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Most Work is Mundane

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren.

It’s not say that all work is boring, but not every day at the office is filled with exciting challenges. Is it supposed to be that way?

I think it is, especially if you’re a DBA. Things that involve excitement usually mean a problem that needs to be solved soon, or a process that involves risk, and that kind of excitement isn’t the kind we crave. It’s our job and our nature to do things that make our job safe and repeatable - to make it mundane.

We build jobs, and jobs that check on jobs, and we do tasks that by process or experience don’t merit much excitement. If you’re like me you delight in making recurring tasks mundane, or preferably invisible. As much as we may not exactly enjoy the weekly staff meeting or deploying a change or restoring a database, it’s mundane because we’re good at it.

Understanding that most work is mundane is part of getting to a realistic view of what you can expect from work. It doesn’t mean we can’t find satisfaction and excitement in what we do, but it does mean that we have to remember that sometimes we want the routine and predictability as much as the job demands it.

Which leads me to ask you, how do you stay sharp and engaged and still make the doughnuts day in and day out? What’s your secret to staying interested and content over the course of your career?

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