We all recognize that there are different kinds of work that we do: some that we’re good at, some that we enjoy doing, and some which we dislike or we’re not so good at.
But how many of us take steps to reduce the types of work that we dislike, and increase the types that we love?
In today’s episode, we’ll be going over 7 different types of work, and narrowing it down to the 2 types we should all be focusing on.
Watch the video above (or listen or read below) for the full lesson so you can take the next step towards creating and maintaining a #4DayWorkWeek
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Have you ever found that there are some types of work that you like doing, but there are other types of work you don't like doing?
If you've had a career for any period of time and ever worked in a role where you have to do multiple tasks, you've probably found that you like doing some of them more than others.
One of the most important things that I've found to make my career and my time more enjoyable is to focus on the work I really enjoy.
Years ago, I did a project on retirement for a career counseling course that was part of my master’s degree in psychology. I asked lots of people what their definition of retirement was, and when they thought they’d get there. One man’s answer really struck me.
He told me, "Wade, I'm already retired. By my definition, I'm doing what I want with my time, I'm helping people manage their money, their funds, I’m helping them create the finances for their goals and their kids' education and so on. As far as I'm concerned, I'm really already retired. I don't yet financially have all the money set aside to where I could afford to pull the plug on working, but my goal is never to stop working, though I might work a little less as I get older.”
His definition of work was a much higher evolved, or at least a more enjoyable vision of work than a lot of people have.
Over the years, I've looked at different types of work I've been involved in and found that some of them I really enjoyed, and some of them I didn't. I'm going to share with you 7 different types of work, and the 2 that you eventually want to get most of your time in.
The reason I want to show you all 7 of them, though, is so you can get an appreciation for where you are and then realize that it's not just a matter of, "I do work I hate," or, "I do work I love." There are gradations, and there's a process that you might even go through, and as long as you're evolving, there should be hope for you.
The 7 Types of Work
The first type we're going to look at is outright slave labor. This is something that most of us think is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it still goes on in some countries. It’s forced and it's abusive. An example of this might be a kidnapped slave worker. Hopefully, this is something that you're not having to experience or never had to experience, but sadly, that still goes on these days. Most of us, if you're watching this video, are probably not having to experience that, but that's a sad truth that sometimes happens. Obviously, this is really the lowest form of work.
The second type of work I'm going to call subhuman, and that's where it's also abusive, and it's kind of an only option. In some parts of the world, the only job option a person might have could be something like working in a sweatshop or indebted labor. These are people who are working 14, 16, 18 hours a day, in poor working conditions. They’re unhealthy, and maybe even getting injured. Most people around the world would agree that's pretty subhuman, at least in terms of the working conditions.
Next, there's what I like to call survival work. This is work that you might not like and you might not believe in, but it helps you pay the bills, so you do it. An example I use here is somebody who works for the tobacco company but doesn't believe in what they're doing. They believe that cigarettes are harmful for people, but they work for a tobacco company because, again, they need to pay the bills.
Success is a different experience of work. This is where we start feeling like we have some sort of control over what's going on, and maybe we like the pay or we like the benefits. We might dislike the work, but overall, we're at least feeling a little more powerful, and we're able to earn good money.
I think of the well-paid corporate zombie here: the person who says, "Man, I can't stand my work. "I can't wait for happy hour. "I really don't like it, but it helps pay for the things I enjoy, and so I work so that I can live. I certainly don't live to work.” Things could be worse for this person, but they could also be better.
Sacred work is work that helps you fund a greater purpose. It might be the exact same job you had in that success situation, but maybe it's something that's helping you pay the bills while you do something else, which might be starting your own business. If you're already an entrepreneur, and you ever jumped businesses, you might well have had this thought process.
Certainly, if you're an entrepreneur who started with one job and then started another project after hours and said, "Okay, I'm going to start this side business, so when the side business makes enough money, I'll quit my primary job," then you'll at least understand at least what I'm calling sacred work.
Your work might also be sacred if it helps you save up for something, like your kids’ educations. That's great; a lot of it's about perspective. It's so important because if we believe our work is important, if we believe our work is funding what is most important to us and what we value, then it's a different experience of work than the success version.
In the success version, maybe we don't know where we're going, and so it kind of feels like we're stuck on a treadmill. However, with the sacred work, usually there's a sense that at least it's funding something or it’s leading to your freedom to do a different type of work.
Significant work is really the ideal type of work to make money with. It's where you're both serving others and making money. The interesting thing about significant work is that the income levels for this can be all over the spectrum. You could be a teacher or a social worker, and you're doing work that serves others, so that's making money, but maybe it's not making enough money for you, but you still love the work.
Maybe you're an entrepreneur that's really helping other people. Some entrepreneurs and the work they do are certainly helpful, some maybe not as much, but if you’re making money and you honestly believe that you’re helping people and making a positive impact on the world, then everybody’s winning.
Then the final type of work is what I'm going to call soul work. This is your life’s work. This is something that you might or might not get paid for, and that's a very critical distinction here. This might be something that you make lots of money at. It might be something you make no money at, but it’s what you want to do. Maybe you're a spiritual or a life coach, or maybe you just volunteer, and so there's no income associated with that.
“Do What You Love” or “Make Lots of Money” … Why Not Both?
I’ve spent 20-plus years of reading books and seeing different people experiment with, and experimenting myself with the question "Can I do work that I really love and still make lots of money?"
From my experience, if I can be in numbers 4, 5, 6, and 7 (success, sacred, significant and soul work), that's a pretty good place to be at. Some of the work I do might not be the most exciting, but it generates a good income, and to use the sacred work definition, it helps me to fund some of the other things I do, such as the books I write on spirituality. I'm not looking to make money from those, at least at this stage of my career, and I'm able to do that though because I make money in other areas.
In my case, and a lot of people's cases, I'm always trying to make my work more sacred, more significant, and more soul-filled. But in the meantime, I still have obligations I've committed to, and responsibilities, so I still have to balance the reality that not everything is exactly the way we want it to be all the time. Yet we can still do a great job, enjoy work, and know that we're evolving and moving forwards.
Of course, the ideal for most people is getting paid to do work that they believe in, that's helping the world, and where they’re doing what they feel they’re called to do.
I want to leave you with a thought on that last section of the soul work. It’s something I love that I heard Marianne Williamson say once. She talked about how she was getting frustrated hearing people say that they wanted to be actors, but nobody would let them act. What they were actually saying was that nobody would pay them to act.
Then she said, "Look, if you want to be an actor, go act. Go to a community center. Go start somewhere, perform for free, and if that's truly your soul work, if that's your calling, do that. Maybe it'll pay the bills or maybe it won't, but that’s the way to start.”
So often, the path to entrepreneurship, starting your own business, or starting your own job outside of a job is just doing what you love, and then people say, "Wow, you're so awesome at this. I'd love to pay you to do this."
The Next Stage
Those are the 7 types of work, and again, the 2 that ideally you'd eventually like to get to. I hope I find that helpful. Consider this as an evolution, not as something that you're going to just arrive at one day.
Whatever stage you're at, I suggest you write down some goals on what you want your next stage to be, what would that look like, and what some of the steps are that you need to do to get there.
If you want more specific help to start moving in the direction of working a 4-Day Work Week, whether you're currently a business owner, an entrepreneur, an employee who wants to be an entrepreneur, the first step is to create your 4-Day Work Week Game Plan. This is a plan to have the lifestyle you want and make income, and it starts with you getting strategic about it. Head to 4daygameplan.com to start creating your 4-Day Work Week Game Plan, for free.
If you have any questions on this topic, as always, let me know. I look forward to helping you make more money in less time, doing what you do best, so you can create your 4-Day Work Week lifestyle and enjoy your friends, your family, and your life.
Envision & Create the Game Plan for you to start working a 4-Day Work Week.
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It all starts with a VISION and a PLAN.
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The 4-Day Work Week Apprentice
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