Life is too short to do something that you do not enjoy.

by Geoffrey Butler, AIA

As a child, you always think that you can grow up to do anything. You watch your parents and see what they do to make a living. You always assume that you could do that, and maybe should do that. Dad is a Doctor, makes good money. Heck you can do that. Probably.

Uncle Tim is a Banker. What does that take? You have to know how to count money, smile, shake hands. Not too bad. Your friend’s dad is a Fireman. Now that is cool. Sit around the Fire Station all day then jump on a firetruck and zoom over to a fire to put it out, save one or two people, a dog and a cat then back to the station.

You are always asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m pretty sure that they are asking what kind of career track you want to pursue. But the correct answer to that question is: “Me.”

You are an individual, you have interests and special abilities. There are things that you can do well, that really interest you. There are things that you don’t care a hoot about and you aren’t good at anyway. Sure, you would love to be the next Michael Jordan. The endorsements alone can make you very comfortable. Only problem is you are only 5’- 6” tall and can’t chew gum and walk at the same time. So why even think about it?

But, look in the mirror. That person staring back at you can be something special. The challenge is to find out how. As you grew up you probably noticed that there were things that just came easy to you. Maybe you could draw well. You could look at a dog and sketch it up quickly and it actually looked like the dog. Amazing! But if you had to calculate a 15% tip on a $7.50 lunch, you needed a piece of notebook paper or a calculator. Fairly obvious here, don’t go into engineering!

The whole point of this little blog is that your career will occupy almost one third of your life. You will spend almost half of every waking hour of every work day in your job. If you don’t like your job, you can’t do it well and you won’t enjoy it. Conversely, if you enjoy your work, you will probably do it very well. If you do your job well you will always be in demand and likely be successful

We have a very short time on this earth. I would like to think that I can make a difference while I am here. We all should strive to leave the world in better condition than when we found it.

So find a career doing something that gives you pleasure. No, it doesn’t have to make a lot of money. Yes, you should be able to do your job, enjoy the day and find, at the end of the day, that the day went quickly, you made a difference in someone else’s life and then go home happy.