For the second day of my ‘Thirty Days of Thankfulness‘ posting series, and in light of the continued high unemployment the United States still suffers under, I thought an appropriate topic for appreciation would be my job. The ‘Great Recession‘ marks my third ‘period of reduced economic activity.’ The last one I remember would have been the dot-com bubble bursting a year or so before 9-11. Prior to that, I believe it was the fallout from the savings and loan crisis in the early 90s.
Except for a one or two month time frame during 1988, I have been employed full-time since 1985. That brief hiatus saw me transition from the insurance industry (as an appraiser – both residential and commercial properties) to the legal industry. I liked the legal vertical so much, I’m still employed by a law firm (the same one for the last fifteen years) and still loving the challenges and the people. I’ve probably spent as much time, if not more, with some of my coworkers, as I have with my immediate family. Especially during those years when the IT department planned and converted hundreds of computers and systems in massive upgrades (usually driven by a change in operating systems or business productivity software handed down by Microsoft).
My only regret stems from sacrificing my career for the stability of a job. As I approach (or skid down to) the latter half of my life, I feel the lack of a satisfying career, a professional pursuit that feeds not only my pocketbook, but my personal life as well. While I thoroughly enjoy my adventures in Information Technology for all things legal, I find myself asking myself, will this matter after I’m gone? What legacy (besides my glorious children) will I leave behind? Will I leave a positive impact on the world? Could I have done more to make a difference, however small (remember the butterfly effect)?
Yet, I am truly grateful to wake up each morning, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and spend another day overcoming the next technology challenge with my IT buddies.
Quotes on Employment:
Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
~~~ Theodore Roosevelt
The taxpayer – that’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.
~~~ Ronald Reagan
To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.
~~~ Pearl S. Buck
You’ve got to find what you love and that is as true for work as it is for lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you’ve found it.
~~~ Steve Jobs
A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.
~~~ Thomas Carlyle, Chartism
Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty.
~~~ Louisa May Alcott
Such is the supreme folly of man that he labours so as to labour no more.
~~~ Leonardo Da Vinci, Thoughts on Art and Life