The most challenging job to keep is the one with the simplest work to do. I know it’s very stupid to say that. But it is true. Let me sight a personal example.
I’ve been doing our department’s least preferred role for a few years now – handling paper works. At first, it challenged me in a way that aside from documentation, I also have to learn the technical responsibilities of our department. Then, there came a time when my paper responsibilities demanded much time that drew myself away from the technical side. A lot of people ridicule my decision calling me a lot of things. Some of my officemates say I got paid to do nothing but sit on my table. And there came a time when I was so bothered with everything they were saying behind my back. But that is not the worst thing I have to endure.
A few days ago, someone caught me counting books. “Are you now…” he said. “A librarian?” we chorused. Then I laughed. When he left, I thought “was that an insult?” I might be wrong, of course. But part of me felt demoralized. For months now, I have been doing a role even worse than a librarian’s, if someone wants to see it that way. I do inventory of manuals and diagrams, and I also count their total number of pages. I once hired personnel to help me with it but his contract ended after a month for budget reasons. Then, I have them outsourced for scanning. And I have to check each page for errors. So far I found at least a thousand of them. Sometimes my eyes would hurt after hours of doing this simple task of clicking, checking, counting, writing and updating of records. The only technical thing I do now is the database of those manuals that I develop and maintain. Other than that, it’s really nothing any engineering graduate would be proud of. With or without the job I do now, the company can operate normally. My task is something that even a school boy could perform.
The reason no one wants to take the simplest tasks is because nobody wants to be ridiculed as incompetent or less significant. Everyone wants to show that what they do means a lot to the world.
But like everything else in life, our job isn’t just about what you do. It is about how you take it to yourself and how you learn from it. It is hard to do a ridiculously simple job when you know you can be effective on something more challenging. What I do may be insignificant but it teaches me valuable lessons – humility and gratitude. A teacher also once told me that anything your doing is worth doing. So, regardless of what role we fill in, we should take it wholeheartedly. We should be thankful about it for it is a blessing. One morning, I found this Bible scripture posted on Facebook. It says “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as if working for the Lord, not for men.”
Original work from Simple Job, Challenging Job