Today is Memorial Day in the US, a time to remember and appreciate all those who have given their service and lives so we can be free.
It makes me reflect about what makes for an important job.
When I look back on my career, I realize that I’ve done lots of different things. I’ve created products, I’ve managed teams, I’ve helped make customers happier. But were some of those jobs more important than others?
They all pale in comparison to those out there who are giving their lives. It can make me feel worthless, honestly.
Or I can say that the value is measured by how much I got paid. But that leads me to the conclusion that celebrities and sports stars must have jobs MUCH more valuable than anything I aspire to.
I don’t buy that.
Likewise, are those who are struggling to get by on minimum wage doing jobs which are less worthwhile than what I do?
No, that doesn’t seem right either.
The conclusion I’ve reached is that the value of my work is merely whether it made any kind of difference. To me, to my family, to employees, to customers. And there will never be a clear definition of “make a difference.” Perhaps it’s just making someone’s day a little brighter for a few minutes, no more.
When you take this to its conclusion, you see that ANY job can be valuable, to any kind of degree. And it depends a great deal on how you approach that job and even how you think about it. Even the most menial task can have tremendous worth.
So the question is … What are you doing to MAKE your job valuable?