Every Job Has Value & Fulfillment No Matter What it Is.
It all Depends on Your Point of View!
Years ago, I had a break in military service to go to college. While I was in school, I got a job as a janitor for the VA Hospital. It was the perfect job for me! The hours worked great for school, the pay was excellent, I was around great people (patients and co-workers), and best of all, I loved keeping things clean and ‘dress-right-dress’ for the hospital and the people we served.
Not the most glamorous job, yet I loved it and even earned Top Janitor of the Year!
So, what about you?
Ever feel like you don’t like your job?
Not enough pay?
You are not appreciated?
It’s not fulfilling?
Not sure what the future holds?
Management not the best?
Boring, mundane, even meaningless work?
Just want something better?
What I would like to share with you from personal experience as well as from helping others, is that we are in complete control of our destiny and no matter what we are doing, we can tweak our point of view, we can appreciate our position for what it provides today and ultimately what it can bring to our future!
Anything we do has some kind of affect and we certainly control how it affects us, our emotions and our destiny. Good news, isn’t it?
A few things to consider…
You can view your position as a stepping stone, a placeholder for your needs as you prepare for the next career move.
You can actively affect changes in the job, self-improvement for the job, and as I said before, just appreciate what you have now and make each day a great one for yourself and those you serve.
It’s really quite simple.
View your life and career as a servant: make things better for someone else with what you do!
A man I met in the sleepy beach town of Half Moon Bay, California.
Now, over the years I have had wonderful neighbors, and one in particular was my good friend next door, Raul. This is a man I came to learn was genuinely happy, humble, a grateful immigrant, a father, a grandfather, a husband, and…a career Trash Truck Driver!
The day I arrived with a moving truck and my two boys, Raul came right over and introduced himself as well as offering to help with the move. I appreciatively told him thank you, that it’s good for my boys to do a lot of the work, and we are OK. Guess what? Raul helped anyway. This was his way I learned: a very quiet, smiling and giving man.
It didn’t take long for us to become fast friends. I think of the days when I got home about the same time as Raul and we would wind the day down together chatting on his porch or mine over tequila and little tasty snacks made by his wife. We talked about everything.
His story is amazing and a real learning experience about attitude, gratitude and what real wealth is for a person. And, another example of how one views their work, job, or career in a positive manner.
How I came to know more about Raul and how he viewed his career came from a question: why did Raul place an envelope on top of one of his trash bins every week on trash pick-up day? He told me that in that envelope was a tip for the trash collectors.
He said: “I appreciate what they do as all of us should. It isn’t easy work and is so necessary for the community. Remember those days when we went on strike?”
Then he shared with me that he was a Trash Truck driver and started with this local sanitation company in the ‘60s when he got to America.
It was hard for Raul in the beginning trying to get work outside the farm fields. He was very handy working on homes so he started working as a handyman in the area on the weekends. He worked the fields initially during the week.
He did great work as a Handyman always overdelivering for his customers. One such happy recurring customer was a very wealthy man in the community who developed a liking for this young skilled and hard worker. He learned that Raul wanted out of the fields so he got him an interview to work for the sanitation company and also an opportunity to buy his first home which was a rental Raul worked on for the client.
The house right next to mine was Raul’s. It was originally a 3 bedroom and 1 bathroom rancher. It is now a two story with 3 bathrooms and 4 bedrooms including a den. He also built a studio apartment in the back for guests.
Now this home was offered to Raul as a fixer, seller financed and for only $25k which was reasonable in those days. By the way, we were only 3 blocks from the beach! This wealthy man obviously liked Raul a lot.
Today, the house is paid off and there’s more to this story from Raul’s benefactor. This wealthy man had significant properties all over Half Moon Bay. Quite a bit was right on the beaches.
Raul was asked to cleanup and maintain these properties along the beaches. Some areas were becoming dumps by disrespectful people getting rid of junk. Raul told me he used to hire people and trucks to get the job done in the beginning. He got all these acres of land cleaned-up in record time!
Raul did such a great job that the wealthy man gifted or sold for services to Raul, 3 acres of this beachfront property. Wow, that was quite something although at the time Raul did not realize what a gift it was.
Today, I believe it's worth a few million!
Raul continued to work for the sanitation company, kept the beachfront properties maintained and also continued doing home handyman work on the weekends. He was able to really provide for his family and also support his parents in Mexico.
Raul was happy. He worked hard, saved and invested money and was able to by a small ranch in Mexico for his parents to live on, to build a 2-bedroom home and stables for two horses on the beachfront property, and continued to watch his investments grow.
Raul was a 'Vaquero' on horseback each year at the 4th of July Parade!
One day, Raul invited me to a barbeque at his beachfront property. What a great time it was meeting his entire family and many of his friends. Great food, singing and dancing. All these people seemed happy and were certainly friendly. It was a wonderful time. Raul did most of the cooking too!
I saw these two gorgeous horses that looked familiar to me in the stable.
I asked Raul about the horses and he told me that they look familiar possibly because he and his brother rode these horses at the parades in Half Moon Bay, especially the big parade on 4th of July. I remembered them on these beautiful horses and dressed like handsome Mexican Cowboys.
I left Half Moon Bay in 2012. It was a bittersweet move as I would miss our conversations and time together.
The greatest lessons I learned from Raul…
Pride in oneself whatever the occupation.
Raul reaffirmed my belief in the concept of Karma (your good energy brings back good energy, your negative energy brings back negative energy).
Your decisions determine where you are in life and that you can change your circumstances with the right attitude.
Every Job Has Value and Fulfillment.
SGM Special Forces-Ranger (Ret)
Executive Business Leadership (Ret)