Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Unhappy with your work? You can change!

before and after

An ex-colleague of mine - a woman - moved from an engineering job to a health sector job - earning a very difficult university degree - at the age of 50.

I have always thought that engineering work is mainly for males, because males are good at shooting and hunting while females are more oriented to social work. And even that it takes a special kind of males, mostly unsympathetic, unemotional, un-compassionate, uninterested in the world... to be happy about staring a computer screen the whole day, it takes rather dull people. So I always encourage everybody that I like in IT to quit this job.

I have asked a few questions:

Q: have you always disliked engineering or it took you some time to mature this feeling?

A: It took me a while. At the beginning I was enjoying making many fun calculations , it was making me feel smart... Then gradually the doubt emerged that all this was totally useless. but as long as I was having fun, the doubt was being removed. Then I started having less fun, but anyway I liked the people I was working with, so things were still going decently. Then I went into the phase where I was saying "well, maybe it's useless, but at least it's useful to me, to make a career etc. Also this last illusion died and I have eventually understood: OK it's useless and I don't like it.

Q: which events have pushed you to the decision to change job?

A: a thousand reasons, it's not at all clear to me... I would need a psychologist to understand it

Q: among your university colleagues, have you been treated with diffidence due to the age difference? How about the teachers?

A: with my school mates, after a first phase or embarassment (mine) and diffidence (their) I have been very warmly welcome, with sincere admiration and almost affection. With some of them I have matured a true friendship. The teachers have always treated me with fairness, if they had curiosity about me they have hidden it very well. As far as I am concerned I have always been very discrete about my strange condition.

Q: what advice would you give to women who find themselves doing a job "sterile" as Engineering or IT? To ignore the uneasiness and expect it to go away one day and you will get used? or rather "listen to your heart, he knows what is best for you"?

A: To my children I have always told to listen to their heart and be answerable only to themselves. In fact one is now in Australia working as a waiter, the other is a sportsman, the little one wants to be a Natural Park Guard to protect the animals on the mountains. They don't seem to be unhappy.

Q: what is your opinion about Engineers, compared to other professions?

A: I don't think anything. I think you can't generalize. A bit conceited, yes they are.

Q: how do you compare the world of Health Care with the world of Engineering?

A: in the hospital, everybody works VERY hard...from the chief of surgery to the last of the students. Outside of the hospital, it's all the same...

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