This I Believe

Joseph - Knoxville, Tennessee
Entered on December 11, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose
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Work that is a Passion Not a Chore

It is said that one spends over half of his years on earth working at a job that he does not like; until a couple of years ago, I considered myself to be one of those people. I always felt that there had to be people with jobs that they just plain liked doing. Unfortunately, I never worked around any of these people and was feeling trapped in my job. Doing the same thing day after day with no personal satisfaction seemed to fit right in with the lives of those around me. Then, about 5 years ago, I had the good fortune to observe a person who did like their job and had joy in its execution. This person was a doctor and I was able to observe him in action in an emergency room of a local hospital. Thus, my belief that a person could actually like the job that he was performing and not simply see it as a task was formed.

When the emergency room receives a call from an ambulance, it is to let them know the condition of the patient that is being transported to the facility. Most of the time the ER only has to reserve a room for the incoming patient, but sometimes the call lets them know that the patient is in a severe condition and needs to have special treatment when he arrives. The case in question was one such case and I was able to observe this particular doctor. He started his routine by telling the workers what was needed and where he needed them to be in the room when the patient arrived. What I notice about this doctor was that his face reflected not frustration in that a difficult patient was coming in, but excitement in that he was about to be instrumental in saving someone’s life and a look that said “This is what I was born to do”.

I don’t remember if the patient was saved, but I do remember that look on the doctor’s face. At that moment, I knew that it was possible to have a job that you really like and have a passion for. It was then that I decided that I was going to find the job that will make me feel that way (or at least work toward that goal).

My first step in finding my dream job was to find out what I had a passion for. I have always been a person who liked to tinker with things. Even when I was a child, I always wanted to know how different things worked and would take apart my toys (most of the time I was able to put them back together and make them work). As I got older my interest turned to computers and other electronic gadgets. Due to other twists and turns in my life, I had forgotten my passion for gadgets and turned to more immediate things, such as raising a family.

I had a job that paid a decent amount and one that I could tolerate, but I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was somewhere between the end of my first marriage and the beginning of my second marriage that I found what my passion was, to fix and repair computers and computer systems. My new wife believed in me and my passion and encouraged me to pursue it by returning to school. Being a college graduate herself, she knew that school would give me the refinement of the skills that I already possessed.

I am now one semester from graduating with a degree in computer networking and the future looks bright. Already, some of the skills that I have refined at the school have been used in my current job (the boring one) and there may be a chance that after I graduate, I could move within the same company I work for to their IT (Information Technology) Department.

Whatever happens, going back to school has been the best move for me. Also, by having a job in a field that I have a passion for, I am sure that working will be more of a pleasure than a chore. This is the driving motivation behind my belief that one can have a job and enjoy it too