Country music star Kenny Chesney has a new song and video — “Shift Work.” This is one more of the thousands of songs that have parodied the misery of having to go to work every day. I know there are some jobs out there that just seem monotonous and boring, but the thing that continuously amazes me is how people claim to be trapped. As I look around I see work opportunities everywhere – and the opportunity for each of us to choose what we want to do. Yes I know the tendency is to get the cart before the horse – to look for where they are hiring or where you can get a paycheck – before determining what work really “fits” you and what you would enjoy. But if you agree to take a job when you know what’s involved, then what sense does it make to bellyache and complain about it?
Last week on a radio show I had a caller who works for the Chicago utility company. He talked about how he loves going out to fix someone’s broken water line when it’s zero degrees outside. He knows they appreciate it and he loves having the opportunity to be of service. Now that’s not a job I’d take in a million years but it goes to show how individualized we can be in finding meaningful and fulfilling work. Chapter Six of No More Mondays is titled “Secure” or “Imprisoned?” In that section I caution against the trap of looking for security instead of opportunity.
Years ago Henry David Thoreau said this: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Incidentally, the Chesney video is really cool — typical Chesney Caribean steel drum allure and the obvious appeal for a life beyond a boring “shift work” job.