Jobs, Work, and the Pursuit of Something Bigger
What Labor Day Could Mean to All of Us
Let’s admit it: the idea of Labor Day isn’t always hailed as a cause for much deep celebration or ceremony. For most of us, Labor Day is more like a little thank-you note, pinned to our calendars, and written three days long.
“In appreciation for your labors, please enjoy this extra day off…”
And we do appreciate it. Who doesn’t enjoy barbeques, picnics, or a chance to soak up the last, dying rays of summer sun at the lake?
Still, unlike most of our other national holidays, Labor Day doesn’t deliver much in the way of symbols or historic events to stir our souls or ramp up our emotions. If anything, Labor Day can be something of a bittersweet time. Really, is there any weekend more capable of reminding us that the seasons flit by far too fast, that our children’s brief childhoods are, indeed, all too brief, or that, yes, winter is coming? (Okay, maybe that last one’s just a Minnesota thing. After all, when you’re standing here at the end of summer, you’re staring into the long, dark, ice-encrusted tunnel of another Minnesota winter.)
But as someone who has spent most of their career working within the employment industry, I have come to feel a deep appreciation for Labor Day. These days especially, I can’t help feeling proud to be part of today’s employment landscape, with so many quarters of sustained strength in jobs reports and other economic indicators. Sure, one headhunter may be just one thread in the vast and complex fabric of our national economy but I love being one of those threads.
Maybe we live in a time where the word patriotism gets tossed around a little loosely. But I’m acutely aware of just how lucky I am to even live in a country where we have so much room to dream so big. Here, we expect to not only “have a job” but to pursue and enjoy work that is meaningful, that rewards us and our families on multiple levels, and that contributes to the strength of our communities and our country.
Beyond all of that, though, Labor Day is really about celebrating people. My work is utterly and absolutely about working, shoulder-to-shoulder, with great people: our clients, our candidates, and the amazing individuals who are part of our firm. Every single day, I’m surrounded by those who are energized around big goals, new ideas, and dream jobs. I love that. I especially love knowing that those ideals are available to all of us, no matter where we started, no matter how many mistakes or successes we may have already racked up, no matter how far ahead – or far behind – we may be (or feel) today.
Each of us has the right to pursue it all. And to give it our best shot.
So this weekend, I’m definitely firing up the barbeque. I’m sure I’ll have a few quiet, wistful moments where reflect on the passage of time and the memories of things past. But mostly, I’m going to focus on – and share with others – just how thankful I am to work with all of you. And I’m going to renew my own commitment to do well by doing my best, to keep pursuing my dreams and supporting the dreams of others, and to do the kind of work that builds on the best of all these things.
And I can’t help hoping that you will, too.
Happy Labor Day.