Last week, I got a part-time job doing data entry for a major company. While I am hoping to do something else later this year, the job is just what I wanted for the time being. It’s in an office. I get to sit down and listen to music. And I am actually gaining skills at a company that people know.
But the thing is, when I tell people about my job, the majority of these people look at me with a sad face and tell me all the things wrong with it. They tell me, “We all have to start somewhere.”
And the truth is, I sometimes feel like I need to fluff up my job and tell people, “It’s only for a while. It’s only until I find something better.” Like, just right now.
Have you ever felt the need to fluff up your job so people will respect you?
Well I think it’s stupid. And just recently, it’s started to get me angry.
Because there are people at my work who legitimately work there for a living. They do the exact same thing I am doing full-time. They get benefits. They provide for their families. This is what they do.
I know I’m not alone in my desire to make my job sound better than it does because I’ve discussed this with friends. I’ve seen them trying to explain why they took the jobs they did. They tell me, “It’s just until I find something better. It’s not my dream job, but it’s for now.”
I think there is a deeper problem here and that problem is: Our society puts worth on people based on their jobs, their titles and their salaries.
If someone is a manager — oh you better get to know them.
If someone makes a killer salary with great benefits — their job is interesting.
But if someone does data entry, or works in a mailroom, or files papers — they need to find something better and they need YOU to help them.
The problem with this is that we’re judging people based on what they do. We’re deciding someone’s worth not on the fact that they are children of God, but based of their work. Besides, what if these people like their jobs? What if they’ve had trouble finding a job and this was their saving grace? And say that they don’t like their job, but this is helping them out for now. What then?
Entry-level jobs may not look glamorous, but they are jobs. They should be respected as such and shouldn’t define a person. That same person might be doing what they really love during their free time.
One of my favorite authors worked as a waitress right out of college. I’m sure lots of people told her, “You’re so much better than this! You’re a college graduate! You should find something that pays more!”
In interviews with this woman, she says that this job was perfect for her because it allowed her time to do what she really loved — write.
Now, she’s a best selling author, praised and admired by many. She’s doing what she LOVES. But even Sarah Dessen is more than a writer. She is a person who is worth something not because of her status, but because she is a person.
Some work might be a means to an end, but it should never define someone. It should not be looked down upon.
You too are more than what you do for a living.
You have friends and a family. You have hobbies. You might be working towards a dream job and are only using your work to climb the corporate ladder. Don’t be ashamed of that.
So I dare you and me to stop looking at people’s titles to decide their worth. If you’re at a job that you don’t feel like people respect, I dare you to stop trying to fluff it up.
You and I are working and that’s a good thing.