Choosing to be happy, and interested in your job

Adam Barr who is an on and off Microsoft employee has an interesting post in which he describes the role of being a networking test lab engineer for Windows NT. While the manner in which the testing was run probably explains some of the reliability issues that Windows had at that time (I can’t imagine it’s like this now), what I actually found the most interesting are the comments about how the relatively oppressed contractors had chosen to be happy, and be interested.

Quite a while ago I had a job in the public service where I basically ended up quite unhappy because of management changes. I guess I could have chosen to be happy, but instead I moved on. Perhaps being happy isn’t the solution to all problems.

Then again, I know that I’d much rather work with happy and interested people, so there is an element of truth here. I do think it’s true that the people who deal well will the adversity are the ones who are most likely to succeed.

Don’t get me wrong. There is also a difference between happiness and being cynical.