Today is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated in the US. Always the first Monday in September, Labor Day is dedicated to recognizing and honoring the contributions of American workers.

So, in recognition of Labor Day, we asked friends, colleagues, and clients to share what work means in their lives. We know that there is a lot of pressure in the culture today to do “work you love” and yet for many people, in their efforts to create a life they love, work is only a part of that; and in many cases, it is a small part.

Take a look at the various ways people describe
what work means in their lives. Then spend some time
considering what you want work to mean in your life.

  • I work to eat and to take care of my family. I Work, with a capital ‘W’ on my art!
  • I love working with people and for the first time in my life, I have a job that lets me do that. It’s exciting to be paid for work that doesn’t feel like work!
  • My work is at the center of my life; it’s how I know who I am. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have it.
  • Work is a means to an end. The end is sometimes about work results, but more often it’s about what I can do when I’m not working.
  • As long as I can do work that’s fun with a great group of people, and make enough money to travel, that’s all I need. Traveling is where my passion lies.

Steve Jobs said, Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

We agree, and yet for some people work is a way to support them doing what they truly love. It’s important to keep looking for ways to create a life where you get to do what you love; but don’t insist it all come from paid work.

Some of the most passionate and successful people we know worked in jobs where they contributed their talents and were paid well, but the work that mattered to them most was their art, music, helping the underserved, etc.

You may find your truest work outside of your paid job. Don’t stop looking for ways to do the things you truly, truly love. The world needs your unique combination of skills and strengths!  ~ Carpenter Smith Consulting

If you’re struggling to identify what role
you want work to fulfill in your life,
contact us today about our Career Coaching.