Friday, October 28, 2005

Got to Love Your Work?

Introduction
Millions of people across Canada, U.S and the rest of the world, go to work everyday, dreading what they do. Many of these people have no choices as to what they can do for employment and need whatever job they can get to support themselves and their families. On the flip side, some individuals had all the choices in the world and are capable of getting many different jobs, but still work somewhere they hate. They do things they do not like for money, but as Mrs. Davis, my English teacher said: “it’d have to be an awfully large sum of money to make me do something I didn’t enjoy.” The question before me today: “should an individual do what they are better at, or what they enjoy more.”

Background
I am one of those individuals that had, through out their life, hundreds of wonderful opportunities. I am relatively successful in school and come from a well off family. The chances of me being unemployed, on the street, and begging for food (out of necessity) are very low. When I grow up there will be a lot of jobs that can sustain me and many that I can prosper from. The big challenge for me is deciding if I should pursue what I think (on average) will give me more enjoyment, what I am better at, or what my parents want me to be.
What I enjoy and what I am good at are often diametrically opposed. I enjoy poetry and political science and many other humanities. I am good at Physics, Math, and Computer Science. I do enjoy physics, math, and computer science, of course, but I do not believe that I will enjoy them as careers. On the other hand I would enjoy things relating to political science much more, but my skill in them is significantly less. The third factor is what my parents want me to be, and what they were before. My mother wants me to be a doctor, so that I can take over her practice when she decides to retire. My father has a duel PHD in Mathematics and Physics and if I enter the science field I will always live in his shadow.

Better At
Doing something you are good at, gives you more chances to succeed in the field. Personally, I enjoy all the little glimpses of success I see. Being more successful also means more influence and more money. With more influence you can make a bigger difference in more lives, and thus make your life, and the lives of others, more meaningful. An increase in money means you can set up your family better and leave them more when you die. Usually money also brings more travel and easier access to different hobbies.

Enjoy More
An enjoyable job means you can put more effort into it. More effort could lead to more success and money just like a job you are good at, but it is less likely. On the bright side, if you really enjoy your job, then you will not need finances for hobbies. You job will become your hobby. A better and more enjoyable atmosphere at work makes for a happier person. That same happiness can be passed onto other people, thus benefiting your family. Influence can be gained because you would have more interest in socialization in your workplace. Workplace socialization, just like more effort, might give the same results as a job you are good at, but it is less likely.

Conclusion
The best option is having a job you are both good at and enjoy. That is not always possible though. In the cases when you can not have both joy and goodness in your career, you must take a risk and decide which way to go. In the end it is really a debate on if money can buy happiness. If money can buy happiness, then do what you are good at. If money can not buy happiness (as many allege), then get a job that you will enjoy.

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3 Comments:

Blogger dino said...

I think that there has to be some sort of compromise. I think that in the end, you should be in a job that you don't dislike. I don't know of very many cases where a person's like is also a high-paying job.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

This is actually what I'm trying to decide right now, so I know what I'll want to do when I enter University.
What I want to do is have a career of music, preferrably composing and conducting. However, chances of a job in that area, unless I become a teacher, are very low. And I'm not very good at the public speaking thing. Not even as teaching. However, I would enjoy that career immensely.

On the other hand, I would like to become a doctor of some sort, probably one that does research, trying to find a cure for cancer or working in the oncology ward. This would mean overcoming a phobia of mine... However, chances of making lots of money in that career are quite high. Call me selfish, but I'd like to make lots of money in my career.

So, it's either the risk of failing my career of Music, as a composer and conductor, or becoming a doctor, something I may not enjoy very much.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Ben Anderman said...

I'm very much on the do what you like side of the fence (imagine a 3 sided fence!)

2:00 PM  

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