by Tom Kaneshige

Five Ways Techies Can Stay Motivated This Year

Jan 11, 2010

Have you heard? Americans hate their jobs more than ever. But from movies to games to Steve Jobs, IT troops can find inspiration even in dark career times.

Breaking News: You Hate Your Job!

The latest job satisfaction survey by the Corporate Executive Board shows job dissatisfaction at an all-time high over the last 10 years. In 2007, about 12 percent of IT employees said they were “highly engaged” — but that has fallen to 4 percent today. Indeed has been following IT workers’ smoldering discontent.

They say laughter is the best medicine (although we’d prefer a good paycheck and job security), so here are five ways to keep your chin up.

The Big Picture


Nothing like turning to the best your industry has to offer for inspiration. When writers need a boost, they read great literary works. Graphic designers head to the art museum. So watch the blockbuster movie Avatar — a technical wonder — and remember you run with the cool crowd.

All Hail Steve Jobs


Super heroes are a great source of inspiration. For techies, this means Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Buy a Steve Jobs plush doll and sit him atop your monitor, then let his fierce gaze ward off any feelings of laziness. Fear can be a great motivator.

Nexus Tech


Feeling feeble? Pick up a Nexus One smartphone and get strong again. This cutting-edge technology will inspire you to do great things. Stealing a line from Roy Batty, the Nexus-6 replicant in Blade Runner, “C’mon, show me what you’re made of.”

(More Blade Runner references courtesy of Macworld: “I’ve seen iPhones on fire off the shoulder of Verizon. I’ve watched BlackBerries glitter near the Cingular gate. Time to dial.”)


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Office Motivation from Office Space


We all need daily reminders of how good we actually have it. Hang a framed picture of Samir Nagheenanajar of Office Space on your cubicle wall and recall his inspiring words about having a programmer job: “I should be so lucky!”

Release Work Stress with a Submachine Gun


There’s something about the smell of napalm in the morning. Work out your aggressions with a Mini-Uzi or sniper rifle — in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, not the other kind. Computer games reduce frustration and celebrate tech. Here are six games that do just that. Call of Duty, in particular, lets you swoop in, kick ass, and finally get some $%#@ respect!


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