You might be a housewife, a driver, a civil servant or a business man. The common thing among all of them is that they are doing some work. A busy life makes the holidays more enjoyable and the vacations that much more valuable. While there might be many who only view work as a pay cheque, work is also a pathway to happiness and feeling useful in today’s world.
Love Thy Job!
Did you ever notice how one’s profession seems to be a part of one’s entire lifetime? When we were born, people wondered what we would turn out to be. When we were young they asked us what we wanted to be when we grow up. When we grow up they want to know what we are doing, and when we die they would be talking about what we were doing. The role of our profession in our life seems to be right there from the beginning till the end. “We spent most of our lives working .So why do so few people have a good time doing it”. Isn’t it too sad for someone to be doing a job one dislikes? Imagine, one spends so much time and effort in it- it would just be plain torture to not find happiness in one’s own work.
The surest way to be happy in our job is to be in love with it. But falling in love with our job like most good things in life is not easy to come by. One has to work for it. In order for us to find happiness in our profession (whatever it may be), I feel there are some common factors, after excluding certain peculiar circumstances and situations, applicable to all, towards which we can all work to help us find happiness in our profession. Before hand let us keep in mind that whether we work for someone else or we are our own boss every work is in fact directly or indirectly related to providing service to others and hence happiness with our work significantly depends on our ability to please others. So the factors can be:
# Working in areas of one’s interest – For one to be happy with one’s job, one has to enjoy the work and one can enjoy the work only when one has a deep interest in it. Personal interest in many fields has been responsible for producing genius work, exhibiting intense devotion and the like. Likewise, one should identify the area of one’s interest and pursue a profession in it.
Because when we occupy a position or get involved in a profession where we have no interest, our creativity would be subdued, our commitment won’t be strong, and every working hour would be painfully boring.
# Exercising Freedom of choice – In Walt Whitman’s poem, “I hear America singing” we will come across mention of “mechanics, carpenter, mason, boatman, shoemaker, wood cutter…each singing what belongs to him…and to none else”. “The poem presents the picture of a happy and strong America. The individuals are all happy and proud of their various occupations”. I have never been to America but what I can make of it through what I see in movies and books I read is that Americans seem to have the freedom to take up any job they want or can without having to worry about who is looking down on them. Probably “this freedom gives them reason to be happy and proud of their occupation.”
It is good to seek counsel from seniors and kinsmen but the final decision should rest with the person who is going to be doing the job.
There have been instances in our Naga society where parents have forced their children to take up theological studies and this has done more harm than good, when the children themselves were not so committed to taking up such a course. We will also find a lot of our youths under pressure by expectations of family, kin and society itself to achieve certain positions which sometimes we will find are beyond their interest and even their abilities.
# Making others believe in us through our quality workmanship- In using services or buying products, have you ever noticed that consciously we all prefer the best. Usually, I like to use our local people’s services or buy their products but the other day I wanted to refit one of my favorite pants and I went to the tailors for that, I made my way towards a local lady tailor whose service I normally use, but after nearly reaching her shop I made a full turn and went to a non-local tailor instead. My thought was that since it’s my favorite pant I cannot afford to have something go wrong with it. The quality of work we do actually determines the degree of happiness we will have with our work, and vice versa. Whether we work for others or for ourselves, bad workmanship will never satisfy.
#Making our work indispensable to others- This is I feel closely connected with the quality of our work. One of my inspiring quotes is “ If a man writes a better book, preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor though he builds his house in the woods , the world will make a beaten path to his door”. The highest degree of honor we can achieve in our work is when our work is indispensable to others.
#Specialization is crucial. Whereas having a natural knack of doing some thing is a big pay off, ultimately it is consistently working on a thing through which one becomes a master. And to consistently work on a thing one has to focus on one trade.
# Know how to market – There was this uncle of mine who, back in the days, had a brainwave to sell pears. So he loaded a truckload of pears and made his way down to Dimapur from Zunheboto district passing through Assam. After taxes and days of looking for buyers to buy his pears which were starting to rot then, he managed to sell some at a meager amount. He went back home wiser but poorer and with a strong dislike of pears. Even after many years had passed by, it seemed he could not stand to even hear the word ‘pear’, his daughter told me. Doing work we are interested in is good, doing it exceptionally well is better but being able to identify people’s need and then finding the best ways to meet them is the best pay off.
# Practice Professionalism – Sometimes in our line of work we may come across people with whom we are acquainted with. When such happens, as a professional, it is best that one impresses the other with one’s professionalism.
When we make it lenient, because we are familiar with them, sometimes they may end up shirking their work or even feel comfortable with not paying the dues. Still more they may feel hurt, if we don’t keep up with such treatment.
Another instance may be when we feel we know each other and hence can make some adjustment like turning up late when they need our service, they may not put their trust in our ability and opt for other’s services instead.
If we are to retain people’s trust in us then it is only fair we exhibit professionalism when it comes to providing our services, that way there would be no unnecessary expectations or disappointments and of course awkward situations and we can happily look forward to catering them way into the future.
Of course there are still more areas one can explore but we will leave that perhaps for another time. As for now I wish to conclude but not before wishing you all happiness with your work - as you stay in love with your job!