Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Workplace Wednesday | A job is a job

With graduation season upon us. I'd like to get on a soapbox for a moment.

Most days I love being an OT, but let's be honest, a job is just that. A job. Sure some jobs are more awesome than others, and I tend to believe OT is one of those jobs that is mostly pretty awesome. BUT. As general advice to anyone trying to figure out what to do with their life, don't forget that a job is just that. A job. It's not (and should not be) your whole life. It certainly helps to like your job, and (maybe?) even better, love your job, but at the end of the day, don't forget that it's just a job.

And I think that's okay.

It's okay to not love your job every. single. day.

This is something I've struggled to come to terms with for some time. Parents trust me with their children. Parents want nothing less than the absolute best for their child and they trust me to help their child. No pressure there. But some days I'm tired, or losing the battle with my allergies, or would just rather spend the day in bed reading a good book. Or all of the above.

During the keynote speech at the AOTA Annual Conference, one of the Wounded Warriors speaking (sorry, I don't remember which one), said something along the lines of, "OT is everything. Your job is so much more than just a job. Occupational therapists make a difference every single day."

Upon hearing these words, I felt a surge of pride. Yes! I am an occupational therapist. And I change people's lives! And then I thought, "whoa, that's a lot of pressure."

So I'm giving you all permission to let go of the pressure. Yes, occupational therapists are given the opportunity to help people when they are in their most vulnerable states. And that's pretty awesome. And special. And a huge responsibility. So don't take it for granted. But also don't put too much pressure on yourself to love every minute of your job. It's okay. And it's normal.

Getting off my soapbox now.

I'll leave you with this little story:

When I worked in schools, I loved school vacations. But you know what else I loved? Going back and seeing my students after the breaks. I love traveling and going on vacations. Whenever it's time to go back to work after a vacation, I am sad that my vacation is over, but I am also ready. I miss "my kids" and look forward to going back to see them. That's how I know that I love my job, even if I don't always love it every single minute.

PS - Some recommended reading:

In the name of love

A life beyond "do what you love"

Do you think you will have a career that you love?

PPS - I'm headed out on a mini-vacation today and I can't wait to be back on the East Coast! And I also can't wait to get back to all of "my kids" next week :)

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