It can sometimes be easy to forget that all jobs in modern society are necessary, especially when some of those jobs are ones that we would generally prefer not to do. For example, I think we could agree that the average kid usually doesn’t say they want to be a garbage collector when they grow up. But without people to DO that job, imagine the mess and inconvenience we’d be in? It’s lucky for us that there are folks who are not only willing but able and happy to do these jobs so that we don’t have to find out. But it would be nice to see some appreciation, as well.
Through my late teens and most of my twenties, I paid off student loans and made my money by working at a local fast-food restaurant. For obvious legal reasons, I’d rather not name the restaurant but it usually has arches up front, if that gives you any indication. I lost count of the number of people who commented negatively about my working there and belittled the job as a whole. Although i can admit that it was by no means a “glamorous” job, it taught independence, skills, the value of hard work and introduced me to the world of management that has eventually led me to the hear and now.
Some years later, I held a job as a janitor. I swept and mopped floors, emptied trash receptacles and washed windows. Most people in the building wearing suits and carrying briefcases would walk past me without ever noticing me, despite my occasional smile or wave. I was “beneath” them. But this job taught me attention to detail, perseverance and the importance of cleanliness. And it would have been interesting to see the results of my team and I not cleaning their building for an extended period of time.
I guess one could easily say that I’ve done a bit of everything, and I’ve always believed that each and every different job I’ve held has taught me something, provided me with something and has helped make me a better person. This is why it seriously bothers me when I hear someone say something along the lines of, “If you don’t study hard and get a degree, you’ll end up like THAT…” As though any given job they name doesn’t have value and worth. Some of that is based on modern society’s belief in accomplishing BIG things. But what’s big? Sometimes it’s simply a matter of perspective.
“Flipping Burgers Is Not Beneath Your Dignity. Your Grandparents Had a Different Word For Burger Flipping – They Called It Opportunity.”– Bill Gates
No matter what you do in life, so long as you give it your all and do the best you can at what you’re doing you’ll always find its value. Nothing is beneath you, and no one should ever belittle you for what you do. And should you happen to be the one doing the belittling, shame on you. If you’ve never been below your current station in life, at least understand that every job is essential and pertinent to your existence; even a job you’d prefer not to be doing yourself. And lastly, money isn’t everything. There are plenty of sources that have proven that if you do what you love, the money will come. Unless what you love is sitting on your couch eating nachos. Then, I can’t help you. ☯