That Extra Something.


I had asked via social media a very straight forward question. “Are you able to take pride in what you do for a living? If yes, or no… Tell me why.”

Like in my previous article (where I asked if you were unhappy with your job, why did you stay there?), I felt that I had to ask about pride in your job.

Here were some of the responses:

“Yes. I provide a service that no one wants to do, but everyone needs. We are unsung heroes. I provide for my family, am self-reliant, and me and mine want for nothing. I don’t do what I do for the fame. I do it because without me, the world would be screwed under their own filth.”
– Clarence, Commercial Driver

“I love to make soy candles I love what I do and it helps to get rid of my stress.”
– Lois, Small Business Owner

“Yes. I keep 3 children healthy and happy. I budget, meal-plan, penny-pinch, and make sacrifices so we can all live a quality of life that otherwise wouldn’t be possible on our current income. And I’m damn good at it.”
– Rosemary, Homemaker

“Yes. I believe helping people find their way to God and his will for them is a blast.”
– Kurtis, Pastor

All of the above were great answers.

There was something that I noticed about the answers that were given, as every answer that I received were all along the same lines. As every responder was

When I was a kid, it was instilled in me that if you could not be proud of what it is that you do for a living, you don’t really have a reason to continue devoting time to it. That if you are not able to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the day, and feel good about what you do, it is time to call it quits.

It is with that thought process that I have left companies that I had worked for. Whether it was for reasons pertaining to ethics, safety, or business practices, I drew a line in the sand and refused to stay with said companies.

On the other hand, I am very proud of the company that I currently work for. So I can say that I have experienced both sides of the coin.

The ability to take pride in where you work, or what you do for a living, is not just something limited to business owners or people that work in fields that carry a certain prestige to them. While I have friends that are in the military, police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics… I have friends that work as drivers, custodians, and clergy that take just as much pride in what they do.

For many years in this country, it was the concept that Americans have come to a point where we not only look down on certain occupations, but we refuse to work certain occupations as they are beneath us as a whole.

While there are many occupations that fall under this umbrella, there are some things that I learned recently that kind of blew my mind.

Recently there was a study done that evaluated the percentages of American citizens vs Non-citizen immigrant workers in the realms of Taxi drivers, house keepers, landscape workers and the like. The aim of the study was for the most part, to see if those fields of work were truly worked by Americans or not.

The United States Census Bureau looked at around 400 occupations in the United States, and came up with some very interesting facts.

51% of Housekeepers
58% Taxi Drivers
63% Butchers
64% Landscapers/Groundskeepers
66% Construction Workers
72% Porters, Bellhops,Concierge
73% Janitors/Custodians.

All American Citizens, showing that these are positions that are not entirely “immigrant” positions. They are in many cases, lower skill, or without needing vast education, but at the same time, have their own kinds of education. Meaning that there is still some kind of special training in order to do them.

Butcher’s for example need to be taught how to do what they do, and they also have their own union in many cases. You can also take classes in this trade at many community colleges. After all, it is an occupation that has been around for well over a thousand years.

Now, I know what you are thinking. “What does that have to do with taking pride in what you do?”

It’s simple. Pride in one’s work, is still the driving force in staying with your occupation, and that skilled trades such as butcher, landscaper, welder, etc. as well as the “low skill” jobs such as housekeeping, taxi driver, farm hand, while looked down on in some circles… require a certain amount of dedication and as a result, pride in those occupations.

We need to take pride in what we do to do it well. To make sure that things are not only done right, but also done to the high standards that are sometimes required by those on the outside looking in.

It takes me back to what I was saying before with what I was raised with, “If you don’t have pride in your work, you don’t have any business doing it.”

Again, the responses that I got were overwhelmingly positive. Some of the responses came from those that had responded to my previous article asking about why do they stay with their current line of work… and to their credit, they responded positively to that question as well.

At the end of the day, I guess what it all boils down to, is really just a couple of factors that we can all agree on.

When you can feel good about what it is that you are doing, you will be able to put that extra effort into it. You will go above and beyond to ensure that not only are you doing your job right, but that you stand head and shoulders above anyone else that does the same job.

Be the hardest working person that you know, and you will have success following you no matter what it is that you do.

And that is something that I can take pride in.


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