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Can you reconcile a soul-sucking job with your sense of identity? Is it possible to balance the two?
I've had nothing but menial jobs and no, it's not possible to reconcile the two.
 

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No.

You can survive, but you lose a lot of yourself. I've had menial jobs and they felt like a denial of who I am. So I left them. I worked as an editor at a publishing house where I spent 8 hours a day correcting proofs, more or less.
 

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Personally, that's a "horrifying" thought for me to be "trapped" in a menial job. I'd rather be somewhere I'm happy to work versus being stuck some place you don't want to but need to be because you need the money. Plus I have this not so good characteristic of only putting full effort into things I actually care about. Otherwise...not so much if at all.

That doesn't mean it's impossible, however depending on the person, it won't be all that fulfilling or what not.
 

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Some people can, and some people can't.


I can personally do menial tasks without too much trouble. Maybe plug in some headphones and whistle while I work, but if I were to be stuck in such a situation for the rest of my life?

Well, I imagine that would be difficult for just about anyone to do unless they truly have a passion for such things.


Can menial work and identity be reconciled?

I think many people do that to a degree already. They work when they are supposed to, and then pursue their own enjoyments/activities on their off time.

Again, some can live like that with no issue, and others wouldn't be able to stand such a way of life.
 

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There is no such things as a menial job as in "low-skill job" nowadays. Dealing well with customers and multitasking successfully is never low skill. If you're bad at it, it's not because you're above that type of work. It's because you lack life skills such as emotional control and persistence.

Menial also means "lacking prestige" and if that's what you mean then, yes, I absolutely can reconcile the two. People look down on you much more if you don't have a job at all.

4s lack the skill of self-generating feelings of meaning so it's natural they've be afraid of unprestigious work (or in a lot of cases...employment in general). But indulging in the idea that meaning can be found in a "respectable job" will just further rob you of the chance to develop emotional-equanimity.

Throw yourself into you wellness routines, avocational goals, and personal relationships. This is how people get through paid employment with a good attitude. They don't put all of their eggs in one proverbial basket and then say "this is my identity". You define your identity through your attitude and actions you take each day, not transient feelings.

Type 4 self-development 101, people!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@WhateverLolaWants, I meant menial as in tedious. Engaging in the kinds of tasks you might personally find soul-sucking due to their meaningless nature. The proverbial "pea-counting" dream.

My dad owns his own business. When I was a teen I started working as a receptionist for him. When I first started working there, I cried because I hated it so much and realized my dad had been doing this job all my life. I told my mom and she said that my dad loved his job, there was no need to feel bad. I was convinced she was lying to me. However, as I got older I realized he really did love his work, despite the fact that I hated it there.

I guess my point is that in this sense, "menial" can mean different things to different people. I'm just referring to work you don't find invigorating.
 

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@WhateverLolaWants, I meant menial as in tedious. Engaging in the kinds of tasks you might personally find soul-sucking due to their meaningless nature. The proverbial "pea-counting" dream.

My dad owns his own business. When I was a teen I started working as a receptionist for him. When I first started working there, I cried because I hated it so much and realized my dad had been doing this job all my life. I told my mom and she said that my dad loved his job, there was no need to feel bad. I was convinced she was lying to me. However, as I got older I realized he really did love his work, despite the fact that I hated it there.

I guess my point is that in this sense, "menial" can mean different things to different people. I'm just referring to work you don't find invigorating.
All jobs I know about involve a lot of repetition. Even jobs that people tend to think would be "exciting" such as policing and nursing are just a sea of monotonous paperwork.
 
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I don't know. If I found ways to fulfil; my sense of purpose and meaning elsewhere, maybe. But since I don't have much in that regard, I do think my menial job exacerbates my tender wittle identity issues.
 

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I work in a grocery store as a cashier. I am a student. The only reason I am capable of dealing with it is because I only work in the weekends. I would rather give up everything I own, become homeless and travel the world by foot than to work in that grocery store for the rest of my life.
 

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Not for long. I used to wonder why I was like this and thought there was something wrong with me. I've always been good at 'having a job' but kind of had a tendency to job hop...started out as a waitress, was too shy for it....then retail, lasted about a year. Then office, then waitressing, then office again for 10 years and during that time pretty much job hopping for better money. Just found out recently from a career coach that I don't belong in an office at all.

I have my own business now doing what a 4 should be doing (holistic healer) and just quit my full time office job because I was once again miserable and it was taking away from time with my clients and students, which made no sense cuz I could be making money there.

So now I'm going for a menial part-time job until business completely takes off, but think I might be able to cope with it better now that I know it's not 'for life' since I'm already doing my real career. But to answer the question, no I cannot do it for long, I get miserable quickly and end up hating everyone I work with.
 

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I work everyday in our store. It doesn't chip away at my identity even if it starts to drain my energy. I find balance in the fact that I can still juggle multiple interests, social life, and Personality Cafe with my working schedule. Plus, it's not really a big deal anymore. I'm comfortable with the identity of being "teenage artist who can't get enough free time but can still kick as when working on a piece at night". Plus, I can play guitar while selling stuff. Makes life a whole lot more enjoyable.

Seriously. Isn't that kind of kick-ass in its own right? :tongue:

I know I won't be doing it for long, but I grew to like it despite my initial... hatred. Mostly because I don't like selling beer and cigarettes to people. Drunk people. Oh, and annoying children. You do get used to it and you can still reconcile with your passions. Have patience.

If it starts to get boring, find a way to turn it into something you'll end up liking.

I'm pretty sure I won't be doing this forever, though. I'd take my band any day. Haha!
(lol still a student)
 
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Can you reconcile a soul-sucking job with your sense of identity? Is it possible to balance the two?
I can take on menial jobs so long as the job doesn't constitute the bulk of my life or time. I don't believe I could work a menial mind-numbing 9-5 full-time job, but perhaps a part-time one. This doesn't have anything to do with my sense of identity though. It's has more to do with my need to be cognitively stimulated and to enjoy what I'm doing rather than anything else.
 

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No. If I'm trapped doing something that doesn't have much purpose or excitement, I burn out rather quickly.
 
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