Work Should Be Something You Enjoy, Not Despise
Yes, if you get paid enough, you are likely to do just about any type of work. You may not wish to be a janitor, but if you were being paid $100k for each toilet you cleaned, you would do so without a complaint. However, this does not mean that you will enjoy the scrubbing down of shitters, only the money that you are being paid to do so.
So what is necessary for one to enjoy the actual work that one does? If money is not the main factor, then what is? In order to enjoy the work that we do, we must believe that said work holds some sort of meaning, that it has a purpose and will be used for said purpose. There is nothing more disheartening than seeing a project that you accomplished — and all the effort that went into it — be disregarded or thrown out.
When an employee is given a task to work on, she expects that the task not be pointless — that it will be used to further some purpose. Having such meaning in mind, an employee will enjoy working on the project — even if the work itself is mundane, laborious or simply unpleasant. Believing that the work that you are doing is not needless, makes the job much more bearable.
If one were to believe in the cause that such work is said to have been for the purpose of progressing, then one will enjoy the work — no matter how unpleasant the job itself may be. This is because we know that our efforts will serve a purpose, that there is a meaning behind the actions that we are taking and that our suffering is for a good cause.
Imagine how you would feel if after working on a presentation of some sort for weeks you were told that it was unnecessary — that the direction of the company has changed and that the focus of your presentation is no longer serving the purpose of the company. You just spent your time and energy working on something that has just been scrapped.
Although you may have enjoyed the work at the time, once you’ll find out that it was all a waste, you’ll be pissed. You will come to the realization that your efforts could have been entirely avoided and the world would not at all have been any different than it is at this moment. In other words, you made no difference.
That is what human beings truly crave: creating change. We wish to make a difference, to be of use and to be important. We want the work that we do to have an effect on the world. This is our way of confirming that we are not invisible, that we are not being overlooked, but are being heard and appreciated.
We want to be recognized for the work that we do and acknowledged for it as well. Life can at times seem pointless; the last thing we want confirmed is that our actions — our work and our career — are pointless. If you wish to have a career that you love and to enjoy all that you do, then you need to figure out where it is that you and your work fit in the grander scheme of things. Unfortunately, this greatly depends on outside variables.
You may personally give your work meaning or may believe your work to have meaning in the eyes of others when in reality it does not. Going back to my example before, if your superior does not appreciate your work or does not have a use for it, the meaning of the work is lost. Likewise, if your boss does not give you recognition for your work, does not acknowledge your work in some way or fashion, then you are bound to be unhappy at work. People do not give this its due importance.
Many find themselves miserable at their jobs even though they don’t mind the work in itself. Human beings do not like to blend in and simply be a small, unrecognized piece of a larger machine — we like to feel as if we hold importance. In order to love your career, you must find a company that acknowledges your existence and your effort. Or…you can become your own boss and give your work whatever purpose you desire. As long as you feel there is a reason for you to be doing what it is that you are doing, you will be much happier doing it.