Thursday, July 10th, 2008
I’m a fan of many blogs around the globe, but one of my favorites is Get Rich Slowly. J.D., the MC and writer extraordinaire of GRS, always impresses me with little bits of wisdom. He wrote a post, The Difference Between a Career and a Job, that articulated what Work Happy Now is all about.
“During the summer after my freshman year of college, I worked as a busboy at the Holiday Inn. I was the best busboy I could be. While the other guys stood around during slack times, I looked for ways to help in the kitchen or to prepare for the lunch rush.”
J.D. went on to say…
“As a result, I got better tips from the waitresses. The manager trained me to run the cash register. Sometimes I even got to help the pantry chef. I wasn’t looking for a career in food service, and I wasn’t trying to brown-nose. But I enjoyed the work and gave it all I had. This made the job fun, and earned respect from people who mattered: from my boss, and from his boss, the hotel manager.”
Many of us just do what we need to get by and we think that we are beating the system. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been guilty of this. All we are doing when we refuse to try our best is failing to find happiness in the work we accomplish. How did I learn enjoy my job and stop being a slacker? I searched for the positive in every task, even the small crappy ones. I developed the habit of looking for the tiniest glimmer of joy in everything that I did. Even when I’m stuffing 1,000 marketing bags at work I still find the joy in the effort.
When stuffing marketing bags I realized that I could:
- Listen to my iPod
- Dance as I did my work
- Think of grand plans that will help me in my future writing, speaking and website career. (It became a meditation on the future me.)
When my joy waned at a job that didn’t fit my personality, that’s when it was time to quit. It was as simple as understanding that I got all I could out of the job and I had to develop my skills some where else.
J.D.’s post was inspired by Trent over at The Simple Dollar and his post about the difference between a job and a career – a job being a way to just make money (putting in the time for the paycheck) and a career being a way to learn, grow and develop skills. When we look at work as time to just put in the hours then we’re feeding into our fear. We’re afraid to put in effort for the amount of return. The problem with this attitude is that work is much more than money. It’s also a way to improve ourselves. When we become disengaged, boredom sets in and makes the job torturous. Many of us also become attached to the routine and we’re afraid to leave. Fear makes the cycle go around and around.
J.D. wrapped up his post with:
“So what’s the difference between a career and a job? I don’t believe there is one. A career is simply a lifetime of jobs, whether those jobs are related or not. And while it’s important to focus on your future goals, it’s even more important to focus on doing the best you can right now at your current job.”
We all reach a certain point in every job that kills our spirit, but releasing these feelings and getting back to seeing the joy in accomplishing good work should matter more to a person. If your job doesn’t do this for you then find something that will keep you reaching for new goals. There is a career/job out there that will fulfill your needs.
It’s time to let go of the fear and start taking baby steps toward finding this new line of work, but for now try to notice one thing during the worst part of your working day that has something positive in it.
It could be:
Stepping out of your normal routine and appreciating the ability to put clear thoughts together
Taking a break to talk to a co-worker
Being in the moment and not worrying about where you should be in life, just enjoying each movement as you accomplish your task.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and how did you make it through your days there?
Don’t forget to check out J.D.’s whole article at Get Rich Slowly.
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Image courtesy of pwinn