Productivity is a cause and a calling all unto itself. Productivity is the desire to build, to create, to solve and to achieve. Productivity gives one a sense of self worth. Most of all, productivity is the means to the end that is self-sustainment.
Like many, I couldn’t wait to get out of college to start tackling the challenges of private industry while earning my own money so that I wasn’t beholden to my parents or anyone else. When I got out of school, I took a job managing a convenience store, just to set out on my own.
Working any job – no matter where, the pay level or the task – is admirable and productive. I think we should applaud the worker who heads to McDonald’s every day to work. Those who would make fun of that person create a stigma surrounding those types of jobs. In doing so, they devalue all of the valuable skills one learns, and make it embarrassing to work them.
But “burger-flipper” jobs are, in some ways, more valuable than high paying corporate jobs. To young people who are entering the workforce for the first time, they teach important lessons like showing up on time, earning money, taxation, working with others and accountability.
To those who are more advanced in their life and may even be supporting a family, they build self-esteem, teach responsibility to the children of the parent going there to work, and reinforce self-reliance. Life isn’t always easy, but those who work hardest to make ends meet and provide for themselves – and their dependents – truly understand the value of personal responsibility.
Work, in any capacity, is good for the soul. But I, personally, find myself drawn to the private sector. In the private sector, you exchange your work or your talent for another’s money. It’s an even exchange that mutually beneficial. And it fulfills the desire to build and be rewarded for what you build.
But even more compelling to me about the private sector is that you’re working directly for the money of another. In the public sector, the money you earn comes from the people, and they have little say in how much of their money is taken from them. They also have little say in how their money is spent.
If you’re wages are coming from working for the government, the money you take home is taken directly from your neighbor. I’m not sure I could feel good about that arrangement.