I recently caught up with a friend of mine from high school that I hadn't seen for many (many :cry:) years and we've been chatting quite a lot on email recently. The other day things took something of an interesting turn when she said (referring to me) "I envy those who can chop and change career path".
I gave my usual reply that for me, a career is nothing more than a means to make money so that I can go out and do the things I really want to do. I work for a few years, then take a year or two off to bum around the world or go play music for a while or do any number of other fun things but people often don't get it and wonder why or how I can "sacrifice" my career in this way 😐
We got into a bit of discussion about why people work, which tied in nicely with a recent post Adrian Savage made over at his LifeHack blog:
Last week, I starting thinking about why so many people devote so much of their lives to work, and seem to get so little enjoyment or reward in return. It doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense.
Indeed, it doesn't
People get so caught up in the process of furthering their career that they sometimes lose sight of what it's all about: making money. Cynical that may be, but it's my fate to become a grumpier old fart as I get older . They often claim that they do their job because they love it or they're doing something worthwhile but when asked if they would still be doing it if they weren't getting paid for it, you often get a sheepish grin (at best).
Doing something for the love of it and doing it for money are two very different things. I've spent a large proportion of my life learning to play music and love doing it but when I end up churning out The Girl from Ipanema in some cocktail lounge, believe me, it's only because I'm getting paid for it (or trying to pick up chicks, but that's another story ). I consider myself lucky that the things that I do to earn a crust , cutting code and playing music, I actually enjoy doing but as soon as money enters the equation, it changes everything. When I get hired for some contract programming gig, I'm just a grunt for hire and if the boss insists on Jello software because he wants 4 weeks worth of work done in 5 days, despite my recommendations to do otherwise, well, I just shrug my shoulders and do the best I can under the circumstances.
Working on Awasu has been completely different. We've had the luxury of being able to set our own schedules, although that will certainly change as we start to take on more clients, but the key difference is that I really am doing it because I love to do it. I was working on Awasu for a long time before any real money started coming in, and while it's sure nice to have and one reason why I started the whole thing in the first place, it's not the main driving motivation. And I think that it shows in the software:
I not usually that "cutting-edge" when it comes to installing alpha versions. But I'm comfortable loading your updates as your alpha codings have been remarkably stable.
That's quite a compliment, but not surprising. Everything that goes out the door, including bleeding-edge, everyone-assumes-that-its-full-of-bugs alpha releases, go out with my name on it so I make damn sure it's of the highest quality. Maybe it's just because I'm Japanese 😎
I'm immensely proud of where Awasu stands today and we've got some seriously cool features lined for the coming months so please stick around for the ride. And in the meantime, check out the rest of LifeHack. It's worth a read.