Fulfillment probably won't come from your job

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 6:03 PM | comments: 0

There was an interesting story on ABCnews.com today about "quarterlifers" and their need for fulfillment, or lack thereof, from their job. Wow, can I relate.

In a nutshell, studies show that people my age are pretty much not getting anything out of their jobs aside from a paycheck. I'm sure that a lot of people, especially if they're older, would generally write this off as a shitty work ethic, but I think that's nonsense. My generation has been making great strides at repairing the shit left behind by previous generations.

I think the problem is a bigger one, one that is very much American culture at its most ridiculous. Take the Japanese, for example. Here's a culture known for their incredible work ethic, yet they take off twice as much time as we do (or in the case of my cheap-ass employer, four times as much). Are the Japanese slackers? They've managed to slack their way to the top of sales charts in all kinds of areas here, including auto sales.

Then there's the crap the kids have been fed since birth for decades. They teach you in school that there are all of these fabulous careers to choose from (generally neglecting to mention the less glamourous jobs) and that someday you'll get one too. You'll go to college, learn something important, then use those skills to get a good job. Ha! What a sack of shit that is.

Look at my history... I went to college for radio/TV, even double majored in journalism, and I'm a code monkey. Not that I'm complaining... I love to write code and it sure pays better. I'm just illustrating that nothing works out quite like they say it does.

I'm all about mastering your own destiny. I can't stand people who bitch and moan just to do so. Irritates me like a rash. Having a healthy dose of perspective is important in life, because things are almost never as bad as you think.

My issue comes with the fact that we're so driven into this work-paycheck-grind model that we're going to miss something, and not realize it until it's too late. I like what I do, but when I get home, I can't say that I did something important or that I believe in what I did. To me, that's as important as getting the cash, and it's the part most absent.

It's not impossible to find those jobs, I'm sure. I've had jobs where I really believed in what I was doing (though some of those were spoiled by stupid people I had to work with). The road I've been going down leads me to believe more and more that working for myself is the only answer.

Now if I could just ask the right questions...


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