What I’ve Learned About My Work & My Life - Part 1


First and foremost, you have to keep it all in its proper perspective.  My job is not my life.  My job is simply the way I choose to finance my life.  My life outside of my job is what is most important.  I feel very strongly about this and here is why.


I work as a patient care coordinator for a large corporation that provides home oxygen services for veterans.  I enjoy what I do and find the work challenging and very rewarding.  While I am considered a frontline health care worker I am fortunate that I’m secluded in my cubicle most of the time.  My physical interaction is mostly with service technicians and delivery drivers and rarely with the patients themselves.  Mostly my professional and patient interaction is done via the phone and computer.  For that reason my risk during this pandemic has been fairly low.  I’m probably more at risk going to the grocery store than I am by going to work.


One might think, especially during a pandemic, that my job is secure and I’m very important overall and that is true up to a point.  The one thing to always remember is that everyone is replaceable.  Everyone.  And if you are of the mindset that you are invaluable and your employers couldn’t live without you, think again.  They can and they will.  Because everyone is replaceable.


I know this from my own experience as a recovering workaholic.  I used to always go the extra mile, put in the gobs of overtime, give up parts of my personal life to make work a priority and it was by far the stupidest thing I ever did.  But at the time I thought things were much, much different than they actually were.  I thought my employers really cared about me and valued me as a person.  Oh they cared and they valued me, but not as a person.  As an employee.


Employees are just that.  Employees.  They are not business owners.  Even if you happen to have an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) where you work, you still don’t own the company.  You only own stock in that company.  You don’t have a stake in anything and you don’t have a say in anything because you are just an employee.  And they can always replace you with someone else and carry on business as usual.  It happens all the time.


I no longer sacrifice myself for the sake of my job no matter how much I may love and enjoy what I do.  I simply use that job for my own personal gain.  And that is where the correct mindset should be.  If your job takes care of your needs and fulfills your wants and goals then that is why you work for said company, however if not, you need to work somewhere else.  If your employer insists that you make sacrifices “for the good of the company” walk away.  That employer doesn’t care about you at all, they only care about profits.  And that leads me to another important point.


Companies do not exist to make jobs for people.  They exist to make money.  That’s the bottom line.  The cold hard truth is companies are all about profits and the only time they really care about their employees is if they cost them money and decrease their profits.  Much as we would like to believe otherwise, if we do (and I have), we’re just deluding ourselves. 


I want to encourage anyone who is slaving away, working too many hours, feeling underappreciated or harboring resentment to sit back and really take a good hard look at what you’re doing and how you are thinking.  Then read the book Your Money Or Your Life.   Our lives and our relationships outside of work need to be our focus.  Our job is simply the means we use to finance and enhance our lives.  I choose to work to live, not live to work.  Once you wrap your head around that concept it will truly change your life.


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