Posted by Dave on August 10, 2010
I was watching Chris Rock’s “Kill the Messenger” and he had a bit about jobs versus careers. His general feeling was that people with careers “need to learn how to shut the f— up when you’re around people with jobs”. I think that this is generally a correct statement. I have friends that absolutely love their work and it’s all they talk about, but I am not one of those people (although, I generally don’t talk very much so maybe I would if I was more outgoing?). Chris Rock goes on to tell his tale of working a “job” at Red Lobster scraping shrimp off of plates, and how he is now blessed with a career and wishes everyone could be blessed with a career that they enjoy.
I’m not sure whether I would classify my current work as a job or a career. I’ve been working for the same company and in the same position since I got out of university six years ago. I think that the work I do makes a difference, which adds to the enjoyment I get out of going to the office. Yet the bottom line is I noticed when I was on vacation that if my job/career was taken away from me tomorrow, I don’t really think I’d miss it that much. I would find something else to do that I found interesting and hopefully provide enough money to live on.
When people ask me if I like what I do, my general reply is: “On a Monday morning, other than waking up to an alarm, work is not something I dread going to.” I guess that is not exactly a positive statement, but it’s true. Yet I’m not sure if my mindset really allows me to look at any work as a “career”. My paycheque allows me to do things I want to do when I’m not at work. I don’t dislike going to the office, but I’m not the kind of person that would put in extra hours for free because I love my position so much.
Someday, when I have the savings to allow it, I will leave the workforce. I have read stories about how people run out of things to do in retirement, but I don’t think I’ll be one of those people. I think that my future career as a capitalist/retiree will bring me much greater enjoyment than working for eight hours a day (no matter how rewarding the my current work is). After I retire, I might just be one of those people that need to shut up when I’m around people with jobs and will never have enough time in the day to get done what needs to be done but I am looking forward to my future career.
So do you work at a “job”, or do you have a “career”? If you have a career, how did you come to find it? Did you stumble into it, or aspire towards it?