Has anyone ever said this to you?

It’s not a nice thing to say. After all, isn’t it possible that we all define that phrase a little differently? What is a Real Job anyway?

Definition of job [https://www.merriam-webster.com]

a: a regular remunerative (paid) position

b: a specific duty, role, or function

c: something that has to be done

d: an undertaking requiring unusual exertion

So why would someone say that? What are they really saying?

If you are a paid full-time worker in Corporate America, you would be viewed as having a Real Job. You go to the office, you work, you collect a pay check and (hopefully) have some benefits. This is a relatively safe path that allows us to fund our lives and support our families. (See my blog post on Job Security: https://colibriblue.com/sharing-insights/job-security/)

As a small business owner you too would most likely be viewed as having a Real Job. It’s not too far off from Corporate business in public perception. You have some type of public presence, you sell a service or product, you have clients. You work hard!

As a freelancer, entrepreneur or self-employed individual, the perception is different. You might be seen as not busy, avoiding ‘real work’, playing. The concept of flexibility, which is fully supported by freelancing by the way, is not one that has been fully embraced by society in general. Unfortunately, that means that you may be the only one who knows just how hard you really are working!

Even worse… if that is the perception of freelancers, what in the world must the perception be of stay-at-home-parents and Volunteer workers? They don’t get paid, they typically don’t have traditional benefits, and they may not even have a formal schedule. Are they not working hard too?

As someone who stepped away from traditional corporate employment this past January, I have struggled against my own deep-seated thoughts. Am I crazy to take a risk like this? Should I start searching for yet another “Real Job”? How do I ensure I’m not creating an unfair financial situation for my family? However, I’ve learned a few key things along this journey…

  • You work even harder when you are on your own, because you don’t have the security of a “guaranteed” pay check.

  • You are always considering new and inventive sources of paid work.

  • You work around the clock. (This happens more often in Corporate America too — more on that later!)

  • Our jobs are defined by our risk tolerance and personal motivation.

  • Your family will flourish when you are fulfilled by what you do.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”

Maya Angelou

So… how do you define your work? Do YOU have a “Real Job”?

Join the Conversation!

Tell the world a little more about what you do and how you define Real Job. Be sure to include #myrealjob in your social media post.