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?

913 thoughts on “Every Job Matters

  1. Hi Mariette, just reading your words this morning reconnected me to the awesome ‘can do’ enthusiasm we can bring to any situation, person or job. Why make it a big struggle and stress when you can jump in and just say a huge ‘YES’?

  2. What you present here should be part of any school curriculum. Understanding that life is not about achievement but always bringing ones fullness to everything we do and thus learning how do be in this world without bending and conforming oneself into something one is not.

    1. Well said Esther and I agree. To be ourselves and nothing less can be challenging in a world that has been set up to champion the ‘less’ as if it were somehow ‘more’.

      1. I agree that it can be challenging in this world to “be ourselves and nothing less” but really it should be the other way around ie challenging to be anyone other than ourselves because that must be much harder than to be who we naturally and genuinely are but somehow most of us manage that. There you are Liane I managed a long sentence without a comma another achievement and a much easier one 😉

  3. Hi Mariette, thank you for sharing your wisdom and ‘we are not what we do’ I totally agree. Understanding the diversity of colleagues and seeing the qualities each offers is a great way to build a team and support one another in those things which are not so easy for us. Each member bringing a part of the puzzle to play.

  4. Love this blog Mariette and what you present here. Every job is important – we cannot hold a cleaner any less than the CEO of a company for each have essential roles to play and have a big impact on the company and its clients. And when we let go of being identified by the job we do we free ourselves up to truly value what we can bring from our essence and don’t limit ourselves to a job title or description.

  5. ‘I come to work as Mariette, and I leave my work as Mariette.’ It is super important to not lose ourselves during a working day. It is about bringing our fullness, our light and to leave in the same quality to go where ever we go.

  6. It feels wonderful when we drop the identification with a job role and embrace ourselves for who we are first. It is then possible to appreciate any job, as the title that comes with it does not matter.

  7. Your love for people, being with people and connecting with people shines through Mariette, and you do bring your own flavour and style as we all do and that is what makes life interesting, especially when we work and pull together so we all feel valued and respected. And I totally agree and love this little gem of wisdom: ‘ that we are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something’.

  8. No matter what job we find ourselves in, we are there for a reason for there is never any co-incidence where we end up and the people we work with. If we stay open, what we are there to receive and/or learn can greatly support us and prepare us for what is coming next in our life, for everything counts.

  9. Not having a picture of what job I want to be in as a child, I didn’t carry this picture after I graduated from University. I just did what I felt I would like to do and until today I find that all the different work that I contribute to are very different in nature, but they all make sense.

  10. The part about not having a career or ‘climbing the ladder’ I can feel that I have adopted this belief as I can feel the lack of appreciation for what I bring to the working world (as I love to be at work, with people) has been chipped away at by this ‘you’ve never been promoted so you can’t be that good’ – even just typing that now feel horrible and yet I have had this running in the background for a very long time. It feels cool to start to remove myself from this belief. Thank you Mariette.

  11. According more importance to one job over another can easily lead to comparison and envy, even jealousy; the truth of the matter is that every task and every job is just as important as any other – we all contribute to the whole that is humanity and this world of ours.

  12. ‘I come to work as Mariette, and I leave my work as Mariette.’ I love this quote Mariette and I am sure most people think they come and go as themselves but very often we loose ourselves in a role, or are in a rush without considering we have a human body, so where are we then? And indeed it doesn’t matter if you are there on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, it is just about being you!

  13. My work contract ended on Friday and I have woken up a bit discombobulated about work/self-worth this Monday morning, so to be reminded of this today – “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.”, is very welcome and empowering. Thank you.

  14. It’s taken a long time for me to receive this but I am starting to see in my work that there’s no deadline that is more important, no project that ranks higher, no deliverable that’s more significant, than the quality I choose to be. It’s this in everything that determines what’s next, this that supports others to choose truth, and ultimately its what it truly means to be me. Thank you Mariette – your words overflow with a zest for life and a true thirst for work – great job!

  15. Yes Mariette, every job and thing we do equally deserves Love – that is the truth. There is no part we can ignore, turn our back on, or do half-heartedly. If we understand that everything is one, a literally made up of the same matter – how can one thing be more important? It cannot. Isn’t it more realistically a case that there are some things we like to prefer? Letting this bias govern us is letting lies govern our life.

  16. I so agree Mariette, “that every job matters”, but what matters more than anything is the energy that we bring to the job we are currently employed to do. I have a work history as diverse as yours and often when I look back over what I have done I really surprise myself. The current job is a great example; I am preparing orchids ready for export. A very simple, exacting and repetitive job but I get to be with many lovely people and thousands of beautiful orchids that are daily making their way to many different parts of the world. It is a short-term job but I am taking all of me to it every day and leaving at the end of the day with all of me as well. Right now this is the job that matters and the next one I know is not far away.

    1. Loved your sharing Ingrid, how beautiful to work with thousands of orchids and be a part of the process of shipping them to different parts of the world, and your presence that you bring to work will be felt by everyone not only at work but by those who end with the orchids!

  17. Every job as every life, has the potential of being lived in full or not, The job is a remunerated opportunity of offering ourselves to the world. How we work is just a reflection of how we live.

  18. When we foster our inner world and feel the beauty of this connection – it actually doesn’t matter what we do as we can bring that inner grace to all aspects of life.

  19. ‘We are all needed somewhere to bring something and to receive something’, so very true. So wherever we find ourselves job wise that is where we are meant to be, and there is always a two way flow of giving and receiving. There is always more learning especially to share and express more love.

  20. Our number one job is simply to be our true authentic selves to the best of our ability and apply this in everything we do. Put simply – we are here to infuse all that we do with the All that we are.

  21. Every job is indeed just as important. That does not mean we should hold back expanding ourselves in work as well, when we could be a manager we should aim for that, when we could be an excellent It specialist we should go that because we also have talents which we can use.

  22. When we connect to what we can bring, and give our focus to that, even the more mundane parts of our jobs start to feel not just bearable but actually enjoyable. Treating every part of our job, every job we have in life, with equal value and importance, makes it more fulfilling, and the whole experience more enriching and expanded.

  23. I think what you share here is really important – about not identifying with what we do but bringing our focus to the quality that we bring in all that we do and how appreciating who we are and that we don’t need to be validated by a certain job description helps us to not need recognition back from it.

  24. Likewise, I can look back at all the weird and wonderful jobs I’ve had along the way and I’ve both enjoyed all of them (from dairy farmer, florist, washing up, pub staff, labourer, market researcher….) they have all taught me things in one way and another not least the value of hard work.

  25. ‘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’. For a long time I have got this back to front making it all about the task instead of connection!

  26. There seems to be this pressure on children, in fact, everyone to have an image of what they want to do and who they want to be in future – and we often call that being ambitious, or having a dream. My mother recently reminded me how I used to say ‘Wouldn’t that be great if we can live to the end with a smile on our face?’ and I guess I struggled for many years wondering what would bring me a life like that – whether that would be money, marriage, a well-paid job, a societal position, fame etc. Maybe it is ok not knowing what to do with life in details, maybe life is simply about upholding and confirming a quality that truly nurtures us and expanding it as we express it through what we do.

  27. Yes, its not the job that gives us our self worth, however if that is the case, then our self worth would plummet if we lost that job and became unemployed. Starting from a foundation that we as individuals matter and that we all matter, means that no job is more important than another. Super blog Mariette.

  28. Today I stopped to appreciate the job of the gardener at the company I work for. Often a very quiet and shy natured man but what he offers in his support for the grounds has far reaching effects for all of us as we sit on benches and enjoy the beautifully landscaped scenes. A gift to us and of equal importance of what we all bring.

  29. With age and hindsight, I can now see that every job does matter and appreciate why I was there and what I learnt that now supports the work I do. I don’t know that our young people understand that (as I didn’t) and I suspect that is partly due to the role models they see in the adults around them. Most people don’t love their jobs or fully commit to their work and dream of retirement or holidays. There is also a hierarchy in people’s minds of the importance of certain jobs, which undervalues all jobs as being equally important.

  30. I was recently offered a temporary job at an organisation where I have worked before, this time managing a donations line. I accepted as I love to work and like you I know that ‘every job matters’ but the thought of sitting at a desk for many hours wasn’t all that appealing. But three weeks into the job I am loving it, simply because I have the opportunity to connect with so many people during my day. I don’t see their faces and I will most likely never get to meet them but in the short moment in time that I am talking to them we are connected, in a relationship, and if they have to ring back I can feel the foundation that was built in that first call when I had taken the time to be with them with all of me. I have now applied for the permanent role!

  31. This blog came to mind when I was watching the gardener at my work place yesterday morning. The detail and care he took in maintaining the lawn area was a marker of how much pride he has in his work. A great support for those who spend their lunch break sitting in the sun on this patch of grass.

  32. Mariette your blog is all that I have gone through and still are in accepting that I am enough no matter what job I do. Learning that it is our quality that needs to be appreciated not our career. Seeing how all jobs are equal and all need people to do them. I always see it the same as the food chain, all are just as important for the next to function, so none can truly be less because every animal needs the other animal to survive. When we look at all jobs as equal we see the beautiful brotherhood that is on offer and appreciate all jobs for being just where they need to be, no more, no less, just needed. When it’s looked at like this we can take the job title out of the equation and see people first.

  33. I am going to be moving again in a few weeks, and at the moment I have not a job lined up, although I have been applying for jobs in the new area. But the most important question is; Where am I needed? And from this question, I trust I will find where I am supposed to be and have no pictures or beliefs about an ‘ideal job’.

  34. Identification and recognition are the false pillars of the way we approach jobs nowadays, not only is this a lie but it’s also an excuse to rely on patterns and behaviours that are dishonouring of our truth. For when we know who we are and appreciate what we bring, we know that it’s our quality that matters and not the doing in life.

  35. You could say I have had many jobs and also loved them all, however I really always only have one job and that is to do whatever is needed. It is an ever changing, ever expanding and ever fun rewarding job which I am fully qualified for.

  36. It is all about the quality we bring in what we do, in how we move. This flow through our body can bring us and all around us joy. For that it doesn’t matter what we do.

  37. Thank you Mariette, because we have such strong pictures of work and what’s valuable and what’s not, we may miss the purpose for us being in the work we have, even though it doesn’t fit our picture or expectation.

  38. We all have a life purpose , that purpose is to be who we are in full , to be full of ourselves in all that we do and all that we are , truly that is our ” job “

  39. Living in constant appreciation of who we are is the key for it is then that we understand that everything that we do leaves an imprint that is felt by another to be inspired to be more of who they truly are, so there is nothing too small or insignificant when done from an open heart.

  40. “Work is something I do, it is not who I am.” This is key. So many of us describe ourselves by the job we do, which isn’t who we are. The work situation is just one aspect of our life. albeit an important one

  41. Thank you Mariette this has reminded me to pay equal importance to every task I have to do in the day, to bring all of me to even the jobs I shy away from because I think they will be too difficult. It also reminds me to play and move my body, sing and dance for this lightens the load so to speak and allows a greater flow in my body and a connection to my body intelligence.

  42. It is great that you have always been clear about what was important for yourself, ‘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!’

  43. “Every Job Matters” i often wonder why people don’t appreciate their roles but then have to ask myself do I appreciate that every single job I do matters, not because of the job but because of the quality I can bring to that job.. intersting one for me to ponder and test out with my day.

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