During my high school I scored highest in one subject ‘Computers’, that drew my attention towards Engineering. During that same time, we had career counseling arranged by my school and one thing that stuck to me was the quote
‘Choose a job you like, and you will never have to work a day in your life‘
The two things clubbed together, decided my ambition – I wanted to be a Computer Engineer.
Fast forward to today, with 15 years of work experience. My job does not require me to code at all. In fact, I left coding about 10 years back and …. surprisingly I am passionate about the work I am doing.
When I meet my cousins or friends, I hear them share their dislike about their jobs.It has been pointed out by others quite often, that the only one not complaining in such gatherings is me.As a result, I started wondering
‘How is it that I am happy with my work?’
When I look back at my career trajectory, it’s a bit different from others around me.People around me have specialized in one specific area and risen in level/designation.Whereas I have changed roles approx. every 2-3 years.The change, even though within IT industry and in fact the same organization, is material. I went from coding to project management office to finance to sales to a new cloud solution and so on.
All the changes were triggered by me.
In retrospect – while working in a specific role, after a point in time – I start feeling complacent.It’s a point when I know for a fact that I am performing well and a point where I have nothing new to learn. The desire to try something else, kicks in.This is risky, but instead of staying in a role for years to come, I end up switching to things that are new. Embrace it whole heartdly and try to excel at it. The spark stays alive.
So, my conclusion is that all of us tend to box ourselves with our specializations.To be the only expert in a specific area, seems like a safe bet.
Though as a matter of fact, we are capable of a variety of things and sticking to just one skill eventually becomes mundane.
In my newest role, on performing a task well I feel the same adrenaline rush that I did on scoring the highest in one subject during high school. Being a jack of all trades and master of some, is fun. The happiness of discovering your own new skills is heartfelt… and that explains my passion for work.
If you do not like the job you are doing – It’s time to add something new to it. The change need not be drastic. Consider stepping out of your comfort zone and acquiring a new skill in the area of your interest. Work will no longer feel like work if you are invested in it. Passion for learning is the assured key to your happiness.