A Tale of Two Barbers: Same Job, Different Outlook

by Robert Musterer   Ulticareer  | Advice  | Opportunity  | New perspective  | Story  | Career decision  | Choose happiness  | 
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I was chatting with the person cutting my hair the other day, and I asked her how she liked her job. She responded that she’s been doing it for 3 years and is already looking forward to retiring, even though she’s only in her mid-twenties. She’s already tired of just doing the same thing every day, what she viewed as the simple task of cutting hair. We talked for a few minutes, but it was clear she wasn’t much in the mood for conversation, so the majority of the time was spent in silence. But I felt sorry for her. Here she is facing 40 or more years of work ahead of her and she views her future as waiting for retirement.

In contrast, I used to go to another barber, who unfortunately relocated to another town, who so thoroughly enjoyed his work that he looked forward to getting back to work while on vacation. He spends his working day chatting with his fellow barbers and customers. He feels a sense of accomplishment when he sees his clients transformed by his work.

The degree of enjoyment each obtains from their work is substantially different. Perspective can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your career. The one who views it as a task to get through is tired of the job after 3 years. The one who sees it as a way to connect with people and transform their appearance loves this very same job. Focusing solely on the tasks, leads to a tiresome repetitive outlook that is demoralizing and unsatisfactory. However, focusing on the positive and broader picture provides meaning and context for satisfaction. 

If you find yourself in a job you don’t like, broaden your view to look at the value and contributions of the job. However, the same job may not be a good fit for everyone. It is important to select a career that aligns with your interests and values.  This will make it easier to keep the focus on the broader picture and not get bogged down in the daily tasks. If your current job is not a good fit, start exploring other options.

The trick is how can anyone get a decent appreciation for what various jobs are really like? How can they get a sense of a typical day in the life of doing any job?  This is where UltiCareer comes in. 

UltiCareer is building a database of realistic descriptions of jobs from all walks of life.  This database will be a resource for anyone exploring career options, to get a better sense of what jobs might be a good fit for them. Don’t you wish you had access to such a resource when you were considering career options?  Join us in helping provide this valuable resource by sharing your story about your type of job at UltiCareer.


on UltiCareer to help others on their job search, get to know what your type of job is really like.


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