I received the above comment from a fellow group member in one of my LinkedIn discussion groups yesterday when I was contrasting and comparing the process of obtaining a job to that of getting a relationship going.
One of the wonderful things that differentiates us from one another is that we have the capacity to think for ourselves and hold opinions different from one another. And while in some parts of the world having an opinion that varies from the larger society could be dangerous – even get you killed, I am thankful that where most of us live we are entitled to hold our own opinions.
Having acknowledged this, I must say that for me personally, and perhaps for you too, a job is so much more than just a way to make money. If a career is an occupation that one builds over a long period and in a particular line of work or field of study, than a job is by nature a shorter-term work assignment and not necessarily in a field that we received an education in.
A job for one thing is a mechanism for obtaining experience. When we are just starting out perhaps in high school and/or College or University, taking a job often reveals to us what we enjoy or dislike. As we accumulate experience in jobs, we start to form stronger opinions which if we pay attention to them, can help us decide which occupations and careers we might find most satisfying.
A 19-year-old girl I know is currently doing prep work in a restaurant chain, and while it provides money, it has also given her practical experience in a kitchen she didn’t have prior to that. A life-skill has been learned she can use in her personal life even when employed eventually in a field outside of Hospitality. Does she like the job she has? Absolutely not, and so moving forward, knowing what she doesn’t like will help in achieving a better fit in her future.
A job also provides stimulation for the brain, a sense of purpose and improves self-esteem. It’s not about the money for some, but a reason to get up, get dressed, get out and be connected to other people in some meaningful, purposeful way. One of the happiest clients I know is a Dishwasher. He took a ‘job’ washing dishes in a restaurant and found that the job was a good fit for him. It keeps him hustling the entire time he is working, has worked wonders on his self-esteem, improved his physical health too by the way. Instead of sitting around smoking, he’s hustling in a kitchen and quit smoking altogether eventually as there is no time to smoke!
Oh and consider this: If a job is only a way to make money, than surely anyone and everyone on social assistance who are in dire need of money would be motivated to take any job just to get the money; they don’t. The people receiving assistance I work with still have some pride with respect to what job they will take or have the skills to perform.
There is a perception among some that a career is always preferable to a job. Not so in my opinion. A job, or rather a series of jobs strung together is exactly what some people find stimulating. “I want to try all the jobs I can, it’s fun!”, a guy I worked with a few months ago said. He had done work in manufacturing, retail, carpentry, landscaping, renovations, construction, motorcycle repair, skate sharpening, tree pruning too as I recall. For him, all these jobs brought him into contact with people he’d otherwise not encounter in the same way. Money never entered our discussion.
And I think it true that for some folks in their mid 40’s to mid 50’s, there comes a time when the brain wants to continue to work at a certain job (usually physical in nature) but the body disagrees. Taking a job in some other line of work is a great way to keep the little grey brain cells stimulated, fight off Alzheimer’s, and regain self-confidence and restore ones’ pride.
And sure some seniors who are retired re-enter the workforce to supplement their incomes, but it is also the case that some people keep working past their retirement age out of the desire to keep busy, motivated, feeling connected and useful. Not so much about the money, although money itself isn’t so bad!
But yes, one is entitled to honestly feel that a job is solely a way to make money if they wish to see things this way. How do you view a job? Is a job somehow lower on the status scale than a career in your opinion? Are jobs of value whatsoever or are they in fact just ways to make money for you too?
I believe that there are a vast number of people – good, solid, interesting people who go about their daily lives performing what we commonly refer to as, ‘jobs’. These people I highly respect, and the work they do makes my life better, and I suspect yours too. Where would we be in this world if none of those ‘jobs’ were done because money alone wasn’t enough of a motivating factor for anyone to complete the work?
And that, as I am entitled, is just my opinion.