What do you think of when you hear the word job?
What do you think of when you hear the word work?
If your definitions of those two insipid nouns are identical, you’re wrong. But that‘s okay; words are hard and I just learned what “bae” means a week ago.
We’re all students here.
A job is a means of making money. That’s all it is. You clock in, clock out, and get paid in exchange for your time. Believe it or not, when you’re at your job, work doesn’t necessarily appear between clocking in and clocking out.
Work is different. Work is what you’re put on this earth to do. It’s the contributions you bestow upon the world, even if there’s no money involved.
Whether you make art that changes peoples’ perspectives, write music that makes people feel what they can’t explain, or go above and beyond with your customer service that calms the most furious tech-challenged customer, your work is what you give that cannot be measured by hours or currency.
Don’t I Work At My Job?
We often times think that just because we clock into our job, work gets done. False.
When we go to our job, our job gets done. We do tasks that we’re told to do in exchange for a paycheck.
I worked in the food service industry for a few years prior to taking off on the road. It wasn’t always work, but it was always a job. Some days I would clock in and clock out without doing much work in between. As humans, we all have those days. But as humans, we also have the choice to do work, even at a job. Although I don’t think I was doing my life’s work by selling margaritas and fish tacos, I could use a positive attitude and sense of humor to brighten my customers’ day. I could choose to leave my good attitude at home, clock in, do tasks, clock out, and get paid. Or, I could use my unique talents to make people happy, even if they hated my sense of humor and required one too many mojitos to crack a smile.
It’s no secret I’d rather be taking photos of lush landscapes, stringing together alliterations, or making short films on a shoestring budget instead of carrying trays, faking smiles, or bussing tables. But there’s work to be done at any job.
I’m Doing My Work. Isn’t That a Job?
On the flip side, maybe your work isn’t your job, meaning you do work but you don’t get paid for it. Maybe you have to play a few gigs for a bar tab, provide feedback free of charge, or stay after hours to make sure that the job is done right. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Make Your Job Your Work
Sometimes you don’t get to make your job your work right away. Sometimes you have to do your work at your job first. And that’s okay.
But when your work becomes your job, life starts to make more sense. You see the people you’re impacting by just being you. It almost doesn’t feel real. Getting paid to do stuff that I want to do? Yeah right. But it is possible if you learn to work, even at a job. It’s not always easy, but a job that is your work is worth chasing.
Are you going to a job or are you doing your work?