Last week, we looked at the difference between Commitment and Dedication. And I asked a question to which one of the readers, “Vee”, provided an answer that inspired this week’s article. Vee mentioned not being dedicated to an unfulfilling job, but being committed to it only because it pays your bills at the moment. This reminded me of instances where many influential people (including the one quoted above) have differentiated our work/calling from our jobs/paid employment.
Now, like last week’s topic, these two words are very similar in definition. They are sometimes used interchangeably but often incorrectly. And that makes it tricky.
You work at your job, but that does not mean you’re doing your (right) work there.
So, let’s get technical a bit, and define both terms:
Job: This is a countable noun that describes your position (within a company). That is why you hear some real native English speakers say “She resigned her job”. This means she’s no longer the receptionist here, or the nurse here, or the teacher here.
Work: This is the activity that you may do in your job. It is an uncountable noun. So, that receptionist’s work might include: answering the telephone, filing, receiving guests, peering into her little compact mirror, while applying her makeup powder with a puff (just kidding!). All these constitute the work of a receptionist.
So, you see that your work is not your job. Your job is a paid position, while your work is all the duties of your job.
I would like to build on this reasoning and talk about our right work –our calling, mission, passion or however you may wish to refer to it. It is what we are naturally gifted to do; where our strengths lie.
You know you can actually do your (right) work at your job –engaging your natural strengths everyday –but chances are that you are very much restricted by your job, and so cannot make as much impact as when you’re unrestricted.
Take for example, a young man’s mission might be to save the world (don’t roll your eyes yet), through getting people to change their minds about what they initially believed to be true, and then believe in the new message he’s now sharing with them.
This same man may have a job as a carpenter in his father’s workshop. Now, whenever anyone came in to buy some furniture, he would share that message with them, and it would be up to them to believe it or not.
How much impact would that man make compared to if he actually quit his job as a carpenter and went out and about, talking to people. In the process of doing that, he builds a very large following of people who believe his message, out of which he gets twelve really tight followers, who would do anything to spread his message even when he’s not with them?
I’m sure you would agree with me that the latter scenario would have way more impact. That is his right work, and it is done best, when it’s not tied to a job. What is your right work, and how best can you do it?
Let us look at some characteristics of your right work:
You Can Do It Even Without Being Paid
You know the funny thing is that even at your job, you are mostly paid what the position is worth, and not by the work you put in. So, you could have some lazy bum sitting beside you, who’s getting paid the same amount as you are. But you put in more work, anyway, because it somehow ‘fulfills’ you.
Same thing with doing your right work; you can go all day without caring about where money is coming from. You are sold out to your mission! But you know the cool thing? The money comes in anyway. And when it rains, it pours!
It Doesn’t Enervate You, It Energizes You
Doing your passion fuels you. You may be exhausted from working at your job, but this is not the case if you’re doing your right work –you might even forget to eat!
This was a problem for me when I was a kid. I enjoyed writing (I still do). So, I would lock myself up in my bedroom, and be working on my ‘novels’. I remember my mum banging on the door, many times, reminding me to come to the dining table to eat “before your food gets cold!”
No one reminds me of lunch time at my job!
You’re Most Intuitive in Those Areas
I mean your areas of strength –because that’s often where your right work lies. They say women are more intuitive than men. That might be true, but we are all intuitive. And we are most intuitive in our areas of strength.
A gifted teacher knows exactly what teaching method to use for each student. A gifted interior decorator can walk into an empty apartment and immediately know what furniture is needed and where each one would go, to maximize space and bring out beauty. A gifted speaker would can read the room and know exactly what to say to connect with his audience.
Sometimes at your job, I bet you just get clueless as to what the next step is. It’s not your fault. You’re just more intuitive when you’re actually doing your right work.
You Never Retire
This is why it shouldn’t be a job/position. It is your work –your right work. It is what you do for the rest of your life because you can’t imagine life without it.
Your (right) work never finishes. The more you go, the more it grows. It also outlives you and others carry on your legacy. You never run out of articles to write, or songs to sing, or people to minister to; because there‘s so much inspiration in your strength zone.
But, trust me, you do run out of tasks to do at your job and then you spend the rest of the afternoon on Bellanaija. Do I lie?
It’s Fun Too!
I agree with David Oyedepo, that only if you’re doing the wrong work does the saying “all work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy” apply to you. This is because you do have fun doing what you do best –your right work. You play with the people involved, and you get excited seeing how lives are impacted and changed by the work you do.
There is never a dull moment for a person who lives on purpose. How could there be, when there’s so much passion, inspiration and impact involved? How could there be, when you come in contact with so many people instead of being confined to a cubicle?
So questions for you this week: Do you think you’re doing your right work? What kind of work are you doing at your job? Are you incorporating your right work into your job, and how much impact has that made so far?
Looking forward to your brilliant comments, as usual.
Photo Credit: Viacheslav Iacobchuk | Dreamstime.com