Have you heard that sentence before? Have you heard someone saying “get a real job”? I’ve heard people say this. To strangers, to their kids, to their family members or to friends. Maybe even to themselves. Get a real job… I always wonder what people mean by that. What is a real job?
Is a real job caring for someone? If that’s the case, then why do some people struggle to see a waitress or a waiter doing a real job?
Is a real job a typical 9 to 5 job? If that’s the case, what about a baker who gets up in the middle of the night, bakes all night and goes to bed when others start their days? That’s for sure a real job…
Is a real job a desk job? If that’s the case, what about a builder? Isn’t he doing a real job too?
Talking about typical 9 to 5 jobs and desk jobs: What about athletes? Why are their careers not considered a real job?
Is a real job a job you get your hands dirty? Is that why athletes are not considered doing a real job? If that’s the case, then what is a teacher doing?
This list could go on and on. I truly wonder what a real job is supposed to be. I also wonder why someone would say something like this, although I heard it before as well and I for sure know what that person had in mind for me back then. For that person it would have been better if I would have chosen a typical 9 to 5 job. One that pays well of course. But I chose differently. I chose to work freelance and in a job with irregular times. Sometimes I was working for 4 weeks in a row with 14 to 16 hour work days. I got paid by the hour which ended up being great. Then I had stretches of no work until the next block of work. The job was always full on, high energy, surrounded by lots of people. And you know what? I loved it! I built my little world based on those freelance jobs. What first turned out to only work from spring through to fall ended up becoming a full year thingy.
Looking back I still feel I had it all then. At least in my books. I did what I loved to do. I worked in different places and different countries. I met super interesting people and I earned good money. On top of that I had heaps of time off between those blocks of work which was great as well.
In the eyes of some people it just wasn’t a real job.
And yet it’s so typical for our society. Everything that is slightly out of the norm needs to be put right. The norm is that a real job needs to be something what everyone considers normal. You need to work hard and suffer through…
And yet when you start breaking all those jobs down you will see that nothing is really normal. And still all of it is necessary. The hours a chef works are totally different from the hours a real estate agent works, or a baker, or a builder, or in retail. And then you have the so called odd jobs. Like building your career as life coach or selling Tupperware (or any other party selling thingy).
Get a real job…
See, I believe if you like what you do, you put all you can offer into it. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you like it. And if you like it and put everything into it then you will be successful. You will be able to make it work and you will have a career. You will be able to tick all the boxes that are important to you. Not everyone has the same visions and so what seems important to you might not be important to someone else, no matter how close this person is to you. I just find it important to realize that and let people choose what they think is right for them. Without judging, without criticizing and without trying to change them.
So what is real job? A real job is what brings food on your table, what pays your rent. It’s what makes our society work. I agree. But just because you choose to do something slightly out of the ordinary or because you do a job that some people don’t see as a great job, it doesn’t mean it’s not a real job.
Because there’s also passion!
A real job is what feels real to you. It’s what makes you give the very best because you like what you do.