"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."
Words by Confucius to live by for the younger generation still looking for a career. But there should also be an addition to the quote... Choose a job you love (that will still pay the bills), and you will never have to work a day in your life.
Don't tell my boss, but I love what I do, most days. A photographer for a newspaper in a relatively small town is a great job and one that I am very fortunate to have. And it does pay most of the bills as long as I stick with a budget.
Earlier this week, I and reporter Melissa Topey had the opportunity to fly with Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Bryan Dail. He pilots the patrol's airplane throughout the area to assist ground units in catching drivers breaking traffic laws and also assist in searches from the air. Dail loves his job, don't tell his bosses, and it was evident during the time we were able to spend catching speeders high above the Ohio Turnpike. He takes his job very seriously and it is serious work, but Dail enjoys each facet. You can read more about his job in today's Register where Topey writes about her experience On the Job with Trooper Dail. You can also read that story in our E-paper.
To see photos from the flight, click HERE and watch a video in the player above
Flying with Dail in the four-seater plane was probably the most stressful part of that day for me. Not because it was a small plane, but because I'm 6'2" and it isn't easy trying to maneuver around the back of the plane while changing lenses, taking photos and video of Dail and Topey while also trying to get photos of the awesome views outside of the plane. I didn't sense any stress from Dail or Topey while we were in the air, but apparently we all have stressful jobs.
If you flip to the business section of Sunday's paper, you will see a story by Melissa Topey about the Top Ten Most/Least Stressful Jobs. Photojournalist and Reporter are #7 and #8 on the list respectively and police officer ranks in at #10.
A photojournalist in a war zone might have more stress than a police officer in a village in Erie County, but overall I have to disagree with this particular ranking. I'm not saying there isn't stress in my job, there are things I've had to photograph that no one should have to see and working on a constant deadline does have some stress attached to it. But on a day-to-day basis, a photographer at the Sandusky Register has less stress than an officer with the Sandusky Police Department or a trooper with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Don't believe me? Spend a few dollars on a police scanner and listen for a few hours on a weekend night.
I have one more objection to the rankings: Why isn't teacher on the list of most-stressful jobs? The survey must have been taken in July during summer break. If any of us were put in a room with 20-30 kids for seven hours a day and 180 days a year, I'm sure our blood pressure would go up a bit and our life expectancy would go down. I love my kids, but there is only two of them and they are still smaller than me. They still find a way to raise my blood pressure.
If you have a job you think would be fun to feature in Melissa's weekly On the Job feature, send her an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org