Does your job suck? you're in good company

Mar 17 2008 by Print This Article

If you are facing another work day and the thought is not a pleasant one, you might be able to take heart in the fact that you are not alone. History is full of people who had to spend years working awful jobs before becoming great and changing the world.

This phenomenon is discussed by Jason Torchinsky in his article Slouching on the Shoulders of Giants: Why It's Okay that your Job Sucks.

Albert Einstein may be the most-famous example, as discussed by Torchinsky. He writes, "Albert Einstein held a job in the Swiss Patent office for seven years. He began the job of technical officer on June 23, 1902 on a provisional basis; it wasn't until 1904 that he was accepted permanently. And though his salary was raised, he was not promoted from a Class III employee to a Class II because he was 'not fully accustomed to matters of mechanical engineering.'"

Of course, Einstein also wrote five of his earliest papers while on company time that ultimately made him famous.

Another great example of someone who seemed destined for nothing but changed the world, was Karl Marx. In fact, Marx never held down a real job at all. He did manage to find a wealthy benefactor, however, who paid for his lifestyle while he wrote his socialist manifestos.

Another example is: "Michael Faraday, the discoverer of electromagnetism and one of the first to realize its full potential, was stuck in a chain of underpaid, menial jobs that seem to have only gotten in the way of what he really wanted to do."

So, while the thought of trudging into your cubicle in the morning may not seem like anything to look forward to, you may want to consider how future generations will look at it. Perhaps the menial job you have today will be something to laugh about in your limousine ten years from now.


Older Comments

This simply demonstrates that it is what you do with your time that is important. Regrettably the majority of people spend their, often, bored work time succumbing to negative thinking, where they seek to blame others for their misfortunes. Those few that climbed out of the mediocrity of someone else's world and created their own did not waste time on negative thinking. They didnt have time for that. They could see only possibilities and opportunities - those that seek to allocate blame can see neither.

There are many opportunities in every workplace to engage one's brain in a productive and creative manner. The key tool for doing so is a thing called attitude. You have to believe the status quo is not good enough and that can be a better way.

In the past few days I have been involved in conversations with a number of people who refuse to accept the status quo. A web designer that has very well paid job in events management four days a week and has established a second income and better lifestyle with web design. A business manager for a not-for-profit who went into his new role with the attitude that I am not going to just fix up this mess but I am going to make it better and quickly developed an e-waste operation that provides work skills for those with disabilities as well as creating opportunities for increased revenue.

These people don't have time to be stuck in a job that sucks. They have looked at their skills, developed competencies found work they want to do and turned the process into something positive. You can do the same thing yourself.

John Coxon Australia