If you get a Paycheck for your Labor, Don’t Donate your Soul in Exchange

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

I have a confession: I’m not obsessed with my job. I’m not passionate about operations and I do not live for tech. I recognize the importance of the work that I do at Microsoft. I recognize the importance of [ethical, sustainable, inclusive] technology for the planet. I value the mission that Microsoft leads with. And, I feel honored that I am able to contribute to that mission in the form of my career.

However at the end of the day, I exchange my time, energy, and work for a paycheck. That paycheck (and the work I do for it) is a building block in the life for which I live. I’m fortunate that I am able to work for a company that I believe in. And, I’m fortunate that I’m able to find a lot of joy in my job. But I do not live for my work, paycheck, or career.

My life goes so far beyond what I do ‘for a living’. My dedication and service to humanity goes so far beyond what I do for my employer. The value that I bring to the planet is worth so much more than my job title and my annual salary (and I have a pretty great job and salary).

Can we normalize that? Can we normalize NOT being obsessed with our careers, NOT living to work, and NOT working to rise to “the top”?

If you’ve found your calling in the work that you do, if you’re really passionate about your career, excited and on track for immense growth, and work is your favorite way to spend your time — I’m genuinely thrilled and happy for you. Keep charging, sweet soul.

If you’re not, it’s okay.

It’s okay to not love your job and/or to not love every bit of your job.

It’s okay if you haven’t found that thing that lights you up and then monetized it.

It’s okay if you have found that thing that lights you up and then haven’t monetized it. It’s okay if you never monetize it.

Success is so much more than what you do ‘for a living’ and how well you do it. Your value is so much more than your job title or your paycheck. It’s normal that your life would go so far beyond those things as well.

And while I’m at it:

You don’t always have to be reaching for the next thing.

You don’t have to love every moment of what you do (or any of it) to find joy & fulfillment in your life.

You don’t have to be the best, or the most, or anything at all except for yourself.

We forget so often that that’s simply enough.

Remember this: If you get a paycheck for your labor, you don’t have to donate your soul in exchange.



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