You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling

The subtitle of this article was going to be "What to do when your job doesn't offer fulfillment or a value to society", but I quickly realised that I didn't actually know the answer. I do have a few ideas but I'll leave it open ended and others can add to the list later.

At my current position, I get to research new technologies related to the CATV (Community Area TeleVision) industry and specifically related to OSS (Operation Support Systems) and Assurance (making sure that your cable modem and set-top stay on-line). For a long time, I was satisfied with my job because I found the technology advances (and in some cases, evangelizing the adoption of new technologies) challenging. Recently, the political environment (at least in my group) has become much more toxic. In addition, it's hard to describe the delivery of television to the masses as "beneficial", especially as the available content continues to degrade (Note to producers: Create one great show instead of twenty mediorce ones). This is in stark contrast to my last job, where we used CATV technology to facilitate distance learning (delivering teachers to students has an obvious benefit to society).

Fortunately, I have a lot of outside interests and a fun family, so my job really isn't my life anyway. Here are some ideas for outside projects that provide both a benefit to society and some personal fulfillment (and in some cases, an income):

  • Volunteer at a local school.
  • Help your church (or other civic group) with their computer systems.
  • Join an open source project.
  • Create a MicroISV in your spare time.
  • Start a consultancy in your area of expertise.
  • Find someone junior to yourself who needs a mentor.
  • Teach a class.
  • Attempt to reengineer your day-job (or environment).

I'll be the first to admit that there are times when nothing on this list can compensate for the quality of your day job ... I've got a special list for those of you who fall into that category:

  • Find a different day job!

Hope you have a great day at work!