With that being said, Labor Day is about more than a day away from labor. Instead, it’s a day to honor those who fought and died to secure better labor practices. Men, women, and children worked, organized, and went on strike to secure things like the eight-hour work day, safer working conditions, and the protections of the law, rather than relying on the good (or ill) will of their employers.
If you did not celebrate these achievements over the weekend, you are not alone. In recent years, Labor Day weekend has become synonymous with barbecues, one last beach trip, and home improvement sales.
However, it’s not too late.
- Are you doing the work you want to do, or are you doing the work you have to do to make ends meet?
- What can you do today to start working toward your dream job? Have you made short-term goals that line up with your dreams? Have you stopped to check in on those short-term goals lately?
- If you’re working for the paycheck (we’ve all been there), what can you do in your off-hours to feel more fulfilled? What can you do to get the skills you need to pursue a job that meets more of your needs?
- How’s your paycheck? Does it compensate you fairly for your labor, are you making a competitive rate? Or is it time to ask for that raise, look for a better position, or raise your hourly rate?
- What are the labor practices in your workplace? Are there policies that could work better? Are you in a position to create positive change?
- Have you thought about going into business for yourself, and what it would take for you to be able to hire others? What kind of workplace are you going to create for yourself and your future employees?
- Are you in a position of authority? What have you done recently to mentor those on your staff? How are you empowering them to reach their dreams and add to the team?
- Have you looked at your contract recently? Make sure you know your rights as an employee, and refresh yourself on company policies and procedures. It’s easy for some of them to fade from your memory—but it’s your responsibility to stay informed.
- How can you reach out to your larger community? In what ways are you (or your company) capable of giving back?
When it comes to life on the job, it’s easy to get settled in a situation that may or may not be meeting your needs—especially when you’re a military spouse. Sometimes we’re so grateful to have a position that we don’t look at our jobs critically.
In the spirit of the early labor movement and the sacrifices those workers made, you owe it to yourself to pull back from the familiar, to see if your needs are being met, if you’re fulfilled. Your big dreams are worth it, and so are you.
Story by Emilie Duck