Sometimes a Job is Just a Job


A Human Resources colleague sent me an email and wrote, “I just had an interview & the first question was, How do you feel about Laurie Ruettimann’s belief that a job is just a job? No joke.”

Wow. I don’t know whether to be flattered or horrified. It’s good to know that my ideas are circulating among HR professionals. That’s awesome. I do feel like I need to clarify some misconceptions about my philosophy about work, jobs, and careers.

  • A job is what you do for money.
  • A career is what you earn through hard work, making mistakes, and building relationships.

You can have a job. You can have a career. You can have both. I don’t care. I only care that you don’t confuse the two.

I do care when people get depressed and avoid working for a living because ego gets mixed with emotion. Sometimes a job is just a job. It’s a point in time. It’s a bridge. A job can be anything you want it to be — but most importantly, it’s a paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with an honest day’s work. There is nothing wrong with cash.

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