I came across this post on Twitter today and it was the motivation I needed to blog about something that’s been in my mind for a few weeks.
I agree with the fundamental premise of this post: if you give people a more impressive job title they’ll feel more important and do a better job for you. (What I agree with less is the dubiously manipulative use of this knowledge with the sole purpose of getting more out of people. Thanks Phil Willcox for highlighting this.)
I was thinking about this recently when I was behind someone in a shop queue with ‘Barista’ written on the back of their shirt.
At some point it wasn’t good enough to be a waiter or a coffee shop assistant, we had to create a new job title that would have the people who make that coffee feel more important, and maybe help us customers feel OK about spending £3 on a hot-water-based drink.
I’m being purposefully obtuse. I appreciate there’s a skill to good coffee. My bro-in-law has educated me in that. But what I would love is for people not to need the word Barista on their back to feel important.
This need for a job title to make us feel important is a direct result of the autocratic world we’ve come from, way back in the 1900’s. In those days the boss was all important; the higher up that gold-plated hierarchy you got the more important and therefore more worthy of being on this earth you were. A time where ego’s were fuelled by sizes of pay packets and fancy-ness of cars.
And still are.
Today – it’s 2015 for goodness sake! – we still – STILL! – hold the strong societal belief that higher up = better / more important / more worthy / more capable.
How can this belief still hold true? Is it important to you that your streets are clean when you walk down them in the morning? Is it important to you that the administration in your business is done every day of every week? Is it important to you that the cafe where you get your coffee has people to serve you, is clean, has cakes available that were made in the coffee-shop-chain supplier factory, staffed by production line colleagues?
I saw a family on the beach today. A mum, dad and three kids playing a game of rounders on the sand. Happy, having fun, laughing together, creating memories. And not well off. Or not overtly if they were. But creating the great memories that fuel our souls and sustain our energy.
And the thing that makes people like this unhappy – the belief that they’re not good enough, that they SHOULD strive for more money, that they’ll be truly happy if they are doing a ‘more important’ job.
Now, just to be clear, I’m not saying that having a well paid job and nice stuff is wrong. But I am saying that believing your worth as a human being increases based on what you have is wrong – because if that’s true then having less nice stuff makes you less worthy of existing, and that feels like a pretty rubbish position to me.
So let’s stop this now.
If a job isn’t important, why does it even exist?
And a person is not their job. We’re all important. Money doesn’t make you a better person. A different job title doesn’t make you a better person. You’re an amazing person already: just as you are.
[Photo credit: http://latimerappleby.com/irony-job-titles/%5D
This is me……..www.wildfigsolutions.co.uk