|Female workers in an H. J. Heinz can factory stamping out end discs (the discs that fit on either end of each can). From the materials for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909, held in Seattle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A recent post at my blog Tossing It Out asked the question: "What's the best job you ever had?". As you might expect, a question of that nature can give rise to a great deal of reminiscing and remembering. After all, work life and career is a major component of most of our lives. In my post The Working Years I suggested that our time of working might be considered a specific stage of most of our lives. Many of us spend so much time working or doing things related to work that I think the concept of a "stage of life" makes sense.
When you examine the typical person with an extensive work history you can see how life in many ways is a build up to work, a stretch of time actually working, and hopefully some good years of retirement when what we've done in our work lives becomes a major part of who we are and what our interests continue to be. Work and career often appear in a memoir or even becomes the focal point of a life story.
Our childhood years are taken up with school years that prepare our minds and our sense of socialization to one day become good workers. As children we dream of things we'd like to be one day and occupations that we might pursue. This can change of course--and usually does--but still the dreams and the education are all part of the preliminary steps we take until we've made an actual job decision.
Sometimes the job decisions are what is right for us while some are lessons in what we thought we might like and didn't. A good many of our jobs are a matter of the necessity of making a paycheck to pay the bills. How we approach these jobs makes the big difference in what we can get out of those jobs even if they are not part of the career path we are pursuing. "Attitude is everything" is a philosophy that makes a lot of sense and is important to our sense of happiness and what we take away as gain from a job.
Some of us start working when we're still kids--newspaper delivery, lawn mowing, babysitting, and so on. This is great for having spending money early on, but more importantly the instilling of good work ethic and positive social interaction will usually have a big influence on the kind of workers we are throughout our lives.
The very acts of looking for jobs, exploring career opportunities, and gaining necessary education can be the basis of many interesting memoir stories that can entertain as well as be helpful to others who might be facing similar circumstances as described in a story they are reading.
If we consider that every job has value, our outlook towards work begins to change. We might envy some workers without knowing that they hate their jobs. Perception can play tricks on us that create misunderstandings about things we don't know enough about. Unless we investigate a career thoroughly, we might step into what we consider a dream job only to discover that it's really a nightmare. If nothing else, that's another good story as well as a learning experience.
We might as well give opportunities a chance when they afford themselves to us. Job-hopping has become the norm for most of us in the modern age. With instability in the economy and job market, a working lifetime with the same company has become much less common than it once was. Likewise, call it a restless spirit or short attention span or whatever else you like, many of us are ready to move on to a new job after a period of time.
Jobs are as vital as they ever were, but the nature of work and the attitudes of workers have changed. People want money and security, but they also want freedom and a certain degree of say so in their own lives. I've spent a good part of my life working for others, but I was fortunate to have several jobs that I really liked. I was also fortunate to have had a realistic and positive attitude toward most of my jobs. When I didn't have that then I got out of what I was doing and found something else that suited me better.
There is no such thing as the perfect job. However there are some jobs to which we are very well suited and that makes a huge difference in how we look back upon those jobs when we no longer work at them. Money is nice and even essential from a practical standpoint. Great money is desirable. In the end though, job satisfaction probably is the most important thing of all. The way we feel about what we do has a strong bearing on the over all quality of our lives.
Have you appreciated the jobs that you have had in your life? What do you think are the qualities of an ideal job? What would cause you to quit a job?