Sunday, November 5, 2017

Find Your Work

Your work is to find your work and attend to it with all your heart.

― Anne Bancroft

Marvel Comics editor Mark Gruenwald so loved his work he told his wife Catherine he wanted his ashes made into a comic book.

Catherine granted his wish when he died in 1996: Gruenwald's ashes were blended with the ink used to reprint Squadron Supreme, a comic book he wrote 10 years earlier.

People long to quit jobs that make them, as Adam Smith said, "as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become."

But fewer and fewer are willing, as Deloitte's 2017 study of Millennial workers shows.

According to the study (conducted annually), in 2016, 17% of workers worldwide said they'd quit their jobs immediately, given the choice; in 2017, only 7% said they'd do so.

Americans feel completely trapped, according to the study. In 2016, 7% said they'd quit their jobs immediately, given the choice; in 2017, none said they would.

Deloitte cites "a generally pessimistic outlook regarding economic and social progress" as the reason Millennials feel this way.

So, in a dicey world, how can you find your work?

In 101 Ways to Make Every Second Count, copywriter Bob Bly suggests these 10 ways:

Ask your boss for more work. Ask her to delegate tasks that will challenge you.

Take on different work. Volunteer to fill a need no one else can or will.

Learn something new. Enroll in a course.

Do something new. Join a local garden club, raise money for PETA, or go to Toastmasters.

Become active in your field. Join a professional association or teach at a local college.

Restructure your job. Make that extra work you took on the new core of your job.  

Confront greedy coworkers. Call out people who hog all the challenging tasks.

Switch departments. Apply for a transfer or promotion.

Change employers. Make the leap. 

Change fields. Do something else.

My advice goes a little farther.

First, don't be shocked if you find finding your work slow, arduous and low-wage. “If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all," Michelangelo once said.

Second, you might also find finding your work dangerous. Career adviser Scott Dinsmore, while pursing his passion, was killed by a falling rock on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Third, don't forget to consider the market. If you want a safe bet, go to coding camp; or become an altruist, as career adviser Benjamin Todd recommends.

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