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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Life Long Truth - Right Work Brings High Productivity
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle
As we reach the end of another work week I begin to hear those now famous words being uttered by various people, Thank God It’s Friday! I sometimes think of myself as the luckiest man alive because I never felt that way. In fact, I longed to be at work even when I was at home during the weekends. Not that I had a bad home life but you see I really loved my work. I was one of those crazy people who said on Monday morning, “Thank God it’s Monday”. But don’t consider me to be part of the majority here. No, it was the majority that said T.G.I.F. That term became so popular it was adopted for the name of a chain of restaurants. Have you ever eaten at a T.G.I. Friday’s?
Of course I am not here to write about restaurants, and you knew that. What I am interested in here is the prevailing attitude of people towards their jobs. The fact that so many people can’t wait to stop working on Friday is a sign that so many people do not love what they do for work. This is a topic that interests me because although I am retired, my love in occupation was to be a pre-employment skills trainer and motivational instructor. Everyday I told my adult students the same thing: that they should do the kind of work that they enjoy. If you haven’t read it yet, get a hold of Marsha Shinetar’s book “Do What You Love -the Money Will Follow.” The book goes a long way in supporting Aristotle’s view that enjoying one’s job does bring perfection to work. She speaks much about treating yourself with dignity and choosing work that aligns to the great “I” who you are. She speaks of the psychology of right livelihood and shows the importance of choosing work that matches your unique set of skills and characteristics. A job is as unique as we are.
However there are the practical kinds of people who will tell you that work is work and all work, even un-enjoyable work must get done by somebody. Money is the thing that counts and having a job that produces earnings so you can put food on the table is what is necessary. They further say that it takes a grown up to do work that we don’t enjoy but must be done. “Grow up” they say, “and be willing to bite the bullet while you earn a living.”
Interestingly, these who encourage us to do what we do not enjoy can quote some pretty supporting statistics that indicate that productivity is up in America despite the fact that people enjoy their jobs less than ever before. What are we to make of this argument?
I will say there is something to the idea that we need to make a livelihood and earning in a job we don’t feel comfortable with may need to be done from time to time; especially when one is just starting out in life and finding their footing. We are bound to make bad choices of employment, but we don’t need to charge off and quit work to find our pie-in-the-sky dream job without giving proper notice. Surely it is better to stay at the job until another can be acquired with a smooth transition. Work the bad job then and endure it if you must and do it with honor and with respect. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still look for the right job that fits us well.
Working in a job that fits your disposition and talents will benefit everyone concerned and you can’t argue with that logic. Sure, there will be times in our lives when acting mature and keeping a job we don’t like will be necessary. But if it is not necessary, work at the job that fits you well. Shinetar says in her book, “I have come to believe that our right work is just as important to our personality health and growth as nutrients are for our bodies.”
Aristotle may be an old timer to us, but this is one true principle that doesn’t change with time. Work at what you enjoy doing. It will bring increase to your lif and happiness, and there is nothing more important than that.
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