Everytime I watched The Making of Lord of the Rings in the Extended DVD, I develop this sense of envy. I would ask myself why I feel this way and I would realize that these people in the movie - these artists, editors, composers, actors, directors, stuntmen, etc. - they have a sense of pride about their work and accomplishment. They toiled 4 to 5 years on the project, some worked for 7 years on this show and at the end of the day, there is a sense of pride. There is an end result. There is something to tell people about. And I envy them.
I have been doing my current job for almost 3 years. The nature of the job is such that there is nothing "concrete" to show at the end of the day. We helped people when they faced specific problem during the development of their application. But we don't know what the end result is. We don't see the finished product. Day in, day out, week in, week out.. it is just pure operational support work. There is no sense of achievement. There is no glory. There is no pride. It is a dead job.
It seems to me I have been in dead jobs the whole of 8 years in this company. I started by doing internal IT support. At that time, that was like the lowliest job in this company. Nobody wanted to do internal support. The pay sucks, the users are demanding and there is no glory. Management, who cares about revenue, do not appreciate internal support. We are the cost center. The one that cuts into the bottom line. The expense department. Which management likes us?
The best IT job at that time were the customer facing IT services people. I use to yearn for customer facing jobs. Let me meet the customers. Let me show them my skills. Let me help them solve their problem. Let me bask in the glory of success.
As time pass, the best IT job is no longer the customer facing IT services people. The crown goes to this small group of people that do remote pre-sales support. These guys are funded by the marketing people and therefore they have a lot of funds to get new toys (machines) or go trainings or more bonus if target is achieved. The job is to provide support remotely via email or telephone (as opposed to on-site, face to face) so naturally the stress level are relatively lower than those that provide IT services to the customers. As it is a pre-sales team, they don't support production problems. There is no stress over bringing up the system by 7am the next morning. Nor is there stress in fine tuning a system that seems to be running really slow. Nor any of those late nights meeting trying to figure out what went wrong.
Every IT support personnel in the company wanted to join this team of remote pre-sales people. Who wouldn't, considering all the benefits I have outlined above.
I am in this pre-sales team. I am the envy of a lot of people. Yet, people do not see the negative side of this job. And the bad side is actually the nature of the job itself. It is operational. There is no sense of accomplishment because you can't tell see the end product of your labour. Look at me, blogging during office hours. Is that achievement? There is nothing to be proud of. There is no "Ohh.. I am part of the team that built maybank2u.com (as an example)". Do you want this type of job?
See, I was in the worst IT job in the company, the DBKL of the company, and now I am in a job that people envy. I have experienced the worst and the best and my conclusion? Nobody is ever going to be happy with their job. No one. Therefore, in my opinion, the best attitude is to always look at the good side of it and be thankful that you still have a job. Since nobody's going to be happy with their job *anyway* and there will be complains, why not do your best at your job.. deliver what you are being paid for and if you have time for other things (eg surfing, blogging, chatting), so be it.
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