Every Job Matters

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

Further Reading:
There is Honour In Every Job
Breaking The Consciousness of Being A Cleaner
Am I In The Right Job?

1,049 thoughts on “Every Job Matters

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. ‘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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. Very beautiful Kehinde, what a great example of how each part serves to ensure the whole runs efficiently.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. “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.

  14. 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.

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. ‘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.

  17. 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.

  18. “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 truth is so needed in human life, to bring us back to our intrinsic value, of ourselves and of each other.

  19. With all the jobs you have done you have made a career of meeting people and inspiring them with the loving way you live.

  20. I was pondering on the phrase ” most of the jobs I have done found me, instead of me finding them” and what it meant for me, and I can say that for me there are a few angles to it. Firstly what comes to my mind is that in all the jobs I have had in life I have come to find me because in the activity of a job I brought my unique expression to it that is different from any ones else. Secondly, I have to agree that indeed Jobs have found me simply because of me being open for a new opportunity and never from searching for a job, as to my experience for me that has never worked.

  21. I was always surprised in being in a certain position at work that other people would admire me for but for me it was just a job I have to perform, and was not something I was striving for as needing to be in a certain position of prestige or of power.

  22. “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.” Well said we are never what we do, only who we are.

  23. My beliefs about work came from my parents and society. ” You need to get good job” “You need to be an engineer.” It was not about trusting myself that I knew what to do.
    Understanding that everything that we do is important, has helped me let go of those beliefs. It makes so much sense and it simplifies life if you just do your best with whatever is in front of you.

  24. If we can understand our quality of self worth and feel how delicious the connection is to it then we have everything we can ever need, as nothing we have in this material world can be compared to it.

  25. It is not what we do that matters but the way we do it – do we approach the all we have ‘to do’ with the all that we are, or do we reduce ourselves and thereby reduce that which we offer to others?

  26. These days I really enjoy my work. At the start of my working life I avoided people, especially myself and work was a huge drag I felt forced to do. These days I am far more connected with myself and enjoy my job with people as a 1:1 or 2:1 support worker. If I don’t then I know theres a part of myself I have withdrawn from.

    1. Leigh it’s such a beautiful and wise way to look at life and work, so often we feel it’s something outside of us we are withdrawing from or that has led us to not feel great, instead of realising that it is actually ourselves we have withdrawn from. If we bring ourselves in full to life whatever we do is not of such great consequence.

  27. Speaking as an employer, everyone in the business is important… each role supports others in the Company, and they all contribute to the whole. The admin / reception roles are so important in our business as it provides the backbone to so much of the clients experience of our services.

    1. With this philosophy, I would love to work for/with you Simon. Looking back over my working life there have been few employers with this attitude to their staff, but those few were always a joy to work for, and getting up and going to work was never an issue. For the whole of the business world to embrace this philosophy would no doubt see a massive turn around in so many areas of business, and of life.

  28. This really needs to be shouted from the roof tops – every job matters and has value, every person is intrinsic to the whole, we aren’t going to evolve as a few but rather as the whole, I look forward to the day when we actually live this teaching of equality.

  29. “I don’t change into a role or a function, I am just me, the same as I am at home.” Such wise words Mariette; a great reminder that it is all one life and how we are in one area of it affects all the other areas. I see so many take on a different persona for each part of their lives, a persona that is often at odds with who they truly are. A most exhausting and confusing way to live, whereas taking all of us to everything we do is so simple, so natural and everyone around us benefits

  30. What I feel reading this blog is life is about embracing all of us and what we learn and evolve together with and how in fact every little thing matters and often in the most surprising ways and that’s the magic of it.

    1. And for me I get the message ‘bring your all, all of the time’ which I am seeing and hearing a lot and seeing the benefits for others and myself when I give something my all.

      1. And sometimes when we live life in constant contraction and have made this our norm, ‘giving it our all’ becomes an abstract concept we cannot relate to due to the reductionism we have adopted in its place. Hence why we need the reflection of others ‘living their full package’ to be amongst us so that we do not hold back that which is already there within us (the Soul’s light) that is bursting to be expressed so we develop a new norm that is based on such fullness and not the diminished glow we have accepted in its place.

      2. I’m not sure that there’s such a thing as ‘our all’ because when we do give what we consider to be our all then in that moment our ‘all’ increases.

  31. Every job we do throughout the day is equal in importance to every other job and ought to be treated as such. Living in this way makes our day fun and light.

    1. I agree Elizabeth, then there are not begrudging thoughts or feeling like being forced to do something you don’t want to do. You just get on with it and it’s not an issue.

    2. Yeah Elizabeth I have been playing with this with house ‘work’ and valuing washing the floors for the lightness the activity brings as somehow I had made it an arduous task rather than the simple activity of cleaning. Life is infinitely more enjoyable when we completely commit.

  32. I have had many different jobs more so when I was very young, from running errands to shopping for my mum, working in a hotel kitchen preparing food, washing up, chambermaid, looking after other people’s children these jobs are extremely basic but from them I have built a solid foundation of work ethics that have held me steady and strong in everything I do.

  33. When we connect to all our co-workers no matter there position we are giving each other the opportunity to value and appreciate each part we play. This ripple effect doesn’t go unnoticed!

  34. I can relate to not having a career and being a woman of a certain age etc., and for me, I am becoming more aware, or at last allowing some honesty to feel how I have been hiding and justifying my lack of commitment by saying ‘It doesn’t matter what I do’ because it does in a way, not so much in the details of a job description, but there certainly is tension when I know how much potential is there but in reality I am not living up to that.

  35. It does not matter what job we do in the sense that we can always bring all who we are to it but it is important that we do what we have the potential for to do. In that way sometimes a job like receptionist can be holding back if we actually have the potential to work as a accountant for instance but don’t do it because there are things we find challenging in that job.

  36. Very beautiful Mariette and so true. We can be in what they would call a big job with lot of influence but what do we influence others with? Is it love or an energy that comes from being centred being in this position and just care for ourselves? We know the answer. So the job is not about what we do but how we love and move in our day and whole life that makes the difference.

  37. Whatever job we do if we make it about people first it changes our whole perception of what work is and it becomes so much more enjoyable. I know for me, working in the supermarket started as a job to get me back into being with humanity (I had withdrawn into making life and work about security and protection) but gradually over time I saw that it was so much more than a job, I was learning how to be with people knowing I was there to offer a service. Now I love my job, I have met so many wonderful people and can feel a strong sense of purpose each time I walk through the doors.

  38. I feel we do get identified by what we do, relearning to just be who I am no matter what I do and to bring all of me to all that I do has been a challenge as it has gone against the values I took on as a child. Bringing the focus back to just being me no matter what has made life actually very simple.

  39. When we are respectful of our spaces we set the standard of what is given to another. When we lower the standard or do not question how supportive this is to another we then begin the cycle of complacency.

  40. The roles we have in life are important. But even more important is that we allow ourselves to be ourselves first. Then it doesn’t matter what job we find ourselves doing because when we bring ourselves, everything matters.

  41. I agree Mariette we all bring something unique to any job we choose to do and knowing who we are and what we bring allows us to fully express ourselves with a quality in the way we hold and move ourselves building a true and steady foundation to all that we do and a reflection with everyone we interact with.

  42. “I always believed, and still do, that we are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something.” This is great wisdom to ponder on and claim where we work… I am about to finish at a job and this piece of Glory I will add to my Glory Box! So, what did I bring to my latest job for 10 months – I brought trust, a high work ethic, to show others especially my team that all our clients I treat equally. I also represented the dedication and commitment I have to always delivering a high standard of service and make it about people and connection before the task.

    1. “I always believed, and still do, that we are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something“. We are the two way communication of God. We are constantly receiving messages from the Universe and also constantly sending them out.

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