Posted by: joha5 | July 27, 2010

Self Worth & Satisfaction Through an Honest Day’s Work

I genuinely like working.  I am not just saying this now as a result of not having a permanent position right now.  I just wholeheartedly like feeling productive, putting my nose to the grindstone, and just getting that sense of accomplishment.  I posted an article almost a month ago (entitled ‘How Many Weird Jobs Can One 28 Year Old Have Had? The Answer: More Than You’) about many of the nonsensical jobs that I have had in my life – video store clerk, bartender, valet, cafeteria worker, radio station intern, teacher, public relations executive, etc.  However, there is one thing that all of these jobs have in common and that is when you are busy, the job is tolerable (even great) but when you aren’t busy, the job is unbearable. 

Maybe many of you will disagree with me on this but I find that I can pretty much do any job as long as I constantly have work to do.  In the jobs that I have had previously I have discovered that sitting around and making it look like you are working actually takes more work than physically doing the work itself.  This has happened to me in numerous positions.  For example?  Video store clerk?  All you do is put the videos (they were all videos at that time) back on the shelf and check people out.  The rest of the time?  Standing around and waiting for customers.  Valet?  All I did was sit on a wall in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. for hours at a time spending 30 seconds driving the car down the street and then retrieving it again later on.  Some of my other jobs, however, kept me quite busy.  For example, bartending?  I was on my feet for 7 or 8 hours at a time working from 9pm to 5am at one of the busiest bars in central London.  Cafeteria worker?  I would dish up food for 3 hours at a time or I would wash cutlery or I would clean trays for the duration of my shift.  Obviously I never made much money when I was doing these jobs but I would always leave feeling tired accompanied with a sense of a hard and honest day’s work. 

Now if only finding the kind of job that I have described was as easy...

As a consequence, I have learned that no matter what the job is or whatever you do, having a sense of personal gratification and a sense of accomplishment is extremely important.  I don’t particularly care how much I end up making or what job I do as long as I always have something to do at my job and as long as I have a passion for what I do.  To be honest, I am glad that I have learned this at such a young age because this is the approach that I will take in my career for the rest of my life.  Money does indeed matter to some degree but I want enjoyment from what I eventually do, I want a balance between my job and my life, and I want to love what I do and work hard and if the money isn’t there when I first start then I know it will be there eventually. 

As I sit here in my Lego classroom interacting with the kids and watching them enjoy their summer’s, I feel a sense of satisfaction.  This satisfaction doesn’t necessarily come from a day of hard and intense work (teaching Lego – if you can believe it – is not arduous work) but it comes from knowing that I have had an effect on the individuals in my classroom.  This job is only a 6 week job.  It is anything but permanent.  These kids probably won’t remember me a few months from now let alone a few years from now but they will remember coming to camp and enjoying their time at this place and even if I just have a small hand in their recollection of their youth as they get older and become adults burdened with responsibility then that is all that matters to me at this point. 

I think the bottom line is that I have taken a little something from every job that I have had and whether or not I have loved ir hated the job hasn’t really mattered in the end.  What matters is that I have learned how to work hard and how to become a more responsible individual.  I may have had to wash dishes or do public relations for RFID chips and toilet brush companies but I like where I am now on my journey through my career and I like where I am headed…wherever that may be.



  1. what? no birthday tribute post??

    • Haha! I don’t think you would want to read what I have to say if I was to give you a tribute on this blog. 😉

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