365 Challenge: Day 164 – Work

Work: mental or physical activity as a means of earning income; employment


As I began preparing my Sunday post for the next round of jobs, I realized that I never covered what the concept of a job means. I found something I had drafted in part awhile ago, realizing it was apropos to dust off and release as a clean and new version to stimulate our 365 Daily Challenge discussions. For most of us, jobs exist to provide money to meet the basic staples of life:  food, water, shelter, warmth, etc. For some of us, jobs aren’t a requirement (That’s not me!). We may have a significant other, parent or spouse who pays the bills. We may be retired or amassed an income of wealth where work is no longer necessary.  We may be too sick to work.  For those of us who work because we need to “put the roof over our head,” there is an extreme variance between selecting a job we like and selecting a job we do not like.

Our jobs are generally chosen early on in life… or at least the general type of job or industry we will work in.  When we finish school (be it grammar school, high school, college or graduate work), we enter the workforce in some fashion.  Many of us choose — and are lucky enough — to go to college for 4 years right after high school.  By my fourth year, I was tired of school and wanted to enter a true workforce.  And I did, but I never went back for a graduate degree, which I do regret in many ways and find myself contemplating whether I should do so now.

Regardless, by choosing college, we choose to enter a certain type of workforce where we are in the business world putting in a typical 8 to 9 hour day, 5 days a week and the occasional night or weekend overtime requirements… (ok, for me it’s more like 12 hours a day and way more than occasional nights and weekends — but that’s an entirely different thread from this one.)

Whether we’re in technology or finance or sales or marketing or human resources doesn’t matter.  What matters is that there is a fairly routine expectation of putting in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay.  Our pay grows as our experience and commitment grows. It’s up to each individual person to find their own work-life balance, at least in the USA where they like to work you to the bone!

But what if it’s still just a job.  We may have good days. We may have bad days. Sometimes the unsettled feelings we have can go on for years.  We can blame the culture of the company, or we can blame ourselves for staying for so long.  We can blame our family for living in the same place, making it hard for us to want to move somewhere else, or we can blame society for making changes and transitions too difficult.  We can blame a lot.

And that’s probably part of the issue.  We really should only blame ourselves.  And blame only goes so far.  We can choose to leave. We can choose to move on. We can choose a different path.  Yet we haven’t always done so generally for fear of losing money or not being busy.

So I started thinking… do we know what will make us happy in a job?  We’d all like to think so, but are we really sure…  Is it about the hours?  Is it about the pay?  Is it about the people?  Is it about the volume?  Is it about the benefits? Well, actually… shouldn’t it be about the actual work?  Shouldn’t it be about tasks that we enjoy doing?  Shouldn’t it be in an industry we relate to?  Shouldn’t it be about something in which we have strong interest?

The answer is  generally “yes” for most people; it is undoubtedly “yes” for me. Some folks want a job that is different from all the things they need or choose in their life simply to have variety or to not get too invested or attached in any one single thing.  For most of us, it needs to be something we have passion for.  Passion not in an obsessive way. Passion in a way where we enjoy doing the work all day and although the day is over, we want to go home and get away for a bit because we know it will be there again the next morning and will continue to keep us happy.

Back to blame…  we can’t blame others for not letting ourselves get to that “yes.”  We have to make the plan. We have to prioritize all the steps and pieces. We have to weigh each item and possibly decide some needs won’t be met immediately.

If we keep telling ourselves this and thinking beyond the immediate perimeter, we will eventually start to believe.  But it’s hard. And it always will be unless we keep at it every day until it becomes part of our routine and experience. We need to get away from blaming, complaining and getting frustrated.   We have to put ourselves in the driver’s seat and accept all the decisions we need to make to move forward.

I chose to follow my heart last year around this time and left a very promising career in technology (you’ll hear all about it in Sunday’s post) to become a writer (which you’ll hear about in the following Sunday’s post). It’s not easy. It’s scary. But there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t realize how grateful, lucky and happy I now am.

How have you chosen your jobs or made the changes necessary to get in the driver’s seat for your career? What’s next in your occupational world?



About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.



  1. This is a topic that is always on my mind, so thanks for writing about it. I make a distinction, however, between “job” and “work”. Writing and photography, for example, are work but not my job. A job will pay you but you don’t necessarily enjoy it. Work on the other hand, can be and is often linked to a hobby or a passion.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post Jay. I regreat not going to college after high school. I might have a different path before me now. I can’t complain about work too much, since I make decent money now, compared to when I worked in retail. I have been working since I was 15 and man sometimes I wonder if I should have stayed in retail, because I would be three years from retirement right now. Oh well! I am excited for your choice of career. It is very scary to take a step so big. I don’t know that I could do that if I were in your shoes. I am kind of a scaredy cat.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I appreciate it, thanks. It is scary! But so is everything you’ve done with raising a family. 🙂 Retail always interested me except the interaction with customers who weren’t very kind. Money is the root of it all, sometimes good, sometimes evil. I’m glad it worked out for you. It’d be interesting to see “what would have happened” in our own Scrooge Lookbacks had we made different decisions.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. great post jay! this is a topic i always have on my mind, because i know a lot of people, that just complain about their job and i try to tell them to leave and search for a new one, if they are not happy. it’s hard, because people are often just stuck in their job, just to get the money. it’s secure and then can live. but it doesn’t make them happy. and to risk this security is not that easy for some people. but i totally agree. i would rather quit my job and do something else, than be not happy! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I pretty much see it as I work to achieve the things that I want. Can’t buy books without a job. Also can’t buy books without a good paying job because of bills but I’ve also learned to live within my means and be grateful for what I do have because there are people who have so much less. You already know but I’ve only just recently ventured out of my working comfort zone. Time management was and still is a big deal for me and for now I have it. This is definitely not my forever job but I am pretty content as it stands versus a year ago. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for a great, and at this time, appropriate post. You know I want to be a writer, and I have a book being published (If I can ever get the final edit done). What you might not know is that I left a long-time career early this year due to health problems. I’ve almost made a full recovery, but I recently starting working again to fend off those pesky bill collectors, and to get my son through his last year of college. My wife has a good job, so we’re okay, but sometimes reality forces you into jobs you may not like. Hopefully, my book will do well, but if it doesn’t; I’ve always found joy in working to the best of my ability, and will continue to do so. Thanks again for a great read.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I guess I have been extremely fortunate to be able to enjoy my entire working career. From my first job in the local library to my last outside the house job of medical office manager while I haven’t always liked every minute, a lot of the time it was the people I was working with rather than the job itself that bothered me. I can hardly think of any time when I didn’t want to get up and go to work. Working for myself from home is my dream job and I am trying to transition the work from typing medical reports to crafting cards and scrapbook albums. Great post, Jay. You are doing really well on your 365 challenge!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Love this post! I’m totally with you having quit my career to try and find a new path I’m still working out what that path is going to look like and there are elements still pulling me backwards which I struggle with, as I did actually love my career it just caused me endless stress. Writing is amazing but I’m not sure I’m ever going to be a good enough writer to pay the bills with it!

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  8. I wanted to be an engineer of some sort as a kid, but my science teacher in high school kept getting pregnant, so I couldn’t get the basic foundation. Had to branch off to study a course in management sciences in college, and carried on in that field, but pretty unsatisfied, other than I enjoy getting things done, which gives me some sort of satisfaction, I guess. However, I have been writing since I was nine, and it gives me the greatest satisfaction till date. It’s the only thing that makes sense after all. Let’s see how it goes in terms of going full time some day.

    Thanks for this insightful post. Glad you are now doing what you really love doing. Long may it continue.👍👍

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s interesting how what you *think* can be the career you want and will love ends up being something you totally don’t. Congrats on taking that step out of the box/out of the comfort zone, to pursue the career you want!

    I’m kind of feeling like after struggling for a long time, I’m finally on the right path. I love being a librarian, but I’m better as a behind-the-scenes librarian. The cataloging to me is stimulating (some people find it tedious and boring – I enjoy it). I dread going to work a lot less now that I’m not on the public desk. And the thing is, even when I was on the public desk, I loved the WORK I did, like research and such, but the wide-variety of public that came in just dragged me down. Now that I don’t have to deal with that, most days I’m almost eager to get to work. It’s great. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. IMO, finding a new path is important sometimes. I’ve never been really great at something I didn’t feel passionate about and it feels better when you at least enjoy your work. I had my second child the month I graduated college and when she was born with a health condition, I knew things were going to change. My career would be on standby, but I started working from home and doing what I wanted, making my own schedule, and caring for my kids exactly how I wanted to. I took the path I thought was right and it all worked out. I’m not currently using my degree out in the world, but it’s still with me and can’t be taken away.

    I think what you’ve done is awesome and everything seems to be falling into place for you. Great post again. ♡ Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

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