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Do you like the job you do?

Di Antonio Caneva, 7 Luglio 2006

Let’s play a game: how many of you like the job they are doing? Very few, I believe.
When they ask me if I like the job I have, my answer is negative. How come I don’t like it, a nice job like mine, where you have opportunities to meet so many people, to travel, to talk about pleasant things? Well, my reply needs some explanation. Work is effort, concentration, discipline, and responsibility: how can you enjoy these things? But if all of them are directed at achieving a purpose, even if you do not enjoy every individual aspect, you may find pleasure and reward in the pursuit and achievement of your goals. This is the reason why if you ask people “do you like your job?” you generally obtain long and boring answers – “I like this aspect, dislike that, sometimes do not mind this or that…”. It all depends on lacking a unitary vision, missing the general picture of one’s role, not viewing oneself as an essential component of a shared design (each person according to his or her competencies). This leads to underestimating your role within a company and underrating the importance of your job, so that – sometimes and in some ways – you really come to dislike it. Let’s try to forget our own preferences (or at least to set them aside) and focus more on the larger picture of our profession, so that the next time somebody asks us “do you like your job?” we can answer yes, or no, or both, with the gratifying certainty that we are contributing to a comprehensive project.
Let me tell you a small secret. In March, I had booked and paid for a short 4-day holiday I was really looking forward to, at the Canary Islands, but because of undeferrable job commitments I could not go, and even lost the money I had paid. Well, this disappointment did not for a second change my opinion of my job (whether I like it more or less); my judgement has not changed, because my regret for not being able to go on holiday was more that compensated by the rewarding feeling of having done something useful.

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