Are you at all useful - let's find out ...

What do you actually do? I mean, what purpose do you serve the world in your professional capacity? Are you actually doing stuff that is actually, really, truthfully creating something?

For me, I can come up with a string of tasks I do ... stuff you know, things I do to fill my day. What I can't come up with is what benefit any of it is to anyone ... in tangible, actual, real terms.
(for those that saw my previous attempt at a CV will not have any problems with that statement!?!)

Before I go on I need to just clear up that I'm talking about my 'professional' life here, not my 'personal' one ... that's quite fulfilling and focussed on very tangible, touchable and real things.

Also, don't get me wrong and think this is all "Oh woe is me, aren't I the poor misunderstood IT-type person" stuff, not at all. What I am doing is questioning the basics of my (and your?) existence in order to ensure that what I do is actually worth it. I suspect a lot merely turn up for work, do the "doing", get paid and go home ... and that might be all sweet and lilies for some but for me, well, it's just not that exciting and doesn't spin the wheels - never has.

To help me I've gotta come up with a definition of what "do" is - when will I know that I (or anyone else) is "doing" something "real" (another word requiring definition). How's this:
  • do: active behaviour with a known goal
  • real: touchable, understandable by the man in the street
And so, what things do you do that end up with real things?
Um, maybe I help people find information quickly so they can do they're 'doing' more effectively. Maybe. Maybe I try and remove the technology out of the way so others can 'do' stuff. In effect, I think I'm more of a 'help others do' type of worker. Could the man in the street understand that - probably not, then I still have a problem.

And, if the 'others' are Project Managers for clients in, say, the financial industry how far away from an actual real (touchable) thing am I?

Another attempt to answer the question was to ask my mates ... but they're not really in the business of being at the 'real' end either. In fact, out of everyone, EVERYONE, I know the tally is:
  • 7 people doing real stuff - taxi driver, life coach, builder, painter, developer, teacher, kiddies clothes seller
  • 60+ people *ahem*, not really doing that much - PM's, BA's, Accountants, Sales people ... you get the idea
This doesn't include parents that are actively parenting - and why not, because they don't get paid for it and, to be honest, don't have a choice! Or maybe I'm wrong there - if so, that's probably an extra 15+ onto the 'people doing stuff' list.

Oh, just as an aside - the people doing real stuff are (I suspect) a lot lower paid than the majority of those not doing real/touchable/worthwhile (emotionally charged word) stuff ... reason?

What about you? What do you do - actually, touchable-y do? It's easy to justify it, isn't it. It's easy to come up with intangibles and believe the lie that that'll do. But really, what is it that you do that the man on the street will both understand and say, "On ya - keep up the good work big fella!"

Maybe your work is too complicated for the person on the street ... is that the problem with your work or the person on the street? If the person on the street can't connect with what you do then aren't you putting up barriers to the world, cutting yourself off from what is 'real'?

Maybe I need to get more people in my life that do stuff that is truly useful ... as role models, to show me the way!
Or maybe what I need to do is sit and work out what I really do and then just get on with doing it.


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