Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I'm sure you've heard the old expression "working for peanuts." It is often heard when someone is complaining about their rate of pay, or demanding their fair wage, as in "I ain't working for peanuts."
As far as I can tell, the expression has its roots in the animal kingdom, either coming from the feeding of elephants in a zoo, or from an organ grinder who sent his monkey out into a crowd to collect donations of money, and also received peanuts from the gallery for his efforts. Either way, it is not thought of as a decent kind of retribution for a human's working.
In the same vein, I have a friend who once told me, when speaking of his job, that he worked for celery (a "salary"). These cute word puns leave us with the thought that each person has a desire and an idea of working for what he or she is worth, and is not really fulfilled, happy, or satisfied with anything less. A person's time and talents should definitely be rewarded by their employer, or by their customer /client.
The Beatles song "Drive My Car" drives the point home in a sarcastic lyric, "Working for peanuts is all very fine- but I can show you a better time," suggesting that being their chauffeur would be a better proposition than whatever meager-paying job that the listener may already have.
Fact of the matter is, most people today aren't rather picky whenever it comes to jobs or occupations. We have many in the midst of unemployment, just wishing for any job to come along. Others have spent years in study, preparing for a certain type of job or career, only to find that their services are not readily needed, and having to settle for something that they never intended to do or be. And still others, secure in their job, putting in 30 or 40 years of their life, seemingly content, but often really unhappy but unwilling to take a risk or challenge to do anything else of any consequence.
What's the point of it all ? Most people plan their budget around their pay, instead of the other way around. Can anyone REALLY hope to ever make what they REALLY feel or know that they are worth ? The better question might be, "Should anyone REALLY settle for anything LESS than what they REALLY think that they are worth?"
I'm not proposing that we all quit a job or career (if we have one), and proceed to live penniless until we are able to latch onto that dream of a job or career. I'd just like to plant a seed in our minds that it's not pointless or meaningless to pursue a dream until it eventually happens. You may say about a minimum-wage or other unfulfilling job, "Well, somebody has to do it." That may be so. And if you are happy in that position, then there is nothing wrong with it at all. But most of those types of jobs are either filled by part-time workers who are waiting or pursuing other careers, or by those who cannot or will not ever have anything better for themselves.
I think that Henry David Thoreau said it best when he wrote,
If you are unemployed, and have to take a modest-paying job to help meet your expenses, then by all means, take it, and work at it as hard as you can ; and if you are already working such a job, do not necessarily quit without having any other means of supporting yourself. But, at the same time, why must you settle for less, if your mind and heart are dreaming and yearning for more ? It's not so much of a selfish quest, but ultimately a spiritual one of seeking to fulfill the destiny that has already been planted in your heart.
And if you are one of the fortunate ones out there who have their own business or enterprise, consider your worth. You possess talents, skills and knowledge that you are willing to share with the rest of us in your world. Do not short-change and over-extend yourself by "working for peanuts." Assess your market value, and do not be afraid to set a price for your services that is commensurate with your abilities and that will allow you to be fulfilled rather than frustrated with your efforts.
Don't "work for peanuts." Leave that for the monkeys and elephants in the world. Instead, go out and fulfill your heart's and life's dreams. Go for it !
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
A lot of people say, "Well, somebody has to do it." Or- "It's not the greatest job in the world, but it pays the bills." I totally understand these feelings. Mainly because I once had them myself. But I came to a place where I began to explore what is really important.
If someone TRULY wishes to work as a fast-food cashier, a hotel clerk, or a department store salesman, that is absolutely okay and wonderful. If it fulfills their deepest longings, and satisfies their innermost needs, then fantastic! But the bottom line (and purpose of this site) is that many of these people do long for more in their lives. Oftentimes these
One of the things that drove me crazy about various jobs was the lack of control and freedom that it gave to me. I was ALWAYS finding conflicts in what I wanted or needed to do.. and my job.. which paid the bills.. and so, therefore had to come first and before any other need or desire in my life. It was somewhat understandable when a friend invited me to a party, concert, or to the beach, and I couldn't "get off work" to go, but whenever things begin to happen like wishing to attend a graduation, a funeral, or a best friend's wedding, and you cannot attend because you are forced to work your schedule, then it became not only confusing, but intolerable at times.
Like I say, some people are aware of these conflicts and seem to be okay with them. They will spend 30, 40, even 50 years at their job, working for an hourly pay, and being understanding of the demands that are placed upon them by their managers and work schedules. It is rarely flexible. When you find a job where a boss works around your schedule, then you have either found a wonderful situation, or else whenever you are not asking off for a special event, you are working yourself to death for them.
There is no real "black and white" when it comes to career moves. What I mean by that is that most of the time, when we make a decision to change our lifestyle or career, it is not a question of working one job one day, and then the next morning, moving on to something different. Even with a typical ordinary job, there is a process.. of answering an ad, setting up and having an interview, being accepted for the job, and then quitting your other job, working a notice, and then going to new job orientation.
This is even more true with finding a career of your own. When a person decides to change their career and lifestyle, it involves some thinking and planning. Sometimes not a lot of it, but nevertheless some advance forethought. It is great when you can find a career move which is meaningful and also does not conflict with your current job. Then you can continue to work and draw a paycheck, while at the same time working on an alternative career until it becomes viable and affords you the opportunity to leave your other position.
This may sound like a lot of work. Sometimes it is, but the benefits usually far outweigh the obstacles or struggles. The most rewarding part of it all is not income. Far from it. If you can become financially wealthy or independent, that is great. But the biggest value or benefit lies in the fact of you controlling your own time and schedule. When an opportunity comes up, whether it be business or personal, public or private, you are able to make a decision whether to participate or not based upon your own values and interests, rather than upon someone else's.
You begin to "own your own life." Isn't that REALLY the way it is meant to be ? Think about it. Should someone else dictate how you are to spend the majority of your time ? Whether or not you will be able to watch your child grow up, or attend to your elderly parent or grandparent ? Or just.. whether or not you are able to go to the beach or mountains or some other place.. whenever you wish to go.
Total Freedom and Control.. sounds good, doesn't it ? Let's explore this concept in future days and weeks.. please feel free to use the "comments" box to make suggestions and offer your own advice or expertise in this area. We'd love to hear from you !
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
You may remember an old 1977 hit by Johnny Paycheck called "Take This Job & Shove It". I don't know about standing the test of time, but I know that I remember hearing many a disgruntled employee or co-worker of mine mimicking the words to this song as they walked into work, or as they stood at the clock at 4:59, waiting for the last tick of the clock to punch out.
I know we've all speculated and mulled over our life choices before. There are many of you who love your jobs and wouldn't trade them for the world. But many, many others are in a routine rut, and worse yet, have settled into a mental rut of allowing themselves to stop dreaming and planning for something better for themselves. Many folks that I know are convinced that they neither have the skills and know-how, or the fortitude and will to get over the hump and go on to achieve their potential dreams or find any kind of meaningful lifestyle.
It is with this backdrop that I offer up this little site as a means and resource of information, tidbits, innovative or creative job and career ideas, and testimonies from people who are either searching for or have found their life's calling.
Some of you might want to check out the book that's offered on this page, Dan Miller's "Low or No Cost Business Ideas". (see above) I've been a subscriber to Dan's regular e-newsletter for several years, and found his insights on business and careers to be a fantastic wealth of knowledge. His expertise, experience and compassion for those of us who have not always found our niche has drawn me from the very beginning and kept me glued to him and his website. You can find it at www.48days.com. I'll be sharing some excerpts and links from 48 Days and other similar sites from time to time on this page.
THANKS for checking in, and we invite you to come back often. Hopefully this will be an extremely meaningful and resourceful site for many of you.