Every once in a while, I talk to someone who tries to remind me that work is just work. “It’s just a job,” they say. I always nod along halfheartedly, but I don’t agree.
Nobody wants to be that nutjob who says their work is special and it isn’t just a job — that it can’t be.
But that’s how I feel.
I got married about five months ago to the coolest dude this side of the Mississippi (What? I’m in Texas … might as well talk like it). My job takes me away from him somewhere between 35-55 hours a week. I’ve got a pretty cool dog too. His name is Vinny. I like his face.
And some might say that’s a small loss in the scale of things people miss when they’re off working. Some people miss families, some miss monumental moments in their own lives and the lives of their families, some miss deaths and births — all for work.
The point is … work is more than work for some. It’s so American and pedestrian, but for some people — myself included — we get a lot of our personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life from the way we do our work … with integrity or rogue assassin-ery. With balls. With fury.
We don’t have as many real call-to-arms these days in comparison to the days when people were in a constant state of defense or treachery. Instead, we seem to fight for financial security and dreams.
And work is one way we fight for our families.
It’s also a big way we find meaning and value. We like to be good at stuff. Some of us even need it.
And, in the end, it is just a job, maybe. If your job sucks and you’re not finding personal satisfaction, it is just work. And even if you love your job, maybe you still separate in the name of self-preservation and keep your work at arm’s length.
But regardless of whether you’re a recovering or suffering workaholic, whether you’re lazy or a workhorse, there is one thing that I understand from the phrase, “It’s just a job.”
And it happens to be this week’s #ShitBretSays: Love is more important than work.
There’s a balance between “it’s just a job” and “work is life.” With my five months of marital experience, I’m not an expert on what it takes to balance work with home, but I can say that the people I watch do both successfully … definitely believe the statement love is more important than work.
That means when you go home for the day, go home. That means when those really big milestone moments come up in your life, you’re just there. And when the really big milestone moments come up at work, you’re there too. But in those rare moments when the two paths cross and you find yourself stuck between hurting your family or hurting your career … you know what to do.
Winning at life and home and work all require the same thing of you: being present. So I guess when I hear the phrase “it’s just a job,” I hear: don’t give it more than required.
But if being present is something you just do, in life, work and home, then you’ll give it all you got anyway, even knowing it’s just work.
What is #ShitBretSays?
Turns out that our founder, Bret Starr, is full of bite-sized wisdom. We asked people who knew Bret well — friends, colleagues — and they gave us some gems from Bret’s mind.
It’s kind of like Being John Malkovich, only we’re not charging an entrance fee.
Instead, we’re giving you free goodies.
Every Tuesday, you can check back on The Starr Conspiracy Facebook page for the latest in the #ShitBretSays saga.
You can download the wallpaper for this week’s #ShitBretSays in any of the following sizes: