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November 26, 2013

10 reasons to be thankful for your job

By shutterstock_132485498_feat

It’s that time of year where we all give a bit of energy to finding things to be thankful for. Health, love, family, prosperity—the usual suspects around the dinner table. But what about the workplace? Have you ever given much thought to what you have to be thankful for on the job? I’ve come up with a list of 10 things most should be able to pause and give thanks for. Let’s see if you are lucky enough to enjoy more than a few of these.

1. Management who understands the process. Let’s face it, we’ve all worked under someone who simply doesn’t “get it.” When that’s the case, the job becomes not only more challenging, but sometimes nearly impossible. But when you have a manager that understands what it is you do (and how you need to do what you do), life is good.

2. Efficient workflow means all the pieces of your workplace fit together nicely. There’s not a rust cog in the machine—everything runs smoothly. This is a rare beast, but it does exist. If you work in such a condition, be very, very thankful.

3. Trust-worthy co-workers means you not only trust them to get the job done, but you trust them in every way. You don’t have to worry about workplace theft or the spreading of rumors (or any other less-than above-board behavior).

4. You have the necessary resources you need to get the job done. It is very common for a workplace to be understaffed, under-powered, too small, or to simply not have the technology needed to get the job done. This manifests itself in frustration and, in the end, work not being completed. If you’re one of the lucky ones who has all of the resources necessary to function day in and day out, consider yourself among a very lucky few.

5. Low stress levels is a rare occasion in many fields. In the IT industry, stress is a given and everyone finds their own coping mechanisms. If you happen to belong to a company that goes the extra mile to keep stress at a bare minimum—do not leave that job. You will find these types of companies very much outside the norm.

6. Compassionate ownership is another rare treat in the world of business. I once took a class called The Ethics of Business. One of the first things out of the instructors mouth was, “Yes, the title of this class is an oxymoron.” On the occasion I was lucky enough to work within a company owned and ran by compassionate people, I knew I was working in a special environment.

7. Benefits are becoming more and more a luxury, with every passing year. Any more, you’re lucky to have health insurance provided by your company. Retirement? Think again. Very few companies offer real benefits these days.

8. Technology that works is a blessing. How often does your workplace internet go down? What about that ancient desktop you’re working from? Printers? Don’t get me started. Having technology means having a staff of people trained to keep said technology working. But even magicians can’t keep dying tech alive.

9. Telecommuting is one of the last, best hold-overs from the dot com bubble. It never ceases to amaze me how few companies allow their employees to telecommute. After all, aren’t happy employees productive employees? And aren’t productive employees more desirable than the prospect of micro-managing those employees? Landing a gig that allows you to telecommute is a bonus you won’t see until you’re no longer working for a company that allows you to work from home.

10. An office with a door is such a rare creature found in the world of business these days. Now, the vast majority of workers sit in cubicle farms, all day, with zero privacy. Why? Because business can stuff more workers per cubic inch into their business. Who cares about employee comfort? If you have an office with real walls and a real door (not a Les Nessman-esque door), congrats.

After reading this, hopefully you’re not down in the dumps, wondering why you work where you work, but rather singing the praises of your employer. Above all, it’s important to be thankful to have a job. Beyond that, check off this list and consider each notch another reason to be thankful.

About the Author

is an award winning writer of technical content and fiction. He has been covering Linux and open source since the late '90s and just about every conceivable topic since. His fiction breaks ground in the post apocalyptic genre as well as horror, thriller, and science fiction. For more information on Jack, check out his site, Get Jack'd at