March 28, 2008

A “Job” or A “Career”

Posted in Musings tagged , at 5:52 pm by myrlinn

In the nineties, many of us thought that work should be our life. That we should find satisfaction and validation, passion, well, basically, everything… in our work.

Recruitment ads exhort you to not just find a job (implying work that you do just for the sake of earning a salary) but find a career (implying work that will consume your passion, your intellect and your capabilities in the long-term).

The fall-out from how people started thinking of work in the nineties? For many of my generation, the professional class now feel like the new ‘working class’. We work extra hours without additional pay, all in the name of passion, pride and professionalism.

There is another way, of course, to view work. Work for the salary, and find your interests and satisfaction outside of your work, in your family, in your hobbies.

There’s much to be said for each point of view. I now think that the middle way is always the best. When you’re at work, work with a passion, with the best that’s in you. But always be aware that you need time away from work too — to do things that nourishes your own spirit, that expresses the inner you.

I realise now that it’s important to have the time and the money to do things that are just for you. My scrapbooking project may be rudimentary, but there’s the satisfaction of using my hands, of creating. And I’ve found that writing just for yourself is rather liberating.

So, if you’re working for a salary, my advice is this: find a job in the field you like, at the best salary that you can find out there, and do the very best that you can in it, without sacrificing time for yourself, and your family. Life will be the richer for it.



  1. suahnee said,

    well thought piece – just when i was wondering where my current job is heading…

    work with passion may not equate to salary require to maintain our current style of living, very often we ended up doing a job for the sake of the pay packet, sounds familiar??? the rising cost of living does not help either….yeah?

    so whether you work for passion or not, we just do our best in order to stay competitive, and in doing so will unwittingly “sacrifice” personal hours….huh – a “Catch 22” situation i may say,,,,

    just my thoughts….;-)

  2. myrlinn said,

    Do you live in Singapore, suahnee? There’s so much pressure here to work harder and longer than the last person, because everyone is as you say striving to be “competitive” in the job market.

    As for the question of a “salary required to maintain our current style of living”, my perspective is that we need to think about this: Is our current style of living rich in the things that matter to us, time to enhance our spirit, and time to be with the ones we love? Or are we working to afford overseas holidays, a car, expensive things for children that they don’t really need, etc.?

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