Search Your Feelings, Luke. Railing Against Monotony.

I am going to start off today’s post with a shout out to all of the Star Wars geeks out there.  From Darth Vader, in The Empire Strikes Back, when he tells Luke that he is his father: “Search your feelings; you know it to be true!”  This statement rings true with all of us, as we have all (at one time or another) become complacent in our jobs. 

Have you ever experienced it?  That feeling that you’ve already done this job before.  That today’s work feels exactly like every other day of work.  That’s when the daily grind takes over and we become lifeless in our job.  We “zone out,” moving mechanically through our well-practiced routine.  We have done this inspection countless times before: checking the outlets, opening and closing the windows, running the water, looking for leaks…  We have all experienced the monotony of our jobs, no matter our profession, our age or experience level.

Sometimes the monotony of repetition gets the best of us, and we “mail it in.”  And while we may still be providing a quality product to our clients, and may still be doing an acceptable inspection, our minds may be a thousand miles away from where we are; our heart just isn’t in it today.

This is a normal human response to repetition, as we simply become robot-like and mindlessly repeat the routine that is our daily job.  It’s how our brain works; following this well-worn pattern becomes second nature.  But while this is an expected response, it doesn’t mean that it has to be an acceptable response.

Many of us went into the home inspection industry to escape the monotony of a “normal” job, the 9-5 daily grind where everyone and everything was the same, each and every day.  Same desk, same co-workers, same parking lot, same spot at the same lunchroom table…

Eventually, we realized that we’d had enough monotony and escaped, embarking on a new adventure.  We discovered the exciting unpredictability of a career in the home inspection industry!  The excitement of a new house, new Realtor and new clients everyday was too much to resist.  We plunged into our new career headfirst, exhilarated by the new and unknown!

Unfortunately, the new and exciting eventually becomes the dull and regimented.  We settle into a routine, following a well-worn script where each house is broken down according to our regular plan.  And while following a set procedure is certainly a welcome way to be sure that you perform each inspection according to plan, the mechanical repetition can lull you into the doldrums of monotony.

It’s at this point where we must do some soul searching, reminding ourselves why we chose to become a home inspector.  Some of us wanted to do something different.  Some wanted to help people with their home-buying decisions.  Some just wanted to earn a living doing something that they enjoyed.  And if you’re anything like me, you wanted all of the above.  Whatever our initial motivation, we need to occasionally revisit that thought, rekindling the excitement that brought us into this industry in the first place.

pic of dart board

Being a home inspector is a job where you can do something different, meet new people and help them with a monumental decision, all while earning a living for doing something that you enjoy.  While that’s a lot to ask of any one job, it can be all of those things at once, provided that we remember these sticking points and not let monotony be our focus.

Keep in mind an ancient quote, attributed to Confucius, that says “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Do what you love, do it well and rail against the monotony.  Always be the best home inspector that you can be.

I welcome all feedback (positive and negative) about my take on this subject.  Please leave your comments below.  Thank you!

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Thanks, Joe