It will soon be Labour Day in North America; a day when we recognize and celebrate the achievements of workers and their contributions to our communities.
I grew up in a blue collar family. Both my parents contributed to our household income and my brother and I were raised with a strong work ethic. We had chores as kids, our foundation and contribution towards family living. This would mark our introduction and understanding of the relationship between doing a good job and receiving a pay check.
A very basic “apples and oranges” approach to the concept of work.
This experience started us on a path to considering what we would do “for a living.” Taking a practical approach to the things we would need to consider when choosing a career.
I’ll bet you remember your first business – the lemonade stand on the corner of your street. It was our introduction to the concept of entrepreneurship. A card table, handmade sign and sunshine was all we needed to get started. My brother and I would greet each customer with a smile running back and forth to the kitchen for refills. We were so proud of our great idea.
Throughout my youth, I explored various entrepreneurial ideas. I will always remember sitting at our kitchen table at the end of the work day with a pencil and lined paper adding up the sales, deducting the expenses and finally dividing the profits.
We had a very basic approach to the concept of work.
My first job as a student was part-time in retail. It was at that time I began squirrelling around gathering the skills and experience that one day would contribute towards a career. For me, it started the journey of life-long learning. Something that over forty years later I still believe contributes to our zest for life.
I still subscribe to and encourage the concept of giving things a try before we commit to a life long career. There is a lot to be said for taking a leap of faith and contributing to a team before making a firm choice for the future.
From what I see in today’s business climate; there seems to be a healthy attitude towards how we define work with a greater focus on transferable skills. The “squirrel” approach I’ve taken throughout the years has led me to venture off the traditional path and explore opportunities. After 10 years in corporate life, I eventually decided to become an entrepreneur.
I started my first business after a discussion at the dinner table with a pencil and paper writing out a list of the materials I would need and the investment required to make the first sale. Not so different from the days with the first lemonade stand and our great idea.
I recently heard a statistic that if your a baby boomer you can expect twelve career changes before you choose to retire. That is a lot of change and transformation while learning to leverage our transferable skills.
I am no exception and now find myself trading a pen for a paintbrush, taking a U-Turn to explore my love and passion for the arts.
What I have found in my experience… it is sometimes as simple as our apples and oranges approach and although there are a lot of other things to consider before we enjoy the fruits of our labour all we have to do is recognize our accomplishments as we celebrate another labour day.