Welcome to Kelly Martin's Blog! Here I share my stories from my blessed life as a wife to a super-talented man, Jason, mom to my precious kids, Lucy, Jack, and Connor, and friend to my amazing girlfriends who inspire me every day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Does anyone actually ENJOY their job?

I know people commonly quip that they hate their job, but lately, I've begun to doubt that there are many -or ANY- people out there who actually do enjoy their job.

After many months of struggling with his dissatisfaction with his job as an engineer for the Army, Jason is now actively searching for a new job. I know the flexibility, vacation time, and widely-known fact that it's basically impossible to get fired from a government job make it appealing to many - and Jason sure appreciates the first two aspects, but he's grown so unhappy with parts of his job that simply aren't going to change, it's imperative he make a change.

His passion is computer programming and writing code, so I hope and pray something will work out in that arena, for I sincerely look forward to the day he comes home happy and fulfilled from the work part of his day.

But I've digressed...my question: "Is anyone happy with their job?"

I have lots of girlfriends that are engineers, many of whom dislike their job; and I can't think of a SINGLE male friend who's an engineer who enjoys what they do. But it's not just "engineers" in general, either. I know several teachers I've worked with who left the field of teaching permanently. Likewise, I am friends with several stay-at-home-moms who have no interest in returning to work once their children are a little older, and not because they don't need the money, but rather because they don't miss what they did at all!

Fortunately, I'm lucky enough to be in the group of people who really enjoy their work; honestly thought, I'm not so sure what I can attribute that fact to. But, I absolutely LOVED teaching (except for that God-awful year at Harvest School the first year we lived in Huntsville -- that year truly was a "just-get-through-the-day" job EVERY DAY). And I love being home with my kids now, and wouldn't trade it for anything, but I really do look forward to the day I can return to the classroom. I miss teaching, for sure.

And my dad, I think he likes his job. My father-in-law, I think he may like his job too, but I can't be sure. I know my mother-in-law works tirelessly at her job -- I'm not sure how much she likes it or not...My mom is a full-time student now, a "job" she's actually really enjoying. We'll see what happens when she joins the work force with a new degree under her belt. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed substitute teaching before she went back to school.

The idea of working is so unappealing to one of my brothers, he's never actually tried to get a job, and I'm not sure what my younger brother will do with his degree from Bama when he graduates in a few years.

So, for the most part, people are very unhappy with their jobs, a responsibility that accounts for the majority of peoples' days, most days of the week. Why is this?!?

Is it because we're too young when we go to college to be able to responsibly choose a life-long career? I don't know? But a friend of mine remarked recently that she wasn't even really sure why she majored in what she did; that when she worked it was just a job she did, not something she loved.

Are too many people choosing paths that please their parents but not themselves?

Are we just an unthinkably lazy generation that would honestly rather not work at all, no matter what the job?

Are businesses today run so poorly that no one can find enjoyment in their job?

Do we not think hard enough about it when we're in college, taking classes in a certain field?

Were "Career Days" in Elementary School a complete waste of time! ;-)

Where does the blame fall? I'm not sure at all...

I've been thinking about it so much lately, wondering nervously at times will there be any job that Jason will enjoy, is there a profession out there that has the best chance of making people in that field happy, how can so many people settle so easily...

This is so sad to me...

I've been praying for Jason and his job search, and I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt to extend my prayer to include a larger group than just him...I want all of my friends to be happy, every day, in whatever they spend their minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years doing.

I'm very curious about this...if you've read this post, and you'd be willing, please post a comment -anonymously if you'd like- regarding your satisfaction with your job. What's your story? Is there anything we can learn from it!

If you're a SAHM now, but worked before, were you happy in that job?

I'm really interested in finding out what people have to say!


  1. Hmm...tough question. My experience: I didn't love my job for a couple of reasons, but the main reason was that I didn't enjoy my co-workers. I said many times that I think I could have enjoyed the work if I had like-minded folks to work with. You have to be there 9 or 10 hrs a day - that's a long time to spend with people that you don't have anything in common with (other than work) and often get annoyed with. Previously, I had worked a larger company where there were lots of young people and several girls I came to be close to - made a world of difference.

    That said, now I'm at home and don't have anyone here with me except a baby (my only co-worker), but somehow it's okay. I like her THAT much!

    I'm with you though - MOST folks I know do not like it...Adam, "not so bad," so he says; my mother (near retirement...annoyed!); my father (near retirement...very annoyed!); brother (it's okay); SIL (LOVES it)...so, a mixed bag! Who really knows!

  2. Russ really likes his job. And most would joke that he really never works, but we all choose what we do and he loves being around people and talking with people, which is what he does all day. He is very passionate about all aspects of his job. When he talks about it I can just tell he loves what he does.
    As for me with teaching-I thoroughly enjoyed teaching children and seeing them aucceed and hopefully making a positive impact on them. Sadly these days teaching has become so focused on testing that there is no time for the "fun" stuff anymore. That was the part I did not like. My dad loves his job (taking care of patients), my mom loved teaching as well, but just was ready to be a full-time grandma.:)
    But I do agree with you on hearing people complain about their jobs-good for Jason for doing something about it and realzing he is not happy with what he is doing and trying to find something else.

  3. I really enjoy my jobs at Crestwood and Morris Elementary. My whole life I have wanted to help people and be a social worker...now my first job post graduate school was rough and I was under a lot of stress with the welfare reform department and working for the state and did not like it, but did enjoy most of my co-workers. It was getting married to Brad and moving and thinking of what I wanted to do with my degree and I am where I am now because I had a few months to try and figure out the type of population I wanted to work with, age groups and so forth...
    Sometimes, I feel that I work too much for the students since their parent(s) don't do much for them at home, but it is a very rewarding job and nothing beats my patients and students from seeing me and smiling because they know I am on their side and working for them and helping them in any way that I can!
    I will definitely miss working a lot with my two jobs once our little boy comes along, but that is the only reason why I am choosing to work a couple of times per week still post having baby because I do love my jobs so much! Now my boss at Crestwood...that is another story but I love working with everyone else there!
    I think we all have had our fair share of one job or another that we did not like, but I hope that Jason is able to find one that he is passionate about!

  4. I HATED my job as a counselor. A lot of it had to do with the philosophy of the industry I was in and frustration with my hands being tied for "red tape". I stayed home with Parker and went back to school for about 2 years before realizing I wanted to try Nursing. I did it because it seemed like a good mix of psych and science, but mostly because of the hours. I liked Trauma Unit, but found myself dreading going in because of the people/attitudes. I fell into the NICU and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I am excited to go in (I know it's only been a few months but at 12 hours a time, I feel like I've been there forever!!) I feel like I use my brain and make a difference in people's lives. It also is fufilling for me, just holding a warm baby is theraputic I think. I stumbled into my career and it is the perfect fit, maybe if I had wanted to do something since I was little, the bar would be higher???


  5. I also find this situation of the majority of people not being happy with their current job circumstances interesting. I have to first say that I do love what I do every day. I miss not being with the students when I take a semester off with my own babies. I love the relationships I get to form with these kids. On the flip side, I also love being with my babies and miss them while I am working.

    I am beginning to think that whether we love what we do or not is partially a state of mind. Because if I am absolutely honest, there are days that I am dealing with punks. Middle school attitude. drama. issues. you get the point. I could let all of that affect me or I could choose to focus on what I love about my job. I see where I am at as a mission field. No I don't have tons of christian co-workers and my students are coming from all sorts of different backgrounds. I see it as a matter of "where else will I get to be a light for Christ?" If I don't have my secular environment here every day and I don't make an effort to find some non-christian friends then I feel like I am training for a race that I will never run. What good is a doctor with multiple degrees if he never sees any patients?

    Anyway, I think our purpose, as Christians, is to see our job as our mission field. I don't mean that we should be super preachy to people but we should make a conscience effort to serve them out of our love for Christ.

    I am not sure how content Allen is with his job and I know he thinks he needs to find more meaning and purpose in life. I think he needs to find the meaning and purpose in his current circumstances. His job is about building relationships with people. What a great platform to also show them the love of Christ. I think Allen believes the same way I do in this to an extent and I also believe that he does an amazing job at engaging people in deep, intentional conversations that he works with. I just think he should stick with it - that's all.

    Anyway, no, my parents don't love their job, my sister hates hers, Allen doesn't like his but I, personally, love what I do.

    I think it is also a bit of our American culture that we think things have to be perfect for us to be happy. I think we should strive to find happiness ourselves, and it wont come from our occupation.

    I know, long rant... i hope I didn't step on any toes with that. If you read this and hate your job, I honestly don't know what it is like to be in your shoes so I have no right to tell you how you should feel about your job. So I am sorry if I have offended anyone.