1. Randi

    Chrissy, thanks for asking these questions! Personally, I put myself firmly on the side of someone who enjoys their work. Now that I’m in my second real job, I’m doing what I went to school to do, and I have been satisfied with the work I’m dong. As a construction manager, it’s been great to play a part in a kind of creative process, to continually see a project develop, be up against deadlines and then make it, to be one of the people in the thick of problem solving. For me work feels really rewarding, and as I look down the line, it’s exciting to think about what opportunities could lie ahead for me that could partner construction with other passions and callings in life.

    On the flip side of that, I just had a conversation with one of the foremen who works on site with me. He came into the field pretty much the opposite way I did, he’s worked his way up from the bottom as a laborer and now is a crew foremen. He asked me the other day how I got into the field, he was surprised to hear that construction is where I wanted to be, what I wanted to be doing. For him, construction was kind of the last resort, it’s worked for him and given him an income, but he even said, if he could do it all again, he probably wouldn’t choose to be in construction.

    As I’ve been thinking through this, I haven’t quite landed on an opinion. I’ve gone between thoughts that being satisfied in your work is simply a matter or perspective, to when you truly get a choice on entry into your job, then you can be satisfied. I’m not really sure. I want to believe that people can be satisfied in what they consider the living they make, it’s a sad place not too.

  2. christine

    Kate and Randi,
    Thanks both of you for your thoughts. Randi, this week I’ve been doing interviews at a big dairy that packages milk and yogurt products. I met a lot of people who started there because it was the only job they could find, and now wrestle with how long to stay. I do think you’re right that a lot of it is perspective. But I also think there are times when you need to just get out of a job that’s wasting your life away (even if that comes at a cost, like Kate’s). I come back to the perspective that nobody’s life is meant to be wasted, so if our job seems like a waste, we need to either change what we’re doing at work or at the very least change our focus, to see our purpose at the job differently or focus on some other area of our life.

    And Kate, I’m with you in doing what I love despite the piddly pay! I just got turned down for a grant, which was another slap in the face along those lines. It is so tough, but also important and right, to be grateful for having your needs are met, and to do what you believe in even you’re not paid according to your qualifications or the difficulty of the job.

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