I don’t even think I can put into words how much this question has rolled around my mind during my twenties. And it’s been quite distressing because everything and everyone around me has been answering with a resounding YES!
But is this really true? It’s taken me a lot of soul searching and a lot of talking to other people to start to see that there may be another answer. I don’t want this post to be one of those that celebrates mediocrity and I definitely don’t want to come across as some kind of self help guru. Not that there’s wrong with either of these things, because I have always loved a self help book! Also, what’s wrong with being so-so at something? As long as you’re doing you best then nobody should give a damn. I’d far rather be mediocre at absolutely everything and be known as a nice person than be great at something and be an absolute bitch.
But your career or your job or whatever you want to call it is an important part of your life because you have to spend so much of your time doing it. And then there is also the fact that the amount of money you earn directly affects the kind of lifestyle you can live. So really there is no denying that it is all encompassing.
But should we really be thinking that people who work in a shop are less worthy as human beings than a person who works as a lawyer? My answer is absolutely not! Why should somebody who earns a fuck tonne of money be a better person? I think that we need to stop putting emphasis on money and put more on how well we do the job and how happy we are.
So, I do work in a shop and you might think that I’m being a little bit snarky because I’m not flying in the game of life. BUT, I do have an awesome work-life balance and I don’t dread going to my place of work. I LIKE the fact that if I put 100% effort in then I can leave feeling like I have contributed and made the world a little bit better because of it.
There are some times that a customer will come in and be a real pain in the ass and I can find that I need to bite my tongue so that I don’t say something that I might regret. But when I look past how annoying they are being and try to just put on a smile and be nice then I actually feel nicer inside. And it’s all for free. I don’t need to feel bad and angry and have that festering rage eating away at me. And shall I tell you what? If I continue to be nice until I have finished dealing with the person I normally get a bit of a smile out of them which is even nicer. Remember, we need to think about where other people are coming from. This person that you are dealing with may have had a shitty day and their bad mood has nothing to do with you. Give them a smile and you might be the thing that brightens their day.
But, once again, I’ve gone off piste a little bit. What I’m trying to say is that I can make a difference in how someone feels regardless of what I do. There are lawyers out there who find great joy in what they do and they love the fact that they can help people who are at their lowest in life and that is a beautiful thing. But isn’t it sad when somebody who works an amazing job for 100 hours a week is only doing it for money. I mean, what can you possibly be spending it on? A house that you never see and two weeks in a nice holiday destination? I’d rather stick with my job in a shop thanks.
So, I think what I’m really trying to say is that I think any job can be pretty cool if you use it in the right way. It’s all about what you do while you’re there, what you do when you’ve got free time, how happy you are and how you make others feel when you do that job. So it’s your actions that define you, not your job title.
It’s telling that Jesus spent most of his time in ministry with the people that were viewed as a bit scummy. It was the prostitutes and the tax collectors that he mingled with. And he constantly warned against being greedy and worrying too much about having money. I could provide you with hundreds of bible verses that touch on the subject but one that particularly springs to mind is:
The he said to them: Watch out! Be on your kind against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions – Luke 12:15.
So next time somebody looks down their nose at you because of your job, make sure that you just smile and be as nice as you can be. Because you are loving Jesus and looking after your fellow man by doing your very best. You are loved and wonderful and you deserve happiness just as much as the richest man in the world.