Nov 04, 2013

In order that people may be happy in their work

written by Sveta Kalinskaya

My 21-year-old son is going through a difficult stage in his life. He’s been going through it for a while now. He doesn’t know what he wants to do. According to the stats, this problem is more or less typical for most teenagers and young adults. He understands the importance of getting higher education and having a profession or a job that would allow him to live a comfortable life. He is just not passionate about anything that makes money. His Mom and Dad have been giving him so much advice and shared so many life stories and family legends for such a long time that he is hardly listening now. But looking at his struggle I can’t help asking myself: Seriously, how many of us did know what they want to do when they were twenty? And is it really important?

“In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: they must be fit for it; they must not do too much of it; and they must have a sense of success in it.” (John Ruskin)

I believe that the fact that I’m earning my living translating and interpreting is largely explained by the lack of interpreters and translators in the early 1990s. This is when non-Russian-speaking experts started coming to the former Soviet Union and the number of professionally trained interpreters was so low, they had to go with anyone who could speak understandable English. And I love my job and it fits into Mr. Ruskin’s formula above; except maybe the “not-doing-too-much” part because in this job everything is rush and due yesterday.

How about first studying something that you are good at in school? So you’re good at languages, study languages and then decide what you want to do with them – translate, interpret, teach, etc.  Or take any language job after college and try working it. Can you make a living on your current skills and knowledge or should you try doing something? When do you succeed most – as a teacher, as a translator, or as a management assistant?

Or better yet, think of your job as your life partner. You want to share your life with someone who appreciates you, does not make you work too hard and is physically compatible.

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