Sunday, 1 April, 2012

You gotta work it!

People can be divided into two categories based on the role work or professional life plays in their life. One type consists of people who derive their identity from the work they do. Whenever they introduce themselves they start with :Hi, I am so-and-so, I am an Engineer/ Doctor/Teacher/Dancer. They derive their sense of achievement from the recognition they get for their work. A challenging project sets their blood pumping and their heart racing. They love the idea of a task well done. Now these people are not workaholics, because work doesn't seem work to them. They enjoy it. And the most embarrassing thing about them : They don't hate Monday mornings! For such people to be happy, their work needs to be a manifestation of their passion. The work they do has to make a difference in the world they hope to change. Unless this happens, they will burn themselves out slaving away at a job they don't like.

The other kind is not limited by what they do. Work is just one slice of their pizza. Professional life is important but its also just a means to an end.  They live for the weekend, when they get to live out their true life. Vacation Planning gets the attention it deserves. Their goals are not defined by performance appraisals and deadlines. They have hobbies and interests but they prefer to keep their extra-curricular activities and work separate and they are happy with that.  The don't want to turn their pleasure into work. They are fiercely passionate about one thing or another. They have a complex and rich life outside work. They socialize, travel and recreate in non-work related ways. They stop thinking about work the moment they leave office on Friday (or Saturday for the unfortunate ones) and don't start again till Monday morning.

Now I am not passing judgement on whether one type is better. Whether one type is more effective at the work place. Whether one type has a healthier personal life and work-life balance. I am only bringing out the types there are so that you can figure out which one you are. If you are type one, you better find a way to make your passion work for you otherwise you're going to be investing around 70% of your waking hours (and sometimes even your sleeping hours) into something which doesn't bring you joy. And if you are type two, don't get stuck in an unfairly demanding thankless job or under a sadistic boss. And remember having fun is work too and you are obligated to make that effort. Either way you gotta work it! 

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