August 24, 2022

Why You Should Separate Your Work and Your Job - Ep. 59

Why You Should Separate Your Work and Your Job

Your Work and Job Are Not The Same Thing!

Your work and your job are not the same things! Here's why tying your work and purpose to your job is risky for you.

In this episode, we talk about:

- How you can protect yourself and be more future-proof by separating your work from your job.
- How employers and employees are in a constant dance for power.
- Why giving an employer a chokehold over the way you value yourself, your happiness, or your life’s purpose is a great way to expose yourself to having those things threatened or taken from you.

Ryan and Hannah also talk about why it's important to remind yourself that you can still do work you love without doing it at the job you have now.

Enjoy the episode!

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If you wanna learn why learning to sell can change your life, check out the previous episode!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks and welcome back to Degree Free.

We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. On this podcast. We share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed. 

Hannah: Welcome back everybody. We are happy to have you on the podcast as always.

And if you wanna get a free email from Ryan and I, a newsletter then you should run, not walk over to degree and once a week, we send out a newsletter with jobs, resources that we found paid apprenticeships and Degree Free news and then also just cool stuff that Ryan and I have found that we think might be interesting to you.

So you definitely wanna get that newsletter. So go on over and sign up. 

Ryan: Absolutely, and, let's get into today's episode. Today, we are gonna be talking about why you should separate your work and your job. 

Hannah: Yeah. So this is gonna be an interesting episode, I think, but basically the problem that we're trying to get across here is something that we see cropping up a lot, which is that a lot of us.

If you went to a US school, you were taught that your work and your job are the same thing and what I mean by work is like your passion, your calling, your, what you do in the world and your job are supposed to be the same thing. And the problem with believing this is that it puts employees in a very difficult position and it takes a lot of their power away from them.

So this is something that we kind of wanna draw out a little bit and provide solutions to. 

Ryan: Yeah. 

Definitely today, we're gonna be talking about basically your work and your job and why they're different. , and trying to talk about how tying up your work and purpose to your job is risky.

 It's just not a great thing to do. It definitely paints you into a corner with options. You feel like you lose a lot. If you ever lose your job, or if. If ever things go south 

Hannah: Mm-hmm . 

And then also we're gonna talk about how to protect yourself and kind of future proof, antifragile yourself by separating your work, your purpose, your calling from your job.

Even if you like your job, and this is just a good exercise for people and something that we think can help people just make sure that they're, looking at their work and their jobs in an objective way. Cuz it'll just help them if anything happens because life sometimes does. 

Ryan: Yeah, so let's get into it,

..How. Is your work different from your job? 

Hannah: So your work is different from your job in that your work can be something that you do for the rest of your life, right. That has a lot more elements to it. A job is how you're getting paid currently. Sometimes you your work, your purpose. Sometimes you can use it at a job.

But sometimes, you don't, so for people who do use their life's work, their life's purpose at a job, it becomes those two things become really closely intertwined. You find this oftentimes I think with, jobs where there's a lot of meaning to them Like teaching is a really good example where, people will say my life's calling is teaching and that's great.

But then they think that their job as a teacher, specifically in a public school now is their life's work and calling as opposed to the actual act of teaching. Right. And I think that a really good way to use this as an example is to separate those two things, right. Because if you were to lose your job as a public school teacher, would your life's work and passion and calling still be teaching.

Sure. Right. And it's not a good idea for this person to tie their life's work and passion to their formal employment, because then their employer can take it away from them at any given moment and that's risky. 

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. They're there are definitely to go on with that example. There are definitely ways that you can teach people whether it's children, adults, whatever, whomever, whoever, I don't know. I dunno what the difference is, but- 

Hannah: need to find teacher. Yeah. Email us. Email us in the who's know, 

Ryan: Yeah. Contact at please. 

So, you know, you can still teach people, even if you lose your public school job, even if that is your calling.

Right. And so going down that road, Some more or different road, maybe forked would be, there is another teacher and they might think that it's their life's work to be a teacher, but really when with more digging, it's more that they like to work with kids. 

Hannah: Mm-hmm. 

Right. And you can do, if your life's, if your life's work is to work with kids, then you can do that.

 You can find that in a lot of areas with good fulfillment, with good money. So it gives you more options, but also it really just keeps you from being at the mercy of an employer because that's not really a good place to be. Just being at the mercy of a single employer, it just puts you at a lot of risk as the employee, because there's really not much you can do, if they start to do something you don't like. 

Okay. So, if you lose your, let's say marketing job, and it's a job that you love, you should not feel like the whole world is caving in on you, and I'm not talking about basic needs. I'm not talking about you being worried because you're losing healthcare.

I'm not talking about you being worried because you're losing your retirement or other aspects of financial security. What I'm talking about is. If you are losing aspects of financial security, you should not feel like you're also losing the ability to do your life's work. Right? Because, if you love marketing, because if you love your marketing job, because you're able to exercise creativity and affect change, right?

And you're good at it. And you feel, and you find meaning in that, and that's your life's work. Know that you can do that elsewhere and an employer can't take that from you, even if they cut you loose. And so, doing, and, and just knowing that those two things are separate from each other, it's just a way to protect yourself against life's eventualities.

You need to break down what it is about your job like what aspects of your actual work that you like that make you feel like you're utilizing skills that you have that make you feel fulfilled. You need to know what those things are, so that you can break that away from whatever formal job that you're being paid for.

You can take your work with you anywhere, but you can't take your job with you anywhere. So this kinda leads into the second point, which is, is it the job that you love or is it the work that you love? And this is important because as we're talking about separating these two things, we need to be able to differentiate cuz the lines have gotten so blurred now.

I think that this has a lot to do with college marketing, right? Because if your work is your job is your purpose, you can sell credentials to get a job at a much higher price. So it's important for people to view these things as all one big ball, so that they're willing to spend more in order to have access to it or for the promise of security or the promise of being able to do their life's work. 

Ryan: Okay. I wanna unpack that a little bit because you went faster and I think I understand what you're saying, but just to kinda break it down or I don't know, correct me if I'm wrong. Let me just walk this back a little bit.

Hannah: Sure. 

Ryan: So what you're saying is that by saying that your job equals your work and then due to then gate keeping that with a credential, from a college, they can make college more expensive. 

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: That. Okay. 

Hannah: Yeah, because if you believe that the only way for you to do your life's work is doing a specific job and in order to get that specific job, you need to purchase a specific piece of paper. Now that's a very expensive piece of paper, right? People will pay whatever you ask for that piece of paper. If that's the only way for them to do their life's work. 

Ryan: I agree with you

. Yeah. I was just very confused because you went through that very fast.

Sorry. so I, and I was like, I'm sitting here thinking I'm like, I'm sitting here listening to you and I'm just thinking, man, if I'm confused, I think everyone else might be confusing. 

 I mean

Hannah: Thanks man.

Ryan: I'm a co-host on this podcast too. I was like, that's good though. 

Yeah, that I understand.

Hannah: Yeah. 

If you say, if you say to someone your life's work is to, care for these dogs, right? If your life's work is to walk these dogs, and then you say, but you can't walk the dogs, unless you have this license, and you're like, well, shoot. I mean, I definitely wanna do my life's work. And they're like, yeah, the only way you can do your life's work is if you have this job as a Dog Walker, but in order to apply for this job as a dog Walker and get it, you have to have this piece of paper and then your next question is gonna be, oh my gosh.

Well, how much is the piece of paper? Right? And then you will pay whatever they ask, because it's the only way for you. As far as they've told you and taught you to be able to do your life's work. 

Ryan: Okay. So how do we separate these things in? How do we separate. work from job. 

Hannah: So the best way to start is trying to figure out what elements of work you actually love. Like what is, and that's the question, right? What is your life's work? What's your life's purpose? What is it that you carry with you from job to job? And so for a lot of people, it actually, at the end of the day, it's gonna have very little to do with their actual job.

It's probably gonna have more to do with what they choose to do outside of their job. Like, hobbies and interests and, activities that they do outside of work. But for some people, the things that they get fulfillment out of doing for their work, they need to identify those aspects of it.

So like, do you, a good example would be like somebody, if somebody cleans houses and they come in and they like the feeling of putting order to something. Putting order to the chaos and then leaving something better than they found it. Right. That's work. If they're employed by a specific service that has them cleaning homes, it's not the job that they love it's the feeling that they get after they've righted the chaos and made something better. Another great example would be like, somebody who works in construction, I'm using visual examples, cuz that's really, it's easier to understand, but, someone who works for a construction company who builds houses they don't love their construction job. They love putting up the frame. They love seeing the roof go on. They love looking at the fact that at the end of the day, something is done and something is there that wasn't there before. Like they like the feeling of being tired at the end of the day because they put in a day's work and they know that they did well.

It's that, that gives them the satisfaction and their life's work is to build. or to do, but it has nothing to do with the job. Other than that, the job pays them to do the work at the moment.

Ryan: Right. And kind of 

provides it can provide that feeling, it can provide it. Doesn't have to provide it, but it just so happens that it does 

Hannah: because they do the work for that job.

Ryan: Right. Exactly. 

And so you're just trying to get at the root of what makes you fulfilled.

Hannah: Right. 

Ryan: We're trying to get at the root of what you think fulfillment is? 

Hannah: Yeah. Like you work, at the YMCA and at the end of the day, when you're dropping the kids off to their parents and you see the kids saying, oh, well, you know, miss so and so taught me, blah, blah, blah, told me this today, blah, blah, blah.

And the kids laughing and smiling and the parents. Thank you. And you get satisfaction out of knowing those parents know that that kid was safe with you and that they had a good day because they were with you and you get satisfaction out of caring for that child. That is not the job.

The job is work you would've gotten satisfaction out of either way, but you were just doing it because it's your job.

Ryan: And I think that it definitely stands to make a point here, which is. At the end of this self-discovery road that you go on, it is okay. If you decide that it is actually the job that fulfills you, 

Hannah: It sometimes is.

It sometimes is.

Ryan: I think I'll just speak for myself. I think it's okay. I think it's okay. Whenever that, not just sometimes. I mean, who am I to tell you how to feel? 

Hannah: No, I mean, it sometimes is the job, that's what I mean. 

Ryan: Oh, Okay. Okay. 

Hannah: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. 

I don't mean it's sometimes okay to feel that, sometimes it is the job that does make you feel that way. 

Ryan: I was saying, who are you talking?

Hannah: No, no, no, no.

I would never. 

Sometimes like it's the environment and circumstance and the group of people you work with. Sometimes it is all of those things, right. Or, or none, but sometimes it is the job.

Sometimes it is

Ryan: Exactly. And I think there's nothing wrong with that. 

Hannah: No, not at all. 

Ryan: I mean, you just have to know that if it is the job, and you have to tide your work or your fulfillment to it, then you're in a very risky situation in that if you ever lost that job well, now, you've tied your whole self meaning to it.

You've tied work to it as we're using, as we're using today's episode and that's-

it's exposing. 

Yeah, it's exposing. 

Thank you. 

Hannah: And it's again, this is just one of those things that if you. If you're okay with it, that's one thing, but I think a lot for a lot of us, I know that's not, I was not raised to look at work in that way.

I was raised that your job owns your work. Right? As opposed to your work owns your job, and what I mean by that is, 

Ryan: or that they could be separate. 

Hannah: Yeah. Or that they can be separate. 

Ryan: Yeah. Or they, or they can be separate. 

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Okay, so a lot of us have conflated work and job as the same thing. Doing so we've established is a risky endeavor. How do we derisk that situation? How do we minimize that risk and take back power, from our jobs within our jobs, however you wanna think about it. 

Hannah: Okay. So great question. 

So let's address the risk part first. If you are tying all of your emotion, all of your energy, to a job and an employer, they hold all of the power, right?

They can cut your hours, they can cut your pay, they can cut you, and now all of a sudden you don't have access to the work that makes you feel fulfilled. So essentially what you're gonna do in order to minimize this risk is you were go, you were just gonna separate those two things.

 Don't give the employer the chance to own your work. Your work is something you own, and that's by figuring out, what elements of your job are your work as opposed to your job? What is it that gives you that feeling of satisfaction? What is it that you like? What is it that you feel you're well utilized at?

What is it that you're able to do that makes you feel like you're making a difference or doing something that you're proud of? 

Ryan: Okay. So I I'll, let me, lemme take a stab at this one then just so I understand this, I'll use my personal life as an example, I'm a fireman, professionally. I mean, I've been many things in my life, but fireman is one of those things and so I like to run into burning buildings, I guess. Right. I mean, that's fun. 

I Like to ride in a fire truck with lights and sirens. That's fun. Right? and I also like to help people. So are you, you're saying that we, we should separate these into buckets basically into different categories and pick out which one is really at the forefront or really at the center of your work of your fulfillment.

Hannah: Yeah. 

Ryan: So for me, maybe it'd be like, okay, well while fighting fires is nice, that's great. While riding in a fire truck, lights and sirens. That's fun. That's always a childhood dream. Okay. But maybe I like to help people at the beginning of it. And maybe I don't have to, maybe I don't have to be a firefighter in order to help people.

Hannah: Is that what you're saying?


Ryan: So like, okay. But maybe I can do this podcast. Maybe this podcast makes a lot of people listen to this podcast, right? I mean, we always wish more people would listen to this podcast, you know? 

Hannah: Tell your friends. 

Ryan: Tell your friends, please, and okay, that's good.

That's helping people. We're helping people here. So maybe from the teacher example that you used earlier. Okay. So we separated it into a different bucket you like to teach. Okay, but maybe it's not just teaching kids or maybe it's not just teaching fourth grade Math, which you would teach right now.

 Maybe you can go teach at night school or maybe you speak a second language or maybe you can tutor people, you know, adults. On your free time or not in your free time, but, or whatever, you know what I mean? Is that what you're saying? 

Hannah: Yes. That's exactly what I'm saying. You're trying to get to the root of what it is about the work that makes you feel like you love it.

You're trying to identify what your work is basically and the reason you're trying to figure out what that is, is so you can extricate it from the job so that you in your mind know that this is the job, and this is the work. The employer because employers and employees are in a constant dance of power, basically.


And so giving an employer a choke hold over your work, and your job is risky to you personally, because it gives this employer the ability to, at any point, threaten to take that from you. And you'll feel like you've lost everything because you let them put those two things into a ball and now you can't separate them.

So what you're just trying to do is, is just give yourself some insulation and protect yourself a little bit, and you're saying like, if the employer takes my job, they don't take my work. Like my work is, I'm helping people. My work is, I'm teaching people. My work is I'm putting order to chaos.

You know, my work is I'm care taking, right. My work is I'm constructing. It doesn't matter, but the employer can't take that from you. 

Ryan: So this is something that we'd have to do pretty. Deep personal work on. Basically, do a personal inventory of what lights you up of what gets you going and why it is that you feel like the job that you have is also what fulfills you is also the work that you have as well. Mm-hmm 

Hannah: Because everybody, everybody in the world's doing work in some way. Right? Everybody's doing something. and so everybody has that unique experience. If there is some work that everyone's doing, but not necessarily everyone has a job.

Right. Or not necessarily everyone is in a job where they're using their work in the world. So. It's just a really good idea to know what the difference is. 

Ryan: So what can we do right now in order to separate work from job? And it's basically, I guess what I'm getting from this conversation is that we can, a lot of what we can do here is a mental shift.

It's really all inner really.

Hannah: It's all in your head.

Ryan: Yeah. Because, if you're a teacher now, and you love being a teacher because you like to teach people. If you figure it out, all right, there's no reason for you to stop teaching people. If you don't want to stop, if you, whatever, for if you're fulfilled, if you're getting paid enough money, whatever it is, you have the summers off, whatever, but it de-risks the whole situation if you think about it mentally. In a different way. 

Hannah: Yeah. I'll speak from personal experience. But for me, I like to hear a problem that a business is having and then figure out what the solution to that problem is. That's my work right now outside of this podcast, you know, outside of this, that's what I do.

I like doing that. That's, my work is figuring out what the problem is and trying to figure out what a creative solution to it is. I can do that anywhere. No company can take that from me. They can take my job from me, but at the end of the day, do I still have my work? Yeah, absolutely. I do.

 They can't touch that. It has nothing to do with them, like through the job that I have, I get paid to do that, but they have nothing to do with my work. 

Ryan: And I guess where this would come into play is, and I'm thinking about. A bunch of people really. And I'm sure that a lot of people listening to this can think of people in their own life, but when you do immediately lose your job or when you do all of a sudden, like say COVID happens and then all of a sudden, the COVID policies force lockdowns, and now complete industries are shut down. And we all know somebody that lost their job due to COVID, and some of those people, because they had their purpose, their work, their fulfillment tied to their jobs. They had a really hard time with it.

Maybe if you're able to separate it, you can think about it more effectively. You can say, okay, this industry is down the drain. I lost my job here and say that you were in customer service or something like that, say you were a hotel concierge, which a lot of them did lose their jobs.

 And is okay. Maybe it's not the job that you liked. Maybe it was helping people and giving them direction. Maybe it was being an expert in a field and people coming to you for advice. So you go and do something different,

Hannah: similar,

Ryan: similar, right? 

In that field, maybe you are a concierge and you like to interface with people so then you go and do something similar in that field. It just, I see what you're saying. It de-risks the situation and it allows you to bounce back quicker. If things don't go your way, which things don't go your way 

Hannah: because that's life. 

Ryan: Yeah, exactly. I mean, 

Hannah: things happens all the time. 

Ryan: It happens all the time to everybody.

Hannah: You've addressed it really well, but basically , the two ways that you can separate your work from your job is in your mind, you can sort what it is that is at the root of your job satisfaction. If you, if you like your job or love your job, what is it that you get fulfillment of?

What is it that's fulfilling to you from your job? So separate that out mentally, and then externally you just do a little bit of research about other jobs, fields, or industries that you could do and exercise that work in another job. And just keep that in the back of your mind. You don't have to do anything with that information.

It's just knowing and not feeling. It's just one way to know you have more options and not to feel like you're backed into a corner, not to feel like you got everything taken away from you, because what you do when you do that is you give yourself, you're empowering yourself again to be able to find ways to do work right, your work, not through your job.

And now you are no longer dependent on an employer because they can't take it from you anymore, cuz you made sure they couldn't. 

Ryan: Awesome. Great stuff. I think that's pretty much it for this week. Yeah. If you guys, have any questions or have any comments on this. Please let us know contact at you can, shoot us an email.

If you guys wanted to support the podcast, the best way that you can do that is by leaving us an honest review, wherever it is that you get your podcast, that would be great. 

Hannah: And then if you wanna get an email from Ryan and I, cuz why would you not? You can run on over to and get our degree free weekly newsletter that has job ideas, resources, paid apprenticeships, degree, free news and stuff that Ryan and I think is cool. 

So if you wanna get that, just go on over run, don't walk to and grab it. 

Ryan: I think that's pretty much it guys.

Links to everything that we talked about are gonna be in the show notes degree, 

 Until next time guys. Aloha.

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