What Is the Purpose of a Job - Part Two
By Steve Gillman
Continued from What is
the Purpose of a Job?
You can also choose to use whatever you learn to make money
in other ways. Many years ago I used to clean carpets for $8
per hour. Using what I learned and a bit of research I put together
a website on carpet stains six years ago. With minimal upkeep
each year, it has made me far more than I ever made pushing that
An important part of what we call luck is knowing the right
people. If there are places of employment where you are more
likely to meet the "right" people for your goals, it
makes sense to identify these jobs and go after them. For example,
working in a country club might lead to meeting potential investors
for your future tech company. If you want to make contacts in
Hollywood in order to sell your script you might wait tables
where directors and producers eat. Do your research of course.
Of course if you plan to start a business, working in the
relevant industry is almost always a good way to meet the right
people. Just be sure you make a point to meet them. If you have
a job delivering cleaning supplies to restaurants, for example,
and you hope to start a similar business, don't just drop off
the deliveries. Say hello to the managers, learn their names,
ask them if there is anything else they might need delivered,
and make sure they know your name. In other words, consciously
use you job for networking.
Working can teach you a lot about yourself. You might think
you're a highly motivated worker, for example, but then discover
that when you have a sales position you lose much of that motivation.
In other words, a job can teach you what you are good at and
what you are not so good at. Beyond this revealing of your natural
gifts and interests, a job can help you develop abilities you
didn't know you had. You might have to learn to talk to people
if you work as a taxi driver, for example.
There is a more personal side to this as well. When I was
young I had a job in restaurant management, and I discovered--much
to my dismay--that I was often a mean person. Worse descriptions
were used by some of those who worked under me, and they were
not entirely untrue. That experience motivated me to change (I
hope). Working with others can be a chance to learn and grow.
The Many Purposes of a Job
My first real tax-paying job was as a dishwasher and cook
at age 17. I had a very specific plan when I applied for it.
My goal was to save up enough money to hitchhike to Mexico for
a month or two. After working half of that winter I quit and
I was soon out on the highways with my thumb out and a wad of
cash in my pocket. The purpose of a job? To make travel possible--or
for any other important goals.
Yes, perhaps sometimes it is just for a paycheck. When this
is true, treat it as a temporary condition. Look for others ways
to use that position or look for other employment that can be
used for higher purposes. I have never truly liked any job I've
had--that's just the way it is. But using them for a greater
goal made them tolerable. On the other hand, working a job just
to pay the bills would have been terribly depressing.