What is the Purpose of a Job?

For far too many people the purpose of a job is to get a regular paycheck and nothing more. Of course there is nothing wrong with income, and this is one reason to look for employment. But it is possible to have a different perspective on paid work–one that leads to bigger achievements, including a happier life.

A way to pay the bills is a start. But what other purposes can we think of if we use a job as a step toward greater goals? Here are some possibilities…

  •  A business training course.
  • A way to build capital.
  • An education.
  • A way to meet the right people.
  • A personal development course.

There are certainly other things you can use a job for, but for now let’s take a look at the five items on this list.

Business Training

Most jobs provide valuable training for a future business if you choose to use them that way. This is obvious when we look at roofing companies or beauty salons, where the owners most often started out as employees of similar businesses. In fact, many if not most businesses are owned by those who started in the industry with a job. If you are a dishwasher in a restaurant, for example, and you pay attention, you might advance to management within a couple years and in the process learn what you need to know to start your own successful restaurant.

If this is your purpose, choose to use your employment wisely. Ask questions constantly and take notes. Create a clear plan for your training, with a list of what you will need to know, the skills you will need to develop, and the capital requirements for your future business. That brings us to the next purpose of a job…

Capital Source

The second item on our list often works hand-in-hand with the first. You will need capital to start that restaurant or roofing company, after all. That can be had in part or full by putting aside a part of each paycheck. Self discipline is crucial here. It is easy to put off saving money and so get stuck in a job for much longer than you planned.

If the goal is startup capital, make the tough decisions necessary. For example, I chose to pay cheap rent to live with my parents while working one of my first jobs. That made it possible–even at minimum wage–to save up a down payment for a home that later became a profitable boarding house. Unless you truly love your job, you should make the necessary sacrifices so that it can get you where you want to be sooner.

If you already have the necessary skills and knowledge to start a given business, you may not need to work in that industry. In that case it might make sense to simply look for the highest-paying employment available. That way you can put together your startup capital as quickly as possible.


Apart from educating you about the industry you are working in, a job can also give you the knowledge you need for other purposes. For example, you might choose to work as a real estate agent to learn what you need to know to profitably invest in houses or commercial properties. You could choose to be a secretary in a publishing company just to get an education about the business–in order to later get your books published. You might even work just to enjoy learning new things.

Continues here… Purpose of a Job – Part Two

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