Thursday, 18 February 2010

Resilience Tip: Honor Your Occupation

Does your job or career get you down?  Do you ever have the feeling that it doesn't matter and neither do you? 

Do you think, "Oh, I'm just an accountant crunching numbers all day.  Who cares?!" or "I build websites and they call me a 'code head' and a 'geek.'"? 

One of the most harmful features of our culture is our tendency to undervalue certain jobs and the people in them, while doing the opposite for jobs we consider to confer higher "social status". 

We fail to notice, or course, that our valuations of different jobs are culturally learned and bear no resemblance to reality.  Actors enjoy great social standing today, for example, whereas they used to be a despised profession. 

I used to work for an organization that greatly undervalued its subject matter experts and greatly overvalued its management.  However, replacing managers was really easy since their skill sets were general and possessed by 30% of the population.  Replacing a subject matter expert was murder - far less than 1% of the population had those skills.  And if your subject matter expert was away, production suffered.  If your manager was away, your production would probably go up!

The bottom line is this: don't wait for society to value what you do.  No matter what kind of job you have, no matter what kind of mediocrity or stupidity you're surrounded by, start to consider whatever job you have as truly important.  Give it everything you've got.  Forget what others think and don't apologize for what your line of work, even if you don't want to stay in it!

Then something amazing will happen.  Once you start giving it your very best, you'll feel a sense of pride in your work.  You'll begin to see the importance of what you do and how it positively affects others.  You'll realize that even if you're just waiting tables, you're still serving your country, your fellow citizens and ultimately your place in the great scheme of this magnificent universe. 

Your sense of self-worth will grow.  Your self-confidence will grow.  And finally you'll probably outgrow the job or career you have now. 

The genius of Authentic Ancient Traditions was the realization that the outward aspect of your work is secondary, because any work your pour yourself into with dedication, sincerity and love can itself become a work of art and a gateway to enlightenment itself.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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