Want to land that “dream job?” Who doesn’t? Wouldn’t the ultimate dream job be the job of millionaire? One who’s so stinking rich that there’s people paid to worry about the money? Now that’s a dream job!
Still, I bet being a millionaire is work. You’ve got to figure out what to do with yourself all day, while the regular Joes and Janes are grinding out their meager living. I’m reminded a little of the movie “Arthur,” where the Dudley Moore character is how I imagine the aforementioned millionaire might comport himself. Tough life. But I’ll also bet that it could be an unfulfilling life.
Most humans have an innate desire to do something, let’s call it work, in the broadest sense of the word. Whether it’s digging ditches, or creating works of art, or whatever, we want to do something. And most humans also derive a certain pleasure or pride when their something, their work, is recognized by others as good, or inspiring, or important. In spite of what some may say (I do it for the love of it, yeah right), the recognition is what we dream about.
Since we all dream about the recognition of our work, when we receive that recognition, wouldn’t that constitute a dream job? So we already have the dream job. We just need to make sure that when we do that work, whatever it is, that the result is worthy of recognition by others.
Now I can hear some of you saying “Come on rudyblues, quit being such a Pollyanna, my job sucks and you know it!” Well, old rudyblues has had him some of them sucky jobs, too! But I always managed to take a bit of pride in the result. And the recognition followed.
As I think back, possibly my worst job ever was running a PVC extrusion line in a factory that made plastic pipe. It was a series of machines that turned PVC powder into finished pieces of pipe. It was freezing cold in the winter, boiling hot in the summer, unrelenting because it was a continuous process, and, to at least some in the factory, as unrewarding as trying to teach a pig to sing.
Each time I showed up for my shift the line was in a shambles. The employees on the shift before mine had a “don’t care” attitude, and it showed. I would spend the first hour or more adjusting the machinery back into tolerances, and by the end of my shift things would be humming along. At the end of my shift the employee who took over my line arrived. I filled him in on any problems I thought he should expect, and off I’d go.
I took a two week vacation one summer, and when I arrived for my first shift after vacation, sure enough, the line was in a shambles. I dialed it in, got it humming along again, and when my replacement arrived he was overjoyed to see me. “Man, am I glad you’re back, the guy who replaced you couldn’t hold a candle to you!” Recognition.
What was my best job ever? I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed something about every job I’ve held. Maybe it’s because I’m one of those for whom the self-satisfaction of a job well done is recognition enough. That feeling you get when you put the finishing touch on something you’ve carried out by yourself, and you step back and take a look, and realize it can’t get any better.
Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr