Take Your ‘Real Job’ and Shove It

I don’t ask questions on Facebook. It’s not my thing.

I guess I get it…

• “Visiting Miami…does anyone know a good restaurant on South Beach?”

• “Looking for a book to read on my cruise…any suggestions?”

• “Thinking about getting a tattoo…should I get the pig with a snake in its mouth?”

• “Where should I get the before-mentioned tattoo?”

Again, it’s not my thing.

I slipped the other day when I wrote a fun, light-hearted status update. It said:

I recently submitted a résumé that forced me to self brand myself all in the name of #livethelist. My newly generated job title: “Enlivener” – a person who restores (something) to life, gives life to (something); a person who makes (something) more entertaining, interesting or appealing.

Then, I broke my personal policy on begging for comments by writing:


In all honesty…it was a rhetorical question – I knew my made-up title was wonderfully great – but I guess the tone was lost in cyberspace.

To my surprise, however, I received some interesting feedback.


“Describes you…”

“For almost any other person, I’d be cynical and skeptical. You, on the other hand…”

Again, I wasn’t looking for validation, but there were some nice comments. Then there were a handful of “friends” who saw a prime opportunity to fire a shot across my bow.

Before I go down that road, though…here is a little back-story about my self-branding post.

I was recently approved to teach a Live the List continuing education class at Tarleton State University this summer and next fall. As part of the process, the university needed me to submit a résumé’.

I had no problem laying out my 11 jobs in 11 years after college…BUT I had to find my résumé’. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the last time that I submitted one to a potential “employer.”

When I started selling real estate – NO résumé’ needed.

When I launched my marketing and communications company – NO résumé’ needed.

When I became a part-time stay-at-home dad – NO résumé’ needed.

I finally found it, and then it was time to dust it off.

Since I was applying for a “job” that revolved around my Live the List Project, I didn’t think being a real estate agent was going to get me the job.

After a lot of brainstorming, I decided to give myself a fancy title for all the hard work that I’ve put into Live the List.


I had to come up with something – an umbrella that covered the following duties:

• Developing a unique platform around Live the List Project, which puts people’s goals, dreams and aspirations in the spotlight

• Writing a regular blog and a book about Live the List Project

• Speaking to civic groups, churches and non-profit organizations about Live the List Project

• Coordinating the launch of a Live the List radio show

I thought “Enlivener” was PERFECT. Again, it was 100 percent bullshit – BUT it got my point across and helped get me the job.

Sooooo…about those comments on Facebook.

After re-reading all of them – I realized that they were mostly all in good fun. Just a little ribbing from family and friends. (e.g. “What’s the pay scale on that profession??!”)

But there was ONE comment that stuck with me. It poetically said:

I think you should get a real job. You asked…and it would be a nice thing to check off “the list.”

My initial response was a gigantic smile. (Not sure why.)

Then I felt a surge of inspiration. I whispered to myself: “I’ll show you ‘real job’ when all of this hard work pays off.”

Then I asked the universe the million-dollar question:

What the hell is a “real job?”

Then the follow-up questions started flowing:

– Do I have to work at least 40 to 60 hours a week for it to be a “real job?”

– Do I have to constantly bitch about what I do for a living for it to be a “real job?”

– Do I have to do meaningless tasks to help someone else make a buck for it to be a “real job?”

– Do I have to dread going to work on Monday morning for it to be a “real job?”

– Do I have to count the days until the weekend for it to be a “real job?”

– Do I have to count the years until I can retire and THEN do what I really want to do with my life? Does THAT make it a “real job?”

Then, I figured out why I initially smiled after reading that comment. It made me feel like a Mexican fisherman.

Don’t know what the hell I’m talking about? Then, this post is a must read!

Spoiler alert: “Real jobs” are just as much bullshit as my made-up title.

AND I won’t be getting a “real job” anytime soon.

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