It’s easy for people to say that after a certain age, you should have a job and career goals. And whoever says that would be correct. But you can’t just go through the motions. Having a job is a way of getting involved in something much bigger than yourself. So what exactly does a job/career do for you?
It makes you money.
Well, duh. And to be honest, I wasn’t going to include this as part of the list. But let’s be clear here. Nothing is free in this world. And a job will ensure that you will always have money to pay for the things you need and want.
But let’s think about this on a broader scale. What long-term actions can you accomplish with your income? The sooner you get a job, the sooner you can start preparing for the future. Things like 401Ks, savings accounts and trust funds can set you up for an abundant life…not just for you, but for your kids and your kids’ kids, too.
It inspires you.
When you set goals for yourself, it gives you something to keep reaching for. That constant perseverance is going to keep you motivated. Every step you take will only breed new determination. It’s said that most of your inspiration is done outside of work, but it is because the work you do every day forces you to think outside of the box. By spending most of your time in the workplace, you have a bigger desire to move away from your comfort zone.
It taps into human instinct.
Humans have natural instincts, which are inborn or genetically hard-wired behaviors that allow us to cope/survive in our environments. Some of our instincts include belonging/validation, curiosity, “tribe” loyalty (i.e. being a part of a group similar to yourself) and love.
When you work, you’re constantly learning. You begin to learn more about the world and most importantly, more about yourself. Working is a good way to quench that curiosity bug that’s always biting away at us. Not to mention, having a job helps you feel like you’re a part of something. That sense of belonging makes you feel special. And working is a way that many people validate their capabilities and self-worth. It might not be the best way, but it is what it is.
It teaches you discipline.
Whether you want to believe it or not, humans do really well with structure. When there is a system in place — rules, regulations, expectations, deadlines, etc. — we begin to understand what it means to follow that system or to go against it. Learning that code of behavior and implementing it is called discipline. If we want to hold on to our jobs, we follow the code. Simple.
On the other hand, understanding what it means to “follow a rule” or “break a rule” also gives us better insight into who we are as individuals. It helps us determine which parts of life are most important to us and why we make the decisions we make. After a while, we continue to follow this doctrine because it is what’s most comfortable to us. This later becomes the starting point for our values — how we live our lives.
It gives you purpose.
A lot of people find their life’s purpose through the work that they do every day. Think about it: the role you play at your job is an essential part to keeping your company running smoothly for another day. What you contribute to the job has purpose.
Having a job is also a good way to figure out what gives your life meaning. Some people enjoy getting up every day and going to work because they feel like they’re contributing something big to the world. If you don’t get that feeling at work, then now is the time to figure out what will give you that feeling. Use your current situation as a guide for your professional future.
It provides your successors with a head start.
Have you ever heard anyone say “I want my kids to have more than I did growing up”? This is because they understand the importance of getting their kids off to the right start. When you do better, the ones who follow you will do better. Why not start by having a career that you could be proud of? In return, the ones who look up to you will see that they, too, can have a career that they are happy with. And the cycle will continue.
*Note: Your successors do not necessarily have to be your children. They could be little siblings, nieces/nephews, younger cousins, people you mentor, etc.
It may seem like we’re only here to work, retire then die. But there’s so much more at stake. Your career goals are more than just a nice paycheck; they’re a catalyst for your inevitable success, as well as the success of the generations that follow.
Are there any other points that you’d like to add to this list? Leave them in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading! 🙂