What defines an easy job? This is a question I have often pondered through the years. Is an easy job one that is low stress? Does an easy job have flexible hours? Is sitting at a desk all day an easy job? Does getting paid to think analytically and make decisions qualify as an easy job? Is a job in manual labor easy? Depending on the individual, the answer will vary, but in my opinion an easy job can be defined by two characteristics. The first characteristic is lack of responsibility. An easy job has no responsibility. A job where you show up every day, do what your boss says, wait for instructions before making a move, and generally do not think is an easy job. You are simply there to collect a pay check, not to take a personal stake in what you are doing. The second characteristic of an easy job is routine. If a job has a certain number of steps or a certain procedure which is always the same, it’s an easy job. Once the routine is mastered, there is no thinking involved. Show up, screw the widget onto the doo-hicky for 8 hours, and go home. Easy.
A challenging job is one which pushes you, stretches you, and makes you step outside your comfort zone. A challenging job keeps you on your toes, always thinking, planning, anticipating, and adjusting. A challenging job can make you a better employee if you choose to allow it to do so. A challenging job does not have routines or low levels of responsibility. A challenging job demands that you produce results with minimal direction or oversight. A challenging job does not hold your hand through every step of everyday. A challenging job is also a job that can leave you feeling like you accomplished something. It engages your mind and keeps your interest.
We have talked about easy jobs and challenging jobs, now let’s talk about bad jobs. A bad job is one that comes with an undue amount of stress. A bad job creates negativity in your life that travels home with you every night. A bad job is one where no one knows what you do, how you do it, or even if you showed up to work that day. A bad job is one where no one notices all the things you have accomplished, but any mistake you make is magnified and cast back at you as a cross to bear. A bad job devours your life, consuming all your waking thoughts and your nightly dreams. A bad job leaves you feeling trapped, hopeless, and panicked. A bad job does more damage than good, and you should leave as soon as possible. Sticking out a bad job rarely ends up as a positive.
Find a job that challenges you, keeps you thinking, piques your interest, and holds your attention. A job that requires you to use your mind will make work more enjoyable. Most of us work the majority of our lives. Why work a job that atrophies your brain, or destroys your life?