It was 1957 and the Silhouettes put out a song destined to make rock and roll history, GET A JOB. It was a catchy doo wop song, meaning it contained lots of sha na na, dip dip dip, and mum mum mum vocalizations, with very few actual lyrics such as:
Every morning about this time
She gets me out of my bed a-crying
‘Get a Job’
I wonder how many teenagers and younger kids were programmed by that song with the message that they were lazy and useless without a job. Before the Silhouettes were even formed, Rick Lewis had written the song, inspired by the constant nagging of his mother after he got out of the service and didn’t want to go right into the job market. She kept saying, over and over again, “Get a job!”
How much more nurturing and effective a message it would have been had the song been titled, Get a Life! One of the core reasons for high unemployment is that millions of people are under the mistaken notion that the key to success and symbol of making it in our society is to have a job. That is changing in that the ranks of the self-employed are steadily growing, but obviously some people are still stuck in the ancient paradigms.
When I wrote my longest chapter in Moneylove, the one I called Worklove, I wasn’t referring to just work that involved having a job. In fact, I have consistently pointed out that by working for someone else, you allow them to obtain more of the benefits of whatever you produce than you yourself enjoy.
What triggered this post was an email I received today from a woman who complained about the fact that for many years she has not been able to find satisfactory jobs. She says, “The ‘good jobs’ seem so invisible to me.”
I am, of course, not suggesting all jobs are unfulfilling poverty traps. Some can be uplifting, rewarding, and allow people to manifest their highest purpose. It’s just usually so much easier to have all of these aspects of doing the right work brought forth by working for yourself instead of someone else. There is no doubt some people are better at jobs than at creating their own employment. But I would suggest that today’s correspondent and millions of others should have gotten the message after decades of disappointment that a job is not their particular path to prosperity and contentment.
When I hear the high unemployment figures, I don’t want to know how many people are out of work or have stopped looking. What I am curious about is how many of those individuals actually lost jobs they loved, jobs that creatively fulfilled them, jobs that truly paid them what they were worth in money and other benefits. How many of those lost jobs are actually worthy of crying over?
In one of those posts titled “8 Delightful Lessons Self-employment Can Teach Us,” Barbara cites a profound reason to let go of the job mentality, “Personal responsibility is heady stuff.” To those who haven’t yet tried taking that responsibility for their own employment, I suggest, “You have no idea!”
My temporarily final thought on all of this,
Being on your own is all about owning your own being.