OPINION: ‘Real job’ is outdated and devalues the work of certain professions

The term “real job” has been used to describe occupations that are deemed socially appropriate, but it excludes and devalues the work of many.

Having a “real job” tends to indicate a job in major fields, or an area of specialization that provides insurance, pays more than minimum wage and provides opportunities for growth or promotions. Although some jobs might possess the aforementioned components, it is not seen as a “real job.”

What is considered to be a “real job” differs based on one’s perspective. A person may believe in the idea of a “real job,” but others may believe that as long as one follows their passions and enjoys what they do, their job is valid. 

No matter what someone believes a job is, no one should be criticized for their choice in how they make a living. Many find joy in music and art, and they decide to continue using their talents and passion to make an income. Concerts, movies and art are devoured by people, but entertainment wouldn’t exist without the singers, actors and artists who took up “unconventional” jobs. 

Famous artists have a pass on their jobs not technically being “real,” but people without fame are criticized instead of supported for pursuing their passions. The term “real job” not only excludes jobs such as musicians, artists, and other creative careers, but also work that is vital to everyday life.

Some people consider customer service and blue-collar jobs to not be “real jobs,” but these require hard work and are vital to keeping society functioning. People may not be able to afford college, and so a blue collar or customer service job is what they decide to do. Their work is not considered to be a “real job,” but people still depend on them to be able to buy groceries, or get their houses fixed.

The phrase “real job” is used to devalue the work of others and their way of life, but it is only used against certain people. Although some people find a nine to five job comforting, many cannot, or do not, wish to have these jobs. This phrase is outdated and should not be used in everyday life, as it diminishes the experience of many hard workers.