Work vs. a Job

When was the last time you got your hopes up over work?  If you said today, or yesterday, you probably work for yourself!  Working for yourself is a whole different story than working for someone else.  All my life, from the age of 14 when I got my first job (making $1.90 an hour), I’ve gone to work, knowing that there would be work there waiting for me, and that a paycheck would come of it.  Initially I never had to even concern myself with what the work was – I just showed up and did what the boss told me to do.  Whether it was shelving books at the library, punching a time clock at the department store, or laying out a newsletter, the work just appeared on my plate and I did it.

Once I entered into my chosen profession and moved up the ladder to a management role I became more active in the procurement of work – writing proposals, costing budgets, attending client presentations and interviews, and negotiating contracts.  That was when I began to see how much work was involved in getting work!  It introduced an undercurrent of anxiety that had never been there before.  Say what you want about cushy management jobs, the responsibility of bringing in work for the company and fellow workers is a weight on your shoulders as a new manager.   I was suddenly much more aware of our competitors, much more concerned with cost-cutting and working efficiently.  I think the junior and mid-level managers are probably some of the hardest workers in a company!  We generally had very little budget (paid time) for writing proposals and the expectation that we would win a certain percentage of contracts hung over our heads (and was part of our employee evaluations).  I won’t say I got my hopes up over work – but I sure did stress about it! We really did work for our wins!

As a self-employed writer/editor/proof-reader/archaeologist I do not come to work and find work waiting for me.  And I don’t have any paid time to write proposals (query letters, marketing materials).  I budget part of every day to attempting to find more work and frequently that is a larger part of the day than I spend doing the work I’m able to bring in.  I’ve created, and maintain and add to, a database of potential clients, venues where I might market my skills, and places to look for leads.  I send out query letters, resumes and writing samples.  I respond to ads posted.  And sometimes out of the blue I’ll be contacted by someone asking about my availability for a project. That’s when I get my hopes up about work.  It’s a good feeling.

This entry was posted in hope, Job, work. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Work vs. a Job

  1. Jeannette says:

    My hopes lately depend on whether a client buys or rents a house. You get hopeful when you spend 2 Saturdays showing properties, clients are ready to go forth, (you think) and without notice contact another agent and make same arrangements. Or the mortgage doesn’t go through, or something else happens and you realize you’ve spent money showing, listing and marketing and have nothing to show for it. So hoping lately is about all I seem to be getting paid. 🙁
    I know my chosen profession, negative pay checks are never fun

    • boxcarkids says:

      I feel your pain! My hoped for project just fell through as well, so it’s back to the drawing board to try and find work to get us through until mid-June.

  2. SMS says:

    As in stay where you are or continue with your plans?
    Decisions decisions decisions ~ you can do it.

    • boxcarkids says:

      No – no job offers! I was just reflecting on how I get my hopes up about work these days, instead of work being a somewhat dreary stressful thing I go to every day.

  3. Lynn says:

    This piece would be a good inclusion in a book teaching young people (and many adults) about how the world works. We used to joke about how many times we heard someone say they want to be self employed (like my husband) “because then you can take off work whenever you want to”. Well…sorta…except your expenses go on, the money stops, and your clientele, finding your office closed, goes elsewhere!
    Just think about that book…

  4. Julia says:

    The last few sentences lead me to believe this is more than a random post about work and jobs. Good news?

    • boxcarkids says:

      Just one of those out of the blue contacts asking about my availability that has gotten my hopes up! Of course sometimes nothing comes of it (like the archaeology survey I bid on 2 weeks ago). It’s just nice to be contacted!

  5. Cheryl Graham says:

    Here’s to many more days of good feelings (with excellent results)!

Leave a Reply to Julia Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.