Category Archives: Leadership

When is a job not just a job?

When is a job not just a job?

Three masons were on the job one day when a woman walked up to them and asked what they were doing. The first said, “I’m laying bricks.” The second said, “I’m building a wall.” The third said, “I’m creating someone’s home.”

When helping clients with career or vocational counseling, one of the questions that almost always comes up is; “How do I find a new job?”

On the surface, the question makes a lot of sense. Oftentimes (although not always), people come to us for career counseling after losing a job. However, what seems like a straightforward question can quickly turn into something that requires deeper reflection.

Generally speaking, jobs are easy to find. Coffee shops, gas stations, and pizza parlors are always hiring. You can apply to become an Uber driver in the time it takes to read this blog post.

In other words, the problem isn’t finding a job.

It’s finding the right job. Just because I can get a job as a barista doesn’t mean that I want to. What appears to be an amazing opportunity for one person might be an exhausting chore to someone else. Why is that? Because we’re all wired differently and we love to do different stuff.

Like the masons in the story above, we can all look at the same job in different ways.

For some of us, we’re in a position where we look at our job like the first mason. It’s just a job. This is the action that I do. I lay bricks. Others of us are like the second mason, we can see that what we’re doing is a part of something bigger. I’m not just laying bricks, I’m laying bricks for a reason — in order to build a wall.

Finally, some of us are fortunate enough to respond like the third mason. We’ve found something that awakens our passion and creativity. Something that provides not just structure and a paycheck, but also a sense of accomplishment and purpose. We recognize that we’re not just laying bricks, but that we’re creating someone’s home.

When is a job not just a job? When it’s a source of passion, purpose, and direction.

Written By: Eric McClerren, LAPC

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