As we approach our nation’s annual engagement of the Labor Day holiday, let’s remember all the things it should bring to mind. The very first Labor Day occurred in 1882 and it became a federal holiday in 1894. Its purpose was to celebrate work by not working, and to give workers a nice break between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.

If you are fortunate enough to have a job, then be thankful for that. Many people are searching for employment. Others battle various physical or psychological ailments that undermine their ability to work.

If you are currently searching for a job, then be thankful you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself. Many times a closed door of opportunity leads to a new door of better opportunity. Meanwhile, take advantage of the extra time unemployment provides to do some serious introspection, self-assessment, and career reengineering. Your professional growth depends on it.

Don’t forget that you also need to take some time off to recharge your batteries. Rest and recreation help us to be better workers. “Off time” and “on time” have a symbiotic relationship. Our off time recharges our batteries for on time. Our on time challenges us sufficiently so that we appreciate our off time.

Finally, pay attention to the rhythm of the calendar. Shortly after our celebration of labor, we move toward the more major holidays of our nation. It’s great to celebrate labor and the professional life. However, let’s spend equal time exploring and celebrating personal time and the personal life. Here are some good questions to get you started:

  • What kind of a person are you becoming?
  • Do you feel fulfilled and happy?
  • What is the true source of your inner stability and strength?
  • How are your relationships?
  • Do you value the things that matter most?

These are the kinds of questions we should never forget because they affect us and others both at work and away from work. So if you are not happy with the answers, then why not take on a new homework assignment to figure out why? That would be labor well spent this Labor Day!

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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