Unemployment numbers came out today, and all this talk of jobs has got me thinking.
What is a job anyways?
The White House certainly has a particular, shovel-ready idea about them. But really, when I think of a job, what comes to mind? A minimum-wage, temp position doing something I have no desire to be doing when I’m 50.
They only way I’d feel dignified doing any of the aforementioned tasks after 25 years is if I owned the burger place, the building with the hallways, or the store with the shelves.
That’s because when our political leaders talk about creating jobs, they really should be talking about promoting practices that proliferate careers.
A job, to me, is something I do to get by. If that’s all we’re focused on creating, we’re in serious trouble. Jobs alone merely lead to a depressed psyche, and a lack of ownership in life, while careers are the thing you could gladly see yourself doing for the rest of you life, either because of the task or the money.
And where do careers come from? Either from people who have a dream, and work to birth their new reality over time at great personal expense to themselves (entrepreneurs), or from those who are hired by someone with a similar dream who has gone ahead of them (employees).
At least, that’s the way the United States has operated, up until today.
Today we’re being offered a new system. At least new to us. But it’s a very old idea. Let the government create the jobs for you. Notice I didn’t say careers. Because government, for all her benefits, can not dream for people. That must come from within, and from above. Careers are created by citizens, jobs are fashioned by government.
Sure, there are certain exceptions, most notably our amazing civilian-based armed forces, as well as particularly useful public service positions. But to bank on these as the sole impetus behind economic growth and future national development is outlandish.
Careers are created by releasing dreamers, even at their own risk, to run the race set before them. It’s not in taxing them, controlling them, or regulating them. It’s not in redistributing their wealth (as wealthy dreamers have a tremendous track record of enabling other dreamers to do the same). This kind of micro-managing leadership has never worked successfully in organizational development, and it has never succeeded in world governments.
That’s because everyone else calls it “Socialism.” We call it “Forward.”
If you’re fortunate to find what you love to do, you’re blessed. If you have the energy to fight for the freedom to do it, you’re a patriot. And if in the wake of your success you can take others along with you, you’re a true benefactor.
So here’s to careers. Not jobs.
Live the dream, and take as many people as you can with you. It’s your role as a human, not the government’s.