The work that you do...

I think about work, a lot. Not just my job but work in general. I think about the nature of it, why we do it, how it frames us, the pressure I put on it to give me an identity.

Yesterday, some algorithm floated this piece by Toni Morrison, who passed away recently, onto my radar. She talks about work, her first job and complaining to her father about that job, his reply:

“Listen. You don’t live there. You live here. With your people. Go to work. Get your money. And come on home.”

She continues to write, “That was what he said. This was what I heard:

1. Whatever the work is, do it well—not for the boss but for yourself.

2. You make the job; it doesn’t make you.

3. Your real life is with us, your family.

4. You are not the work you do; you are the person you are.”

We define our jobs, it is the stories we tell about the work that we do that matters, and at the end of the day work is also just work. 

Get skin in the game, change your perspective.