Tag Archives: Work


Back in December, I was catching up on my alumni magazines and saw this article. Not too long ago, but prior to reading said article, I wrote a comment on one of Sparky’s posts that basically said exactly what the professor in the article advocates. So, a) validation! and b) I really need to work on marketing my ideas. 😛

Anyway, the short version of the article is that there are three ways to view work: as a job, a career, or a calling. Job people are the TGIF, watch the clock, counting the days to retirement crowd.

So I read this and I think: ah yes! the “3 categories” game. I have a few versions of this myself. Interestingly, they all fit into the job/career/calling scenario.

  • There are 3 types of law students: the ones who want the money / prestige (= law as career), the ones who want to save the world (= law as calling), and the ones who really want to write (= law as job).
  • There are 3 types of undergrads: the ones who want a degree because “a BA is the new high school diploma” (job people); the ones who need a specific degree to reach a predetermined professional goal (career people); and the ones who are studying what they’re passionate about and for whom a degree is icing on the cake of learning (calling people).

Which is not to say that just because you’re in one category now, you’re stuck there forever. You can, of course, move from one category to another. To that end, in the article there’s some discussion of how you can find work that you find more fulfilling. And then it goes on to say:

If we aren’t willing to switch to another kind of work, then he advises us to reframe the work we do.

AHEM. Reframe. My comment:

You’re not going to quit your job, so I think you need to reframe your feelings toward it. There are obviously things you value about it (the money it provides you, the fact you can retire early, etc.) and those outweigh the negatives for you.

Look, I even used the same word. Moral of this post: listen to me. I am wise like Yoda 😉

I should steal this

and use it as my new motto. Stand and recite before every work day (for some reason this reminds me of Brownies—“I promise to do my best…” ;)):

I’m way too intelligent and talented to feel underappreciated, and I’m too smart to stay somewhere I’m not adequately financially compensated for my work.

Leslie Madsen-Brooks

four, maybe five hours of pure work

The common advice is, if you are a designer, you should be designing all day. Or making pottery, translating, illustrating, or writing all day.But here in the real world, you should shoot for four, maybe five hours of pure work. That is, writing from scratch, designing from a blank page, translating raw text, building brand new code, illustrating out of thin air.That’s all the human brain can muster. The holics who say they ‘work’ eighteen hours a day aren’t actually ‘working’ all that time.  Most of that will be foof like paperwork, email, phone calls, tinkering, fiddling, meetings. Of the ‘real’ work, the devilishly painful work, four hours is all you can do.

Walt Kania