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This Year I am Thankful for my Job

I have so much to be thankful for this year, a wonderful family, a nice house, good health, lots of friends and a successful career.  But, this year I have something else to be thankful for, a great job.  I’m not just employed and bringing home a paycheck; I have the best job of my career and I am very thankful for that.  I enjoy driving to work and I like the people I work with. 

Do What You Love

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Image by Alex E. Proimos

There is a constant debate on the blogs about whether people should do what they love or pursue a career with high earning potential.  I’m very fortunate to do what I love and also get paid well.  Being an IT Manager isn’t for everyone.  It can be very stressful and you constantly have to keep up with new technology.  Servers go down and you get frantic calls in the middle of the night.  But, I chose to work in the computer industry and I’m happy with the choice I made.   

Good & Bad Jobs 

One of the reasons I love my job so much is because I’ve had some really bad jobs in the past.  In fact, my very first job was digging up cesspools.  I’ve also worked as a landscaper, mowing people’s lawns.  So, I really appreciate working in a nice office, having benefits and having weekends off.  Some of the people I have worked with have never had to labor or work for low wages and they don’t appreciate just how good they have it.   

Good & Bad Employers

Another thing I have experienced is the difference between good and bad employers.  I won’t go into any lengthy definition; most people have worked for both and know the difference.  I quit a couple of jobs that mistreated me as an employee and it’s very empowering.  Hanging around and hoping it will get better or taking one for the team is just the opposite.  I talk about leaving my last employer in one of my previous posts, The Courage to Quit.  I’m at the point in my career where I recognize soul-sucking employers and I quickly move on.  I also appreciate a good employer and treat them with respect.

Complaining at Work

There was a great post and comment thread over at Invest it Wisely about Pet Peeves.  As I started writing this post I realized one of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain about their jobs.  Right now, I know people would kill for a good job.  Meanwhile, others have great jobs and spend their entire day complaining about them.  Complaining is unproductive, unprofessional and dis-empowering.  Promotions and opportunities are lost for employees who complain about their company.  Positive and successful people avoid others who are negative.  Complaining can become an expensive habit. 

Making your Own Paycheck

Some people are born entrepreneurs and they would never be happy working for someone else.  I have two brothers like this.  One day, I would love to be self-employed and not answer to the Man.  But, it’s not easy to give up a high paying job with great benefits.   So, I will continue to appreciate my current job, even as I dream of one day being the master of my own destiny. 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that a job is more than just a paycheck, it’s an opportunity.  And, the most important part of any opportunity is what people make of it.  The most humble of professions can be the start of a bright future.   

“The best way to appreciate your job is to imagine yourself without one.”   

Oscar Wilde – Irish Poet   

Recommended Reading

Wealth Informatics – Happy Thanksgiving from Suba
Squirrelers – Happy Thanksgiving
Live Richly – Thanksgiving Round Up

This post was featured on the Carnival of Personal Finance over at Realm of Prosperity.  If you aren’t familiar with the Carnival of Personal Finance, you need to check it out. It’s the greatest carnival on the net.

26 comments to This Year I am Thankful for my Job

  • Bret, I never thought of being grateful for my job until the last couple of years. It was pretty scary when there were layoffs left and right.

    I am grateful that I found a job that I am love and continually challenges me even after 15 years.

    P.S. Happy thanksgiving to you and your family!

    • Kay Lynn,

      You are so lucky to have had a job for 15 years. It seems like jobs don’t last that long for me. The longest I have ever worked for one company was 8 years. And, I have had a couple of jobs that lasted five years.

      With a job like I have now, I would love to keep it for 15 years. But, it’s a start-up so who knows how long it will last.

  • Happy Thanksgiving, Bret! I’m glad that you’ve found a job that you love and enjoy. I agree about the complainers, too. I suppose it’s OK to complain a bit when things do indeed suck, but complaining alone won’t get you anywhere, and can actually make things worse. It’s far better to take action and seek to improve your own circumstances.

    Thanks for sharing, and for the mention as well. :)
    Invest It Wisely recently posted..The Skinny on Real Estate Investing- A Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Happy Thanksgiving to you too Kevin.

      I think complaining is natural for some people. But, to make a career out of it is something else. I have enough stress and don’t want to spend my day with negative thoughts.

  • Hi Bret, you are indeed lucky to make good money doing what you love. I have had many crappy jobs and I know a good thing is unusual. It can be a lot of fun to quit a job where they’ve mistreated you, that’s true.

    However, I think too many people stick with a job they hate even in good times because they don’t want to go through the job search process. It’s easier to just complain as you mention. Then since they feel wronged, they work less hard.

    I work for myself but it’s not for everyone. In many ways its easier to let your employer figure out how to make money and automatically get the paycheck. I was rarely ever appreciated by my boss, and even if I was, the money was never equal to my skills, so I never had a strong attachment to a 9-5 job.
    Jennifer Barry recently posted..5 Surprising Benefits of Learning SpanishMy Profile

    • The job search process is kind of demoralizing. It’s difficult to watch how others perceive your value and evaluate you like a commodity. And, there are so many applicants for good jobs they are looking for any small reason to disqualify people.

      You are fortunate to work for yourself, even though that has it’s own set of challenges. I have been 9-5 for so long that it’s become hard to change the habit.

  • Way to make everyone jealous of you!

    Especially in this economic climate, a job that fulfills financial obligations and intrinsic goals is one that far exceeds the expectations of those who are currently seeking employment.

    All of us to strive to be in your position.

    • Thanks Simon,

      I believe liking your job is a big part of being happy in general. Luck played a big part in me getting the job I have right now. At my last job, it was affecting my happiness, so I chose to quit. And, that led me to the great job I have right now.

  • You’re very lucky to love your job, not just appreciate the fact that you have one. Makes you one of the few out there.
    BeatingTheIndex recently posted..Weekend Edition- A Euro Zone BreakupMy Profile

    • I have always enjoyed working, but companies are making it harder and harder to love your job. I am definitely feeling fortunate right now.

  • Kaycee

    Love, love, love the quote from Oscar Wilde!

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about my job.

    I don’t hate my job but I can’t say that I love it either.

    Personally, I find it hard to believe that I could/would ever love any job. It’s a job, it’s not my life.

    I work because I HAVE to not because I WANT to.

    • Some people wrap a lot of their life and their identity into their job. I always put my family first and I’m glad I have. Many jobs (and companies) have come and gone, but I still have my family.

  • Bret – wise words, indeed. It’s important to be thankful for what we DO have. Those who have never had a lousy job, or those who have never been out of work, might not see this. Some might get it, but those that have experienced such obstacles know that we should be thankful for our opportunities, even as we might be striving for more.
    Squirrelers recently posted..Thanksgiving Giveaway Contest Update- and Black Friday RecapMy Profile

    • I worked for 20 years straight, without ever having been unemployed. The first time it happened, I was shell-shocked. Anyway, you learn some compassion and some appreciation after an experience like that.

  • I have a lot to be thankful for too. For example, I am very thankful for my family and both my job and my career. It feels good not to struggle to go to work every day (I’ve been there, and I was miserable).

  • Bret, Your overall positive attitude is uplifting. Having a job you enjoy can permeate through one’s entire life and appreciating it is so important!
    Barb Friedberg recently posted..Have the Best Holiday Season Ever-Part 2-Link Round upMy Profile

  • Bret,
    I’ve been miserable and I’ve been happy in jobs. However, I came to the realization several years ago, that I’m best when I am working for myself. For that revelation, I am thankful. It keeps me from thinking that changing jobs will fulfill me. I’m glad you are thankful for your job, working next to someone who doesn’t is just as painful as working when you don’t like your job. Wishing you an New Year of continued enjoyment of your job.
    Felicia Gopaul @ College Funding Resource recently posted..Taking the American Opportunity Tax CreditMy Profile

    • Felicia,

      I would love to work for myself one day. But, I spent years devloping my career and I am finally making really good money and I have a great job.

      One day, I hope to post here on H2P that I no longer have time for my day job and I’m turning in my resignation. Flexo over at Consumerism Commentary posted that this week and it made me jealous. But, right now, I have the best of both worlds and I am enjoying both.

  • Where you been lately? I’ve missed your posts as of late. ;)
    Invest It Wisely recently posted..Avoid Bankruptcy the Smartest WayMy Profile

    • Kevin,

      I have had a crazy month at work. We are moving and I have construction going on. By the time I get home, I’m beat. I feel bad that I missed last week’s post. I’ve had it half-written for almost two weeks.

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