I must honestly admit that I have never given much thought to the real meaning of Labor Day.
It only takes a Google search to find the history and meaning of the celebration, but like most Americans, I’ve only viewed it as the holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer. The intention is evident in its name, which celebrates the American workers and their accomplishments. As most of us have been workers for a large part of our lives, it’s an opportunity for all of us to celebrate.
What Kind of Work Are You Celebrating?
I was with a friend recently who works in the television business, and I asked her how things were at work. Her unenthusiastic reply was, “It’s work.” I guess that many workers have felt this way at times, and I’ve been there too.
I’ve also had acquaintances that hate going to work every day. It may be because of the work, the people you work with, or the boss you have. It’s not a pleasant situation and I’ve also been there.
The perfect situation is to love the work you do, respect and admire the people you work with, and get paid lots of money in the process. Many of us have heard that there is no such thing as perfection, which may be true. Yet, it’s certainly something that we can strive for, and my aviation career came close. I didn’t like the red-eye flights that I had to do early in my airline days, but that didn’t last long. Flying was my passion, and I had an incredible career.
The (Almost) Perfect Job
Is this the type of work that more people can attain? I certainly believe so, but it often requires time, sacrifice, and risk. We have all heard the admonitions; “There are no free lunches. No pain, no gain.” Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Let me share my experience, which proves this to be true.
Time: Four years at the Air Force Academy, seven years of active duty, and eight years as a co-pilot before becoming an airline captain.
Sacrifice: Joining the Air Force at a time of war and giving up other less taxing opportunities.
Risk: Implicit in the above statements. Also, voluntarily separating from the service during a struggling economy without an airline job.
Yet, even with those challenges, it eventually worked out for me and has worked out for countless others who have chosen their paths of having the (almost) perfect job.
As you celebrate this Labor Day, take a moment, and reflect on the type of work you are commemorating. If it’s not your passion, know that you can build a flight plan that takes you to that same destination. Now may be the perfect time.
A Quote To Consider!
"Follow your passion, be prepared to work hard and sacrifice, and, above all, don't let anyone limit your dreams."
— Donovan Bailey