- January 24, 2006
"The definition of work was now to make some original contribution to the world, and in the process not to starve."
I've been saying this for as long as I can remember. I don't want to be rich, I just want to make enough. Always making your decisions in order to make the most money is likely to guarantee that you won't like your job. For that reason I pity people who want to make their "first million by the age of 30". Yes, you'll be proud of your corner office and your coworkers will envy your stylish loft in downtown NY, but will you have a family? Will you have children you love and who love you? When you pass on, will you be proud of yourself then?
"The danger is when money is combined with prestige, as in, say, corporate law, or medicine."
I read this particularly to refer to consulting for us engineers. I can watch my EE friend Tom simultaneously despise, envy, and admire the people he knows who become consultants. I'd say the reason we can despise while admiring is that we see these people as martyrs. We know how cutthroat their industry is, and we know that we consider some of their work to be evil (read: planned downsizing), but we also see the money they make and think "they're doing that work which I would find tough to do, and making a lot of money at it". Are these really valid reasons to admire someone?
These are just the two quotes that struck me as most relevent, but if I'd posted all the quotes I liked, I would have reproduced half the essay here. Read the essay and it should vastly improve your outlook, at least for those of you who I know would like some positive outlook. This essay doesn't really tell you how to do it; it tells you how to look at the problem, and that can be very helpful in minimizing those post-graduation "what do I do" blues.
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