September 08, 2006

Motivation, Part 2

I have noticed that significant amount of people who work on software projects are frustrated most of the time they spend working and thinking about their jobs. This is true for me also. The reason is, mostly without exception, the conflict with other people: their superiors or peers.

Sometimes it happens that the frustration is present because of some technical problem which is difficult to solve, but this is a sweet worry. It can be a good thing because such problem can be a theme for a constructive debate with your colleagues. It can make people work closely together, exchange ideas and feel good when the problem is solved.

The “sociological” source of frustration, however, usually leads to ugly comments and talks among peers (and behind their back). Such talks can also be continued at home, with your spouses and/or friends. These talks help people feel a little bit easier about the situation but, in essence, it’s destructive practice because it doesn’t solve anything, it doesn’t lead to a conclusion.

The problem with frustration is that it doesn’t disappear as soon as you go home at 5 p.m. but you take it home with you and you hang out together for some hours more, or even until you go to sleep. This means - it ruins your entire day.

Even though I have just said that lamenting and complaining to others about your workplace problems doesn’t help you in a long run, there is an obvious reason why people do it.
If you are unsatisfied with your workplace you have two options:
a) find another job
b) complain to everybody who would listen

Wouldn’t we all like to quit our jobs as soon we encounter problems? I know I would. But we can’t change it every 5 seconds. If for no other reason, then because it would look bad in our resume. ;) Our dissatisfaction grows until it is impossible to endure it and then we leave the company. In the meanwhile, we have to talk about it; otherwise we would go insane…
For me, putting my problems in written form like this, helps a lot and makes a problem real. When I read other people’s blogs and articles elaborating such issues, it has special therapeutic value for me. I hope that someone someday will read my blog post after having frustrating day at work, and that it will help him/her calm down.

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