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What is the perfect job?

From a recent thread on the subject of loyalty, I am curious as to what kind of variety exists in the definition of *the perfect job*?  One person said that its not disloyal to hurt your current employer if its making a better career move.  That begs a definitions of what makes one job better than the other.  How many moves do you make until you find one that you are willing to take a little bad for all the good it delivers?  Do some of you believe that is impossible?

Is the perfect job mostly based on money?  If not, then at what kinds of factors would need to exist for you to KEEP the lower paying job?

If you could build the perfect working environment, being as realistic as possible, what is your perfect combination of salary/physical environ./power/benefits/involvement in co. decisions/etc. ?

Clay Whipkey
Monday, April 12, 2004

tree pruner.

Im _sick_ of this stupid work.  I mean, wtf?  12 hours a day stuck in an office is just stupid.

I give up, Ive worked for other people, the job sucks, I now work for myself and the job _still_ sucks.

maybe Im just tired.

FullNameRequired
Monday, April 12, 2004

As the old addage of by-gone worker lore goes:

"Life sucks...but then you die"

So you do have something to look forward to after all!

anon-y-mous cow-ard
Monday, April 12, 2004

The perfect job...being a male porn star who gets blow jobs from hot chicks and gets to fuck hot chicks. Doesn't get any better than that.

Elephant
Monday, April 12, 2004

I had the perfect programming job for about 3.5 years.

I was contracted by a major bank to build a global limit order system for foreign exchange trading. I designed, wrote, tested and supported the system single-handedly. I worked closely with really bright people who were excited and committed to what they were doing - COO of global trading, traders, salespeople. Limit order systems are inherently challenging on an array of technical issues. I had sole discretion about architecture, tools, processes, documentation, presentations, etc. I was held accountable for the end result only; no regular meetings, no status reports.

Best part? Part of my initial pitch was that I could work with maximum concentration for about 5-6 hours a day and it didn't make sense to pay me for the rest. So, $140K/yr, part-time, designing and writing a very cool system handling billions of dollars that was used by people on three continents, with no administrivia or political BS. Perfect.

Alas, all good things come to an end. Over the 3.5 years I did a couple of smaller apps based on the limit order stuff and did some interesting prototypes involving video-conferencing. Development slowly wound down, the bank merged with another bank and a whole crowd of takeover drones came in without a clue about building a business; by the end I was really just there for support.

It's actually kind of a bummer to live with the nagging suspicion that my high-point is behind me.

Jim S.
Monday, April 12, 2004

"Perfect Job" is an oxymoron. The words are completely and utterly incompatible.

The Slinger
Monday, April 12, 2004

""" What is the perfect job """

I don't know, but it's gotta be something other than sitting in front of the monitor 8 hours a day.

 
Monday, April 12, 2004

Perfection does not exist. It is a moving target. Once you have what you think is perfect, your definition of perfect will have moved onto something else. Or you will realize what you thought as perfect either wasn't possible to achieve in this world, or was not perfect to begin with.

None of the material things you counted (money, environment, power, benefits, ...) will *ever* make you happy alone. Many people try to find fulfillment in their lives through material possessions, and if that were possible, rich, powerful people would be the happiest. Unfortunately, most of them are found in rehab centers, or dead from overdose of some kinda drug. Their search of power and success only leads them to realize that such things cannot provide for the emptiness they have inside.

Instead of wasting your time and others', stop searching for happiness outside of yourself in the far corners of the universe. You can only *be* happy and *you* are the only one who can make that come true.  You cannot do happy and no other thing can make you be or do happy.

Once you realize that, you will find your perfection in what you already have and you will know what will make you *be* happy.

grunt
Monday, April 12, 2004

All job sucks..Rich, loving, parents with billions of inheritance is perfect. 

Lazybone
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

When I first read about the Fog Creek history I thought: what a place to work!

During my 5 years experience on working on IT companies, I can easily tell that the perfect job is the one were you feel respected.

Being a programmer, I am the kind of person who is like to be programming all night long only to have some problem solved or even to learn a new trick I've never seen before.

If the company is able to give me the best conditions to get my job done, it has won five stars on my ranking.

Humberto Oliveira
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Wait until you have kids to support, a mortgage, car payments, furniture bills, utility bills, tax bills and credit card debt. Then ask yourself that question. Perhaps at that point you'll realize how stupid it is to even ask.

old_timer
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Perfect job: Is mildly challenging, pays well, and doesn't require too many hours.

  
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

When programming was my hobby, I thought that programming would be the perfect job. Now I program for a living and build boats for a hobby. Guess what I think would be the perfect job :)

As one of the other posters said, it's a moving target.

Ron Porter
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

old timer,
Which question are you refering to as being stupid to even ask?  I do have kids to support and a mortgage.  However, I do not have a car payment, or furniture bills, or credit card debt.  We have been *smart* enough to eliminate our debt. (i.e. paid off all the old stuff and now we only buy what we can afford, barring emergencies)

The perfect job for me: income that comfortably supports my family, freedom to work when I want to work, on things I want to work on, working with people that I can trust and be comfortable with on a daily basis, some semblance of security (these days that might be the hardest one).  I don't want to be wealthy so much that I would make excessive sacrifices of self and family to get there.  I'd rather make 50k and work only 40 hours a week, with time to spend doing things I enjoy and being with family, than make 100k+ and HAVE TO work 60-80 hours a week.

Clay Whipkey
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

To echo the last poster, yea, fewer hours.  I'd happily take a %25 pay cut to work %25 less hours.

I suspect that arrangement would actually benefit the company as well.  I probably get %90 of my work done in the first 6 hours of the day anyway when I'm most energized and productive.

tired
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"Of course work isn't fun.  That's why they call it work, and not blowjob."  This wisdom from a former supervisor (and evangelical Christian, at that), who I think pretty much hit it on the head.

That said, brewer or vintner has to top my list. Quality Control is a wonderful thing.  Of course the long days in the fall can be a bite in the shorts (grape harvest is in/new malt ready, and all the chemistry you've worked with for the last year has changed), but I'd cope.  More excuses to be outside and talking with people.

Clay Dowling
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Perfect Job:

1. Self Directed.

2. Doesn't take over my life, but I'm passionate about it.

3. Doesn't occupy my mind when I'm not working.

4. Pays well enough to not just pay the bills, but build substantial savings - enough so that you don't really have to work.

5. When I'm not working I'm enjoying myself. This is different from 4 in that 4 is just about not obsessing over work. This is about actually enjoying your life.

I think people like Lance Armstrong and Tony Hawk have great jobs. Doing what you love, working really hard at it, sacrificing youreslf to it, and receiving increadible rewards (job satisfaction and recongition, not just money), and at the same time balancing a domestic life with it.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

"This is different from 4" -> "from 3"

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Mark you summed it up.

I have a degree and working on a second one. I write software in my spare time and work in a horrible job during the rest of my time.

But I seriously think I want to just go work in a factory on a production line. The only thing important is that 30seconds in between whatever product is rolling off the line. You chat all day with you coworkers, and when you knock off it is over.

Trouble is I know that given a week on such a line I would be inventing ideas to make the system more efficient.....I wish I could be like my husband, he left school, got an apprenticeship and is now an electrician. simple. stress free. no career aspirations, no huge goals. Just work, come home, hang out with me.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Aussie Chick,

Sounds like you're trying to meet everybody's expectations but your own? What you said described me.

html tag user
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Not quite. I say I wish I could be more like my husband, but the fact is that I am not. He loves his job, but I would hate it after about 6 months.

My mind is too active, I have to be able to solve problems, create solutions etc. On the same note, I have been known to spend hours just sorting things for no reason other then it was a long monotonous job that to me was so much fun. I guess (and a previous poster said this), while sorting things your mind is doing nothing, so you can spend alot of time thinking about what you want. I often use boring tasks as an excuse to daydream.

I guess I am still trying to figure out what job I would love.
Maybe there is no such thing, maybe I just have to take a job any job and make a career out of it.

Aussie Chick
Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I, for example, love bike riding (which is why I have the Lance Armstrong reference). I often listen to books on tape when I do, but if I don't have one to listen to, I enjoy the ride all the same - I don't need the distraction, I can truly enjoy the scenery and the motion.

I can think of 3 blizzards in my life. One when I was young, maybe early teens. Another two around 10 years ago. I was forced to stay home - even though I had a jeep, I didn't want to dig it out, and it was so bad that ambulances were having problems getting down the street (they need 4 wheel drive I guess).

The first one, when I was in my early teens (or maybe late single digits), I remember staying home from school, in fact, I stayed completely home and didn't go anywhere. I recall a distinct feeling of contentment, and I thought to myself "I have no place to be but here. This is great."

The latter two were similar, though I had friends over during one of the blizzards. We hung out in my basement and recorded some music. Really wacky fun stuff. Again, I had this feeling of "nowhere to be but here."

It was similar when I was backpacking. I brought no electronic devices with me, no entertainment except a book & a journal. No walkman, no video games, no palm pilot. Each moment of my 2 month trip was like this - nowhere to be but here. I was on the bus travelling, or in a town exploring.

When I think of life as "unlimited possibility" I get frustrated. This is sort of like having a girlfriend, but still going out to clubs every night and looking at girls. When I have no other choice but to be where I am, I'm more content.

I think we're trained by modern society to be discontent. These loyalty threads bring to mind the question "what was it about jobs before that allowed someone to do the same thing for 40 years?" 500 channels on the television and nothing to watch - yet when we had 3 radio stations on the air we were happy. Oh, and the Internet. How many billion web pages is Google indexing now? 4,285,199,774.

That thread on Flow also brings to mind the question - What are you distracting yourself with when you're not working? If you had no internet access, no telephone, and nothing installed but the programs you need to do your job, what would you do at your desk all day?

When Tony Hawk is riding his skateboard, or Lance Armstrong is cycling, there really isn't anything else they're doing. Certainly not daydreaming of a better sort algorithm or working in a factory. Maybe it has to do with bodily movement, but I don't think so. Maybe it has to do with bikes not having built in PDA's and skateboards being about as mechanically simple as humanly possible.

I could go on, but I think you get my point - simplicity is better.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Oh, and I should make it clear to Aussie Chick that I mean simple environment, not simple person.

You know, I would cook if I didn't have so many takeout places near me & a budget that accomodated it. I feel a little guilty each time I do it, but we order in just about every night.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

A) Well defined job with goals & targets.
B) Good & timely training.
C) Supportive boss (with supportive boss, loop till end).
D) Good salary with 2 reviews/yr, overtime and bonuses.
E) Freedom to use professional judgement . . .
F) . . . treated like an adult professional not a rugrat.
G) Flexible working hours.
H) Sabbatial allowance (3 months in 5 years would suffice).
I) Share option scheme.
J) Pleasant office, good coffee, pool table & reading room.
K) On site masseur/masseuse & barrista.
L) Quarterly 'vote out the weakest link' for peers.
M) Quarterly 'demote the weakest link' in management.

WoodenTongue
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

The last two were only half serious...

WoodenTongue
Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"What is the perfect job?"

Somebody else's

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 15, 2004

Perfection cannot exist without imperfection. That's just a fact of life. You have to experience imperfection to even know what perfection is. Even then, it is all relative anyway.

Another angle is that a person claiming to have achieved a constant state of being (perfection) would have had to stop changing. Furthermore, everything around him/her would have had to stop changing as well to preserve the constant state of his/her being. These are impossible since everything is all about change. Everything changes every second... small or big, noticeable or unnoticeable...

grunt
Friday, April 16, 2004

To be the best in what you do no matter what is the perfect job. If you are a trampliving under thebridge, be the best in it.

arun Lakshmanan
Saturday, April 17, 2004

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