Work is not a Four-Letter Word

Perhaps a job is a little like Microsoft Windows?Work and a job are two different things. A job isn’t necessarily pleasant. At best, it pays the bills, but it has no meaning beyond the paycheck. At worst, it crushes and stifles the spirit. Work sometimes isn’t pleasant, either, but it has a perpetual joy to it. It is not the four-letter word some make it. Work is not to be dreaded; it should be something one enjoys doing. It should provide direction and engender passion.

A job can break the heart. It can cause an employee to weep as she or he heads to work and to weep again as he or she goes home from work. It can produce fear: the fear of being fired for no reason, the fear of the company not caring when the employee is experiencing a difficulty, the fear of being laid off because the company has not made the strides in the marketplace that it should. A job can result in jokes about pink slips. It can produce meetings behind closed doors and closed communication, that is, code words that mean another employee has been let go.

Work is not like a job. Work should not instill fear unless the person employed isn’t working. Work should have an element of fun to it. It should bring a smile to one’s face. It should provide satisfaction. It should provide employees with opportunities to be creative and to feel and be successful. The work should be an anchor for the employee. When that employee feels overwhelmed, the work steadies him or her. The person is reminded of why he or she works, and it usually isn’t for a paycheck or for some self-centered motive. No, the work itself takes preeminence. The people touched by that work become the priority. The employee remembers those things and continues forward with the work, trusting and believing in it.

Photo: Viktor Hertz (CC BY NC SA 2.0)


  1. magriebler says:

    When work and a job are the same thing: joy! I wish you joy in all your endeavors, my friend.

  2. Ah-greed!!! I never once awake in the mornings and think “I don’t want to work today.” I love my job and my customers and my boss! Here’s something about me- I am not a big fan of overuse of the term “luck”. I don’t feel I am “lucky” to have this job- I went through a few hard years of jobs that didn’t fit me quite right and had to make the rough decision to leave them and move on. It was only through self-reflection that I was able to diagnose just what it is I like and want in a job. So if you don’t like your job, DO something about it! No one else can make that call for you. Keep trying until you find the thing that doesn’t feel like work.

    • RebeccaTodd I love the work I do at Write Right, even if most of it’s behind-the-scenes right now. Even on the days I’m discouraged, the work has a satisfaction to it. 
      I’m not a fan of “luck,” either. Lucky breaks can happen, but spending time looking for them is a waste of energy and time.

  3. @Erin F. It’s hard to add to what magriebler  said. Except that… RebeccaTodd  sounds like she’s got it made. Damn, she’s lucky!

  4. I’ve had many jobs that I loved, including but not limited to, McDonalds, detasseling, running a comic book shop, GM of a candle manufacturing plant, GEICO, and well…the list goes on. I’ve also found those jobs to be dreadful, too. Most of the time I’m pretty happy with whatever I’m doing in life, it is more about degrees of bliss.
    My current work is writing, my job is a part-time gig at a rental place. There are times that writing is unpleasant, but mostly it is a joy. The key is to push myself to do more than the minimum per day (1 blog post). If I can throw down another 2-4000 words, then I’ve had a good day and I’ve worked at it. If not, it was probably because of some recreational napping. I always feel better after having worked at writing, than I do on the days were I just sort of did nothing. Sometimes it is good to remember this fact, and your post helped in that regard. Thanks.

    • ExtremelyAvg You’re quite welcome. You have had an array of jobs. You have me beat.
      Viewing something as a job or work often has to do with our attitude, although our view can be correct. Some work becomes a job (i.e., dreaded) because of a culture of mistrust or a lack of vision or camaraderie.

  5. timbo1973 It sounds very hard. There was a period (three minutes) where I had to watch after my niece and nephew, who were 1 and 3 at the time. It was the worst year of my life, but thankfully my sister came back from the restroom and they were both alive…though covered in milk and jelly. *shakes head and shivers*

  6. timbo1973 That’s unfortunate. Being a parent is a lot of work. I think people should be more appreciative of the labor.
    I think magriebler said it best when she said job = work. I differentiate between the two terms because a job is something that tides you until the next thing, kind of like my job at an assisted living center. I learned a lot and enjoyed most of my time there, but I knew it wasn’t my calling. I had other work that was meant for me.

  7. I work at my job but I do want to be working at a better job! 🙁


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