problems start early - when at the ripe old age of 16 we're asked to "choose" possible careers...


And everyone's different. Accounting at the time was not for me. I know people that absolutely love it - they get excited by it.  Freaks you say? Weirdo's?  Good on them I say.

Obviously, I've tried to make a career from artistic endeavours, but that's proven a difficult beast - and in reality - whilst we all see the success stories they are like the tip of an iceberg. The rest of us (and there's a lot of us) are underwater and not able to make any sort of living from those pursuits.


This hit home to me the other week when I was at a writing seminar. One of the statistics given was that the average Australian Author earned about $10,000 per annum (these are published authors and considered successful in a publishing sense). I've spent two years on my current book - at nights after work and on the weekends. I probably work harder than most - for $10,000 pa that seems a bit stupid - and yet I still do it.

Whilst culture and art is really important, and we all want books, movies and music, etc I don't think the world is willing to pay much (or anything) for them. Plus there's always the middlemen who make more money from your product than you do. That's why I like this digital age - no middlemen are making any money from my blog! We'll gloss over the fact that neither am I... and you'd have to agree - this stuff is GOLD people - GOLD!

So, it's actually a lot easier to go to work everyday in whatever job it is you do and pick up a pay check (or Electronic Funds Transfer). Still, it's a big plus if you actually enjoy the work you do.

My favourite job was when I was in my early 20's. Just finished Uni - in a recession and unemployed - I got a 'very' part-time job working as the equipment manager at the local State athletics centre.

The centre was very run-down (now demolished) and on competition days I had to drive this really old wreck of a car around the track to set up things like the hurdles, high-jump, etc. The car was an absolute rust-bucket and had obviously been vandalised many times. The (very) old guy I was taking over from, told me to take out the distributor cap and battery every time I left so that the hoons wouldn't be able to start the car up and do bog laps around the track.

It's weird how age changes you.  That athletics job has less appeal to me now than accounting. Maybe my parent's were right when they told me to finish that accounting degree - except for the fact they were right 20 years late.

I'm still aiming for that job that both earns enough to pay the bills with a little left over, and I enjoy. If everyone had that - whatever that job happened to be for them - we'd all be in a much better space.

And for those of us, like myself, who don't yet have it - I leave you with this final (timeless) message...

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