I had just returned from my boss’s office and was back at my seat, beyond thrilled. “He gave me an assignment!” I exclaimed in obvious glee.
“Pop in,” my boss had sent in an instant message ten minutes ago in his typically aloof tone, which saw me making my way to his office immediately. I seated myself down opposite him. He told that there was an upcoming project that he hoped I would independently undertake and complete. “Yes, sure!!!” I replied a little too quickly, almost bobbing in my seat. After furnishing me with the details of the task that would now come under my charge, I retreated to my work desk, deliriously happy.
To me, it was definitely a monumental moment in my overseas stint. For the last month I had been at the office, I primarily performed a secondary role where I assisted my colleagues in their assignments. Not that I didn’t enjoy it – I certainly did – but to be entrusted a task and see it through from start to finish was certainly something I had always wanted and thought to be worthy of celebration.
“Why are you so happy, it’s just an assignment!” my colleague teased.
Having been in the field for a while now, my colleague has been entrusted with countless assignments. Her innocuous remark made me think: Why exactly was I so excited about a job assignment?
It definitely wasn’t something bad or something I should seek to change, but the question weighed heavily on my mind.
Was my excitement because of the novelty of my job – one I had always regarded as my ‘dream job’? Was it because each assignment I now undertook signified a milestone in my young career and a step towards acquiring a full-time job I had always coveted?
If so, what happens after I actually get a full-time job?
Will the novelty wear off and the passion wither, as with many of the endeavours I had undertaken? I certainly remember the time my mum accompanied me to purchase a rather expensive cross-stitching kit – complete with threads of almost every shade of each colour family – because I had been crazy about the craft for a while. But shortly after, my initial excitement had fizzled out and my work was left sitting in the wardrobe half-completed ever since.
Who knows few years or even months from now, I’d just give a perfunctory nod when tasked with a new assignment, and rush to complete it just so I can have the rest of the day off. I might even start to lament the hectic nature of the job – what I now find immensely exciting and fulfilling. I’d hate for that to happen, but it is a possibility.
I’ve always felt that work should be enjoyed. Several writers have scorned the notion of TGIF (Thank God It’s Friday) and a routine anticipation for the weekends, because work should be enjoyed as much as the weekends are. And I totally agree. Work constitutes an enormous portion of our lives, and how dreadful it would be to only hope for time spent at work to pass quickly; that’d be akin to wasting half our lives! I hence decided to adopt mindfulness as my way of life, to always be present and to not while away any day thoughtlessly.
Maybe I should remind myself that real life is in the day in and day out. No one’s job is as straightforward or glamorous as it is made out to be. There are definitely going to be parts of the job that I don’t enjoy and that will become more apparent as time passes. But the important thing is to dig deep within, to ask myself what exactly is it about the job that I love, that motivates me to jump out of bed every day determined to do my job well. Because I would hate for myself to treat it as just a job, just a means to receive a paycheck every month.
I hope to always be excited about every new assignment, and to always give my all.