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一个好工作是什么?[zz,翻译版]

注:今天打开Google Reader时候注意到的(谢谢Jason的分享),虽然可能类似的故事不鲜见,但是我还是希望有一篇这样的在落园出现,表明我现在的一些类似的想法。因为原文是英文的,所以我简单的翻译一下,不妥之处,还望诸位海涵。

原文来自:What Is a “Good Job”?

在我高中的最后一年,当我得知我已经得到足够的奖学金,并且可以去一所好的大学的时候,我坐下来然后研究所有可选择的学科。其中的两个让我眼前一亮,依照我的个人兴趣:英语和数学。

不幸的是,当我告诉我的朋友们我的目标的似乎,他们都对我说了同一句话:“凭一个英文专业,你将难以得到一个好的工作”“一个数学专业的?你只能去读博士!”

而我相信了他们。我没有继续关注我本来的兴趣,取而代之的关注是那些将会带来高薪的职业,所以我选择了一个其中一个较为吸引我的硬科学。那是一个妥协。

时光飞逝,13年之后的我在干什么?我并没有利用那个硬科学的学位,而是放弃高薪成为了一名作家——我最初的梦想。

太多的人关注薪水,将其作为一份好职业的唯一定义。当然我并不是说有一个稳定的收入不好,毕竟一份骄人的薪水可以为你打开很多门,并且如果使用的当(指善于储蓄),你的生活水平将会更高,等等。

但是,什么是更高的生活水平?你愿意活在一种不快乐的状态中吗?

我的一个朋友Dale曾在一个工厂工作。那份工作薪水并不太高,但是是固定的按小时支付的工资,约为13美元左右。Dale并不热爱那份工作,但他享受其中。他是工人的核心之一,因工作杰出而受人尊敬。他也因他的地位获得了调班和加班的选择权。

而后,另一份排序的工作向他招手。每年3万美元的薪水,并且还有固定的红利,但是他将成为其中的最底层,而且这份工作非常危险并且让人心力憔悴。

这并不是一个容易的选择,但是Dale选择了后者——高薪但不怎么舒服的工作。

一年之后,显而易见的随着收入的持续上升,Dale越来越不快乐。他不得不在晚上工作,因此不能照顾他的孩子。他体重上升了,并且倾向于在业余时间做一些逃避性的活动——例如在城市里骑着摩托车闲逛。他每天睡得更多。他并不如以前那么快乐。

是的,他的薪水在持续上升,但是这真的值得吗?我想很少有人会这么认为吧。

从我的个人经验来说,还有Dale 的经验,还有很多我的读者的类似故事,我不得不说薪水只是一个好职业的次要因素。我认为下列因素至少同等重要:

这个工作本身: 如果我需要至少每天8小时干一件事,那么个人的高兴程度就取决于这份工作是不是真的舒适。它适合你吗——或者,它真的吸引你全身心投入吗?你每天下班之后很高兴,还是觉得精疲力尽?当你在悠闲的时候,你想起自己的工作会快乐,还是反胃?硬币的一面是快乐的生活,另一面则是不怎么快乐的日子。这样的代价值得你如此付出吗?

时间的灵活性:时间越为灵活,自然越好。你担心会因为去参加了你女儿的演奏会而被炒鱿鱼?你总是因一个呼叫而从家庭活动中匆匆离去?你总是因工作错过了和关心的人共度的美好时光?那些才是真正的惨痛代价。每一次你错失的和家人共度的时光,都将是难以弥补和无可挽回的事实。

工作伙伴:你被同事们尊敬吗?你和他们有一个很好的关系吗?还是一个勾心斗角的博弈关系?同样的,这也是一种代价——你能为这样高压的环境付出多少?

最后,问问你自己:为了那点铜臭,这样的折磨值得吗?对我来说,这样的折磨非常不值,尤其是当你考虑到人有多种办法节省开支而并不需要太多影响自己的生活方式的时候。

我宁愿活得变数多一些,也不愿意用大多数时间工作来换取少量的所谓享受品。很多人也说,当他们蓦然回首,此感依旧。

翻译完此文之后,我想说的是:

I'll follow my heart

英文原文附后:

During my senior year of high school, after I had learned that I had received enough scholarships to attend a major university, I sat down and studied all of the majors that were available to me. Two of them really stood out, due to my personal interests: English and mathematics.

Unfortunately, as soon as I told anyone about my goals, they’d almost always tell me the same thing. “You’ll never get a good job with an English degree.” “A math degree? The only way you’ll get good work with that is with a Ph. D.”

And I believed them. Instead of paying attention to my natural interests, I started focusing instead on which majors offered high paying jobs and, from there, I picked a major in the hard sciences that seemed to interest me the most. It was a compromise.

Flash forward to thirteen years later and what do you have? I’m not using that degree in the hard sciences. Instead, I took a pay cut to become a writer – the job I wanted to have from the start.

Too many people focus on salary as the sole definition of a good job. I’ll be the last to argue that it’s not good to have a healthy income. A great income opens many doors if used properly – savings for the future, a higher standard of living, and so on.

But what good is that higher standard of living and savings for the future if you’re living a significant chunk of your adult life in a state of unhappiness.

A friend of mine – let’s call him Dale – had a factory job a few years ago. The job didn’t pay particularly well, but it was a solid hourly wage, somewhere in the $13 range. Dale didn’t love the work, but he enjoyed it. He was one of the most competent workers there and enjoyed a lot of cameraderie from the people he worked with and some respect from the foremen because he did his job well. He got his choice of shifts and overtime options because of his status there.

Then, suddenly, an opportunity of sorts opened up for Dale. He could take a $30,000 a year job with solid benefits – but he would be the low man on the totem pole there. Plus, the work was fairly dangerous and psychologically wearing.

Choosing between the two wasn’t an easy decision, but Dale chose the higher-paying but less-enjoyable job.

After about a year of it, it’s pretty obvious that even with the substantial increase in income, Dale is less happy. He now works a shift that keeps him from seeing his kids in the evening. He’s gained a bit of weight and seems to spend most of his spare time involved in escapist activities – for example, he’ll often spend hours upon hours just riding around on his motorcyle or his ATV. He sleeps quite a bit more, too. In conversation, he just simply doesn’t seem nearly as happy as he used to.

Yes, his salary went up substantially, but was it really worth it? I think few people would argue that it was.

Given my own experience – as well as Dale’s, and the many readers who have written to me along similar lines – I’d argue that salary is of only secondary importance when finding a “good” job for you. I’d argue the following factors are at least as important – if not more important.

The work itself If I’m going to spend eight hours (at least) per weekday engaged in an activity, one’s personal happiness is going to hinge significantly on how personally enjoyable the work is. Does the work fulfill you – or does it drain your soul? Do you end your work day (most of the time) happy and alert, or do you go home empty and exhausted? Do you find yourself happily thinking about your work on occasion during your free time – or does thinking about it make your stomach turn? One side of this coin connects to a happy life – the other connects to a much less happy one. How high of a price is stress worth?

Flexibility of time The more flexible the hours, the better. Are you worried about getting fired if you attend your daughter’s dance recital? Are you constantly yanked away from family events by your digital leash… excuse me, cell phone? Are you constantly missing quality time with the people you care about because of your work? That has a very real cost – and it’s a very steep one. Every time you miss something important with your family, it’s an opportunity that never comes back and it’s a trust that can never be recovered.

Peers Are you respected by your coworkers? Do you have a good relationship with them? Or is the workplace filled with constant mistrust, intrigue, and gamesmanship? Again, it’s all about the stress – what kind of price can you put on a stressful environment?

In the end, ask yourself this simple question: how much sustained misery is an extra dollar worth to you? For me, such misery isn’t worth it, particularly when you consider the multitude of methods a person can use to shave their spending without really altering their lifestyle.

I’d rather live frugal without a miserable job than have a few nicer things and spend all of my time loathing my work. Something tells me that when people step back and take a serious look at their lives, many people will feel the same way.


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