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完美的工作真的存在吗?

更新时间:2018-3-21 20:25:22 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is a 'dream job' really possible
完美的工作真的存在吗?

By the age of 24, Sophie Brown had landed her dream job as a journalist at a leading international news website. She worked hard to get there, dutifully following a well-trodden career path advised by everyone from teachers to her parents. There was just one, tiny problem: She hated it.

24岁时,苏菲·布朗(Sophie Brown)终于得到了自己梦想的工作,成为了一家顶尖国际新闻网站的记者。她在那里努力工作,沿着既定的职业道路循规蹈矩地发展——从老师到父母,所有人都给她提供同样的建议。只不过,还有一个小问题:她讨厌这份工作。

“I hated the job and I hated the people there,” she says. “The idea is that I [would] just keep climbing this ladder and when I got a promotion I’d be happier or when I got a pay rise, things would be easier.” But the reality told a different story.

"我讨厌这份工作,讨厌那里的人。"她说,"我原以为我会不停地向上爬,而等到我获得晋升后就会更加幸福,或者当我加薪时,情况会好转。"但现实并非如此。

“Late nights, early mornings and weekends… me and my partner were like passing ships in the night, I hadn’t spent any time with my family in years and I realised that this dream job, that I’d worked really hard for, actually wasn’t what I wanted at all.”

"深夜、清晨、周末……我和我的同事都像夜行船一样。我好几年没跟家人在一起了。我发现,这个梦想的工作,这个我为之努力奋斗的工作,其实根本不是我想要的。"

So she did the unspeakable and quit.

所以,她做了一件令人意想不到的事情:她辞职了。

There is an awful lot of pressure these days around the role work plays in your life. It’s not enough to knuckle down and do your job anymore, you’re supposed to love it with a passion as well. You’ve got to follow your dreams and reach for the stars. But is the idea of a dream job really possible? Or is it idealistic nonsense designed to make you feel guiltier, work harder and complain less?

谈到工作在一个人的生活中扮演的角色,如今的人们都面临巨大的压力。光是认真工作已经不够了,你还应该热爱工作,充满激情。你应该追随梦想,远方的星辰才是你的目标。但完美的工作真的存在吗?这是不是一种不可实现的理想主义,不过是为了让你多些努力,少些抱怨?

One person who definitely believes in chasing the dream job is happiness consultant Samantha Clarke – she helps businesses make their employees happy.

幸福咨询师萨曼莎·克拉克(Samantha Clarke)就是这样一个坚信能够获得梦想工作的人——她的工作是帮助企业让员工快乐起来。

“We are all agents of our own work happiness,” she says “it’s up to us to go out there and figure out what is working for us and what isn’t working. You know to really start to take charge of your life.”

"我们都是自己职场幸福的经纪人。"她说,"我们应该自己走出去,寻找哪些东西适合我们,哪些不适合我们。你应该真正开始掌控自己的生活。"

Clarke tries to reframe how businesses and their employees think about happiness at work. It’s not about being “Instagram happy” complete with fuzzy smiles and free beer. “It’s thinking about how we can have better conversations; can we create environments or zones where people can work better.”

克拉克试图重新构建企业及其员工对职场幸福的理解方式。职场幸福不是在Instagram上面晒一些免费啤酒照片那样的"小确幸"。"而是要思考你如何才能展开更好的对话;我们能否创造各种各样的环境或区域,让人们可以更好地工作。"

She is an advocate of learning to understand how and when we work best. Strategies such as allowing people to come in at staggered hours or working remotely can give a sense of self-direction - where you have the freedom to go to a yoga in the morning and then come back and go through your emails if that is what makes you more productive.

她提倡人们学着去了解自己在什么情况下、通过什么方式才能实现最好的工作效果。错时工作或远程工作的方式可以给人们带来自主感——在这种情况下,只要你觉得能够提高生产率,就能在早晨自由地练习瑜伽,然后再回来查看电子邮件。

So, what’s in it for the employer? Lots, says Clarke. When a company cultivates its own version of happiness within the company, they can measure things like productivity and efficiency. But fundamentally Clarke admits that for a lot of companies she works for, it comes down to the bottom line. Happier employees equal more productivity. And therefore more profit.

那么,雇主能做些什么呢?克拉克认为有很多可做的事情。当一家公司培育了自己的职场幸福模式后,便可衡量生产率和效率。但从本质上讲,克拉克承认,她所合作过的很多公司最终还是看重利润。更幸福的员工应该生产率更高,进而创造更多利润。

Despite this, there is research to back up the theory that we are happiest when we feel more in control of our work life and less like wage slaves. Take working from home, for example.

尽管如此,还是有研究支持这样一种理论:当你感觉能够更好地控制工作,而不只是工资的奴隶时,感受也最为幸福。在家工作就是这样一个例子。

Alan Felstead, a professor at the Cardiff School of Social Science in the UK, conducted research which found that workers who work remotely are happier with their work. They’re more enthusiastic about their jobs and more committed to the organisation for whom they work.

英国卡迪夫社会科学学院教授阿兰·菲尔斯泰德(Alan Felstead)进行的研究发现,远程工作的人对职业满意度更强。他们对自己的工作更加热心,对自己所在的组织也更加效忠。

“The often-held assumption is that those who work from home, are skiving, they are taking it easy,” says Felstead ‘the evidence is that workers are actually working harder. So, for example, there’s a 15 percentage point gap in the proportions reporting that they often work beyond normal working hours. And a six percent point gap in the effort levels.”

"人们往往持有这样一种假设,认为在家工作的人逃避责任,拖拖拉拉。"菲尔斯泰德说,"但实际证据表明,这些人反而会更加努力地工作。例如,从自称经常加班的比例来看,他们就比普通职场人士高出15个百分点。而从努力程度来看,则要高出6个百分点。"

But it’s not all plain sailing – the research also found that working from home made it harder to switch off. Not defining a clear boundary between work and home meant that there was a danger of overworking. So what’s the use in gaining all this control over your life if you use it to start earlier, finish later and answer emails at 3am?

但过程不会一帆风顺——这项研究还发现,在家工作会加大人们停止工作的难度。无法清晰界定工作与家庭之间的界限,就可能导致加班工作。那么,如果在完全控制自己的生活之后,还要更早起床、更晚下班,甚至凌晨3点查看电子邮件,这种控制力还有什么用?

Stephen Lewandowsky, a professor of cognitive science at the University of Bristol, is also wary that while giving people more control over their work-life might make it seem less stressful, it doesn’t necessarily lead to actual happiness.

布里斯托大学认知科学教授史蒂芬·莱万多斯基(Stephen Lewandowsky)也心存疑虑:虽然让人们可以自己控制工作与生活之间的平衡似乎能够减少压力,但却未必能给他们带来真正的幸福。

He says that the temptation is to equate happiness with being successful at work. “You start working harder and harder,” he says, “to the point where all of a sudden you feel guilty if you’re not working and the moment that happens your work-life balance and your family obligations are going to suffer.”

他表示,人们往往会把幸福等同于工作上的成功。"你开始越来越努力地工作,"他说,"直到你突然发现,如果不工作就会心怀愧疚。这时,工作与生活之间的平衡以及家庭责任都会受到冲击。"

Giving people more control over their work doesn’t necessarily mean that they make good decisions. Just ask anyone who has found themselves finishing up a report at midnight or emailing clients at the weekend.

在工作上给予人们更多的控制力未必意味着他们就能做好决策。只要问问那些直到半夜才做完报告,或者要在周末给客户发邮件的人,就知道了。

What about the creative dream? Lots of people dream of crafting great art – painting, sculpting, writing comedy and turning that into their job. Surely that’s the very definition of an ideal profession?

创造力的梦想又该如何实现呢?很多人都梦想着能创造伟大的艺术品——绘画、雕塑、写作,甚至希望把这变成自己的工作。这确实是对理想职业的定义。

But if you want to do creative work you have two options. Either work for the man all day and create at night or find someone to pay you to be creative all the time. Writer, performer and podcaster Ross Sutherland has done both.

但如果你想从事创造性工作,那就面临两种选择。要么为别人工作一整天,等到晚上再去搞创作,要么找到那些出钱让你一直搞创作的人。作家、演员兼播客主播罗斯·萨瑟兰(Ross Sutherland)就这样做过。

“I read Generation X when I was about 15 which was probably the exact right age to read that book,” he says referring to the novel by Douglas Coupland in which the term “McJob” was coined meaning a low paid, low prestige job often in the service sector. “I definitely remember this thing about like there is the work that pays the bills and then your internal work which you’re doing on yourself which is the thing that drives you.”

"我大约15岁的时候就看过《X一代》,这大概是最适合读这本书的年龄。"他指的是道格拉斯·柯普兰(Douglas Coupland)创作的小说,书中还杜撰了"McJob"一词,专门指代收入和地位低下的工作,往往来自服务行业。"我肯定记得那个时候,比如,我要做一份工作来维持生计,但随后还要凭借兴趣追求内心喜欢的工作,后者会给你带来动力。"

Sutherland has certainly had his fair share of McJobs including; working in a pub, a stationery warehouse, being a compere at a wrestling match, teaching creative writing at a prison and rap workshops to primary school kids and writing the mail-out for a casino encouraging pensioners to spend their money (which he considers a career low point).

萨瑟兰显然也做过很多McJob,包括:在酒吧和文具仓库里工作,担任摔跤赛主持人,在监狱里教创意写作,教小学生学说唱音乐,帮助赌场发送邮件,从而鼓励人们花掉退休金(他认为这是他职业生涯的低谷)。

But far from despairing over this early career path, he sees it as essential to his creative inspiration.

但他并没有对早期的职业路径感到绝望,而是认为这是创作灵感不可或缺的因素。

“So often people’s early work was the stuff that’s most vital because that’s at the membrane between them being a real person and responding to it. How many great rappers – first album amazing, second album is all about being on tour and about being successful and it just eats itself so quickly.”

"所以,人们早期的工作往往最为重要,因为这是他们步入社会、寻找自己真正的位置、实现自己的人生价值并争得大家认可的突破。有多少伟大的说唱歌手第一张专辑令人惊叹,第二张专辑就完全跟巡回演唱会和成功有关了,这就说明他快速地得到了满足、开始变得平庸。"

Chasing the idea of the dream job is something that people can spend their whole lives doing. But perhaps the perfect job is an illusion?

很多人会终其一生追求梦想的工作。但真正完美的工作会不会只是一种幻觉?

Sophie Brown, the formerly miserable journalist, now creates her own schedule as a freelancer and aspiring pastry chef. She works from home with her two dogs and takes baking classes at night.

文章开头那位痛苦的记者苏菲·布朗,现在成了一名可以自由安排时间的自由职业者,还是一位很有志向的糕点厨师。她在家里工作,还养了两条狗,晚上则会参加烘焙课程。

“I see the people that I love more than I ever did and I’m much happier than I’ve ever been before,” she says. “I’ve now realised there are ways to make money that make you happy.”

"我见到了一些比以前更加喜欢的人,我的生活也比以前更快乐。"她说,"我现在意识到,总有一些能让你快乐的赚钱方式。"

She seems to have taken a shortcut to something many people don’t get round to doing until their late 40s or 50s: seeing through the mirage of the dream job and carving out her own path.

她似乎抄了近路,提前做到了很多人直到四、五十岁才能做到的事情:看透了梦想工作的海市蜃楼,开拓了一条属于自己的道路。

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