By Eki Akhwan
Regardless of the title (which can be very nominal), a full-time job, first and above all is, I think, a job that is done wholeheartedly with all the singularity and unifying efforts, energy, concentration, and time it takes to accomplish a well-defined goal that it has been set to achieve. Anything less than this will, despite the title, become only a part-time job or a collection of part-time jobs.
Let me define what I mean by “done wholeheartedly with all the singularity and unifying efforts, energy, concentration, and time it takes to accomplish a well-defined goal”.
No jobs can be a fulltimer unless it is done wholeheartedly, that is, with a loving or at least interested dedication to the task at hand. Anythind done with less than that will make it only a nominal full-timer, at the very least; or, may even make it just a part-timer if external conditions – such as the level of remuneration or working conditions – deminish it further. This first condition, I think, is the prerequisite for the other things, with the key words being “singularity” and “unifying”. This means that all the efforts, energy, concentration, and time dedicated to this job should be contained within a single or unified structure that functions as the vehicle, the driver, and at the same time the road to attain the set goal. There can not be different vehicles driven by different drivers travelling on different roads because such a thing can only lead to one’s getting lost or confused.
All this said, the goal should also be well-defined because without a clearly set destination, however good the vehicles, the drivers, and the roads are, they will not be of any efficient use. Things will only go round and round until all are exhausted and be turned into a skeptical confusion.
I hope you understand why I’m saying all this. We have been in this condition for a long time. My job title – ours if you like – has been a full-time job, but what we have been doing, I think and observably so, has been nothing more than a collection of part-time jobs. Yes, we teach. That’s our responsibility and the very thing that defines our job title. Yes, we ought to do some research and write scientific journal papers, granted as necessary paraphernalia to the advancement of our field of work and a sign of our loving and interested dedication to our job. Yes, we need to do some sort of community service because only then can we attain some sort of utility or usefulness with whatever we have. All this constitutes a unified package that will lead us to the goal set – within the permissible limits of the vehicle – for this job: to educate and improve humanity. The problems that I see now is that our job has become more diverse than the above descriptions. It has included – to my, nay, our dismay – a lot of other things that don’t belong to the agreed parameters of the descriptions. We have now included in our set of tasks an unreasonable amount of administrative work that is not directly related to our job descriptions. Worse still, we have been commanded from all directions by different drivers wanting us to take different roads and go to different directions. Some of them want us to do the managerial contruction work, some supervision work, and still others want us to do nothing more than clerical administrative work that – in the light of our abilities and qualifications – can be degrading. I know all these things are done for the sake of our common roof, our own house, a place where we all have vested interests in. But can we not have a proper distribution of assignments appropriate to our respective competencies? Should a farmer not be planting and caring for his plants and let the duties of transporting their harvest to a transporter? Should a carpenter not be making a cupboard, chair, tables and all kinds of wooden furniture and let the duties of making the nails, the hammer, all other implements he needs to an ironmonger or toolmaker?
Modern management is laid upon the foundation of specific job distributions precisely because logically, empirically, and scientifically it has been proven that no one, however agile and multitalented he or she is, can perform multiple tasks with equal dexterity and efficiency. Although multitasking is possible, it is by no means desirable in a highly specific, professional, and demanding job. To this end, the multitasking that we now have to perform have degraded our profession from a full-time job to nothing more than a collection of part-time jobs, each competing for our attention, dedication, efforts, time and energy that should otherwise have been singularly and unifyingly be given to the the only road ahead and the destination that we have agreed upon?