Work VS Paid Employment

I’ve been listening to the audiobook, Your Money or Your Life (updated version) during my daily commute. It’s a personal finance book that’s been around for close to 30 years now. The updated version has a forward by Mr. Money Mustache – just in case you want to make sure you’re getting the most updated version of the book!

Today’s listen involved a discussion on the difference between work and paid employment. The author mentioned that we need to separate the idea of work from paid employment. Work, she explains, is something you choose to do and would continue to do even without a paycheck. This is generally something you feel called to do or are passionate about. Paid employment, on the other hand, is where you exchange your time for money to move closer to a goal (usually financial independence). Occasionally, work and paid employment come together in a job, but it’s not the norm.

My day job of a school librarian used to be a situation where work and paid employment merged, but not so much anymore. COVID brought about a number of changes, as did a change in work flows and areas of responsibility. This school year has certainly been interesting to say the least! I’ve been able to dip my toes back into certain parts of the job I hadn’t touched in 5 years. It’s been a welcome change, as well as a confidence booster. Libraries and children’s literacy are important to me and I will continue to be involved in these areas (library board and therapy dog volunteer) even after paid employment ends.

My sewing biz is what my financial advisor refers to as my passion project. I fully expect to be busy teaching, technical editing and running the online retail portion of my biz for many years to come. I’ll make quilts to donate to charity, mentor young sewists and probably volunteer at the quilt museum once I leave the hallowed halls of public education.

But I won’t have to be there at 7:10 a.m. every day! Come on May 2024 (or sooner)!

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