I have had many jobs in my life and I have to say: I loved all of them. When I was young, I did not have this clear picture of what I wanted to be, as for me this felt awkward. What is there to be?
If I was asked the question by adults, I would answer with ‘a mother’, but this was more from a feeling that I needed to reply than that it was coming from truth.
I have never been the career type either, planning my future and needing a specific function within a company. For me, most importantly, working had to be about people: being with people and working with and for people. Everything extra was extra. And it had to be fun!
The beauty is, most of the jobs I have done found me, instead of me finding them. I always believed, and still do, that we are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something. There is a reason why we are where we are and from all of my jobs I have learned a lot, mostly about myself, but also about people and how to be and interact with one another.
I worked as a PR manager, I worked in a children’s day care center, I have made toasties in the smallest yet most popular Toasty place in Amsterdam, I have worked as a secretary, as a Management assistant in a bank and as a receptionist in a law firm. I have made breakfasts in a hotel, worked as a waitress at a lunch place, worked as a mentor with children who could not live at home, and for the past year I have worked as a receptionist in two different companies: a bank and an IT company.
When I applied for this job I was of the assumption, however, that it would be for a short time. Somehow a belief had come to the surface that this job was not ‘good enough’, that I was wasting my talents and that I could do much better.
Even though I could feel I was needed in these two companies, my mind was playing games with me. I started to compare my situation with people around me, with those who had jobs that I thought were more important, more busy, received more recognition and earned a lot more money. This has taken some time to let go of and at times I still compare.
The picture of what a working life has to look like, being a 43-year-old woman without a career, is heavily ingrained. Not only within me, but within society. We live in a world where having a career or having a certain job is seen as important, but also that some jobs are better than others.
We get identified with what we do, instead of just being who we are, and bring that to work, regardless of what kind of work. Working as a receptionist has taught me a lot, and still does. First of all, I don’t feel I am the receptionist, it is just a job I am doing. I come to work as Mariette, and I leave my work as Mariette.
I don’t change into a role or a function, I am just me, the same as I am at home. Secondly, I know deep down that every job matters and is equally important.
I am just as important as my manager, my HR colleague, the staff in the kitchen, the cleaner, the postman and the IT specialist. We are all needed and we all bring something unique. Thirdly, my sense of worth does not depend on what job I do. I am not worth more because of the job title I have.
My self-worth comes from within and how I feel about myself. My worth has to do with the relationship I have with myself, how I treat myself and has to do with who I am, not with what I do.
Working as a receptionist gives me the space to meet a lot of people, to connect and to talk about life and everything that has to do with it. For me it is not so much about the tasks I have to do, but far more about the connection I have with the people around me.
I bring my flavour, and my fellow receptionist colleagues bring their flavour to the job. Together we form an awesome team. Every single one of my colleagues is great at certain aspects of the job, and so am I (and with certain things I am not so great and that is fine too). I love going to work, and Mondays and Fridays are exactly the same.
Today, I have fully embraced working as a receptionist and the beauty is, I just have to bring me. Work is something I do, it is not who I am.
Every job matters. Not because of the job, but because we ALL matter, regardless of what we do. We are ALL of value and an equal part in the puzzle called life.
Deeply inspired by Universal Medicine and all those wonderful people that I meet every single day.
By Mariette Reineke, receptionist, Self-Care consultant, practitioner, PR manager, Amsterdam/Holland
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1,032 thoughts on “Every Job Matters”
I can so relate to this sentence. ‘I have never been the career type either, planning my future and needing a specific function within a company’. I have had many ‘jobs’ too as from very young we all had jobs to do in order to earn our pocket money we were given a variety of jobs to do which expanded as we got older and became more responsible. What has caught my interest though is the word ‘mundane’ and is it possible that we are all living a ‘mundane’ life because there is little to no real richness in what we are doing? That we are just in the doing? For example I have come to the realisation I am living a very mundane life not in the appreciation of all that is on offer because I’m lacking full and true intimacy with God. If the richness of God is not in my every movement then life has to be mundane.
It was great to read this article again, and this statement stood out to me today, “every job matters. Not because of the job, but because we ALL matter, regardless of what we do. We are ALL of value and an equal part in the puzzle called life”. This is a confirmation that EVERY job matters. As everyone one of us play a pivotal role in our positions in employment.
I love how if we all enjoyed our jobs, no matter where in the temporal hierarchical world we were situated, there would be no bullying, no disgruntle-ness, no arguments etc because the appreciation would be so magnificent, that we wouldn’t allow interference to come in.
Could such harmony exist? Yes, it’s always on offer. It’s us that gets in the way…
Mariette it is so beautiful to read this sharing, it’s something the whole world should read. It is so true, ‘every job matters’. But the pinnacle for me was this statement, ‘and the beauty is, I just have to bring me. Work is something I do, it is not who I am’. I’m learning this in a role I’m currently in, all I need to do is bring me and this gives permission for others to be themselves too, if they so chose to do so.
And in that the job is the job, there is no status or identification, it is something that is needed.
The funny part is this is no different to an ant colony. Every ant has a role, a purpose and they get on in their merry way. No ant is bigger, smaller, prestigious than another. They just continue with their lives too, humans are no different. It is the being that is asked to come forward more and more…
It’s the human that gets in the way. The spirit that resides in a human that have tantrums and continually sabotages us to be well away from our divine Soul. It is that simple, often rejected yet it is always there when we are ready.
The foundation of every job and task we undertake is to be who we are.
“Every job matters. Not because of the job, but because we ALL matter, regardless of what we do. We are ALL of value and an equal part in the puzzle called life.” – just like no person is more important than another, no job is more important than another. For example, to have a leader or manager is just as important as having a cleaner – though more often than not we seem to value more the former, and yet if all cleaners were to leave to become managers we would be in big trouble as there would be no one to clean… A healthy and balanced society does not value one person in a job over another but instead appreciates all that a person can bring to each role.
Henrietta I totally agree with your comment. Where I used to work, I appreciated the cleaners, but there was one that stood out for me the most. For when she was on holiday and there was a replacement, the ward felt different. For me it was joy full when she returned, she cleaned in places others wouldn’t think about – so much different in what energy she left the ward in. And guess what? She would return the following day to repeat the cycle all over again and yet her standards never dropped – amazing role model and that is a cleaner!…No problem to me, she’s just as important a team member as anyone else.
Mariette, a few more pearls of Gold that you share here:
“Work is something I do, it is not who I am.” – this is a the key, to not lose yourself in what you do but always know who you are first and living from that. The who we are is all about simply returning to the same essence we were born with and has never left us but seems to be forgotten as we grow older and take on roles in layers.
Every person is like a piece of a jigsaw puzzle with not one piece more important than another – if any one of these pieces is missing at the end it affects the whole puzzle. No different to every role in society that needs to be filled by someone.
Mariette – great blog highlighting some of the things around getting jobs and I particularly find this sentence key: “We get identified with what we do, instead of just being who we are, and bring that to work, regardless of what kind of work.” – there is a constant sizing up of a person, an endless way of pressuring someone in terms of what they do rather than appreciating who they are.
Absolutely, our worth comes from inside, how much we cherish, adore, and love ourselves, knowing we are all amazing just as we are, ‘My self-worth comes from within and how I feel about myself. My worth has to do with the relationship I have with myself, how I treat myself and has to do with who I am, not with what I do.’
Having been a Jack-of-all-trades and master of none, I can feel that the judgement I used to carry about others was very belittling and was never serving any one and it is time to relinquish such thoughts.
Mariette I have had lots of jobs and on the whole have enjoyed them all. But the realisation I have come to recently is that I am responsible for my every action because how I am affects everyone as we are all connected, so I have no right to have an off day because my off day affects the whole. As you correctly say we are all an equal part of the universe everything we do matters and we all matter always.
I love the title to this article. It reminds and inspires me to have no airs or entitlement in my work; that I am simply there to deliver, reflect and offer all that I possibly can; an essential part of a big picture that I do not have all the details about.
Thank you Mariette, so lovely to read this again, it’s a beautiful study in equality, just being ourselves and appreciating what we all bring to life without comparison or rank coming in around beliefs attached to specific jobs. I have worked in reception before and felt how important the role is as the first point of contact, and also in the amount of people I was connecting with every day. Each job has different conditions which offer the potential to evolve and serve humanity in different ways.
Just being ourselves, and appreciating what we bring to life is enough, ‘We get identified with what we do, instead of just being who we are, and bring that to work, regardless of what kind of work.’
‘that we are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something.’ I love this and often reflect on what I’ve brought to the job but also what it’s asked me to learn. I can see such evolution through my working life with each job teaching me invaluable skills and understandings – and not all obvious.
Thats great to reflect on what we have brought to the job, and what we have been asked to bring and learn.
I spent so many years striving to be something, someone in order to be of ‘worth’ and now understanding that “My self-worth comes from within and how I feel about myself” has changed the very foundation of how I live.
Mariette, I love the fact that you are not competing with the other receptionist and can feel that everyone brings their flavour to the workplace and the work.
We all have much to offer, and that is unique to each of us, together we bring so much more, ‘I bring my flavour, and my fellow receptionist colleagues bring their flavour to the job. Together we form an awesome team.’
I agree with you Mariette for me it is the people that matter connecting to and being with them. And I have a position that allows me to meet many people from all walks of life all over the world. How amazing is that.
We are all worth so much more than a pay packet.
When we bring ourselves in full to work then it does not matter what job we do.
It does feel like that and there is never an end to the work we need to do any ways.
This is a beautiful and important point to highlight Mariette – ‘My worth has to do with the relationship I have with myself, how I treat myself and has to do with who I am, not with what I do.’ We cannot wait for the perfect job to complete us, we are all ready everything as we take this quality to everything we do.
Many people feel buffered and bolstered by their job title, in exactly the same way that some people feel buffered and bolstered by their partners good looks, the sporting achievements of their kids, the power of their motorbikes or their hair. The list of the things that we lean on for identity is endless.
I used to work as a receptionist in a community law centre and know what it takes to do this job well, especially when people are distressed, angry or anxious for reasons related to housing, immigration, education or criminal offences. It was important how I related to clients in the few moments I had with them before referring them on and each one had very specific needs. A role I loved and learned a lot from.
Beautifully described Kehinde. An insight into the way we touch each other’s lives in everything we do. And often in only a moment.
I’ve always valued administrators for the order they bring to organisations, often working in the background, putting systems in place and supporting whole teams, they are foundational to business success. Receptionists the front of house and first people we meet are positioned to welcome, listen, give information and guide people to where they need to be. When we enjoy our work and understand its purpose, we give so much more to the people we work with and meet.
Very beautiful Kehinde, what a great example of how each part serves to ensure the whole runs efficiently.
It was a new start to re-train as a carer in my sixties, a role I hadn’t imagined I’d be doing almost full-time and had no idea what it would be like to care for elders in their own homes. Now, it feels like a role I was born to do and value it equally to my other roles in the corporate world. Both involve working with people and this is what I love to do.
It feels like you now have settlement in your body: All roles are of equal value and comparisons with other people and what they do can leave us feeling less. When we embrace what we do and find purpose within the role brings enjoyment to work.
It is not the role that’s important, it’s what we bring to it.
“Every job matters. Not because of the job, but because we ALL matter, regardless of what we do. We are ALL of value and an equal part in the puzzle called life.” So true. I have been travelling recently and visited 3 airports this week. There was a cleaner in every washroom I visited and I appreciated every one. Without them the washrooms would be unclean and unhealthy. They were surprised by my appreciation. It would seem their presence is often ignored.
I have been reading about power for my studies, and what you have shared about your self-worth reminds me of it. Not needing the job to bring self-worth and knowing your value from within is like the ‘power-within model’. This is very different from ‘power-over’ (needing to be more than others) and deeper/more solid than the ‘power-with’ model (sharing power with others). Having power-within means you know everyone is equally powerful and plays an equally important role.
What a beautiful study to be embarking on Fiona, everything you have shared here is so interesting, be great to get a blog or article from you to explore this more – a great topic, thank you.
The ability to be fully content, settled and steady in yourself in no matter what job you’re in is such an important part of life, it’s part of knowing that where ever you are and whatever you do you have something incredibly important to contribute.
I so agree Meg. Life throws us many challenges and learning to accept and grow from these opportunities can make a huge difference to our quality of life.
‘There is a reason why we are where we are and from all of my jobs I have learned a lot, mostly about myself, but also about people and how to be and interact with one another’. Yes indeed the world of work is a playground of learning, learning about oneself and how to interact, communicate and work with others for the greater good.
Just like you Mariette I have come to know that, “My self-worth comes from within and how I feel about myself”, and it is this quality that I take to every single job I do and to everyone I meet. From cleaning someone’s toilet to caring for vulnerable children, from finding someone their forever home to a temporary receptionist at our local hospice, all of these diverse jobs have offered me so many opportunities to share all of me with those I work with; yes. ‘every job matters’, as does every single person.
Beautifully said Ingrid – valuing our selves and knowing our own self worth is a key and foundational quality to have to live in this world. And this is not a mental thing where we say a few mantras to value ourselves, but rather a body felt experience when we connect deeply to who we are and come from here.