When we hear success stories about people who overcame precipitous obstacles – such as poverty, drug addiction, and abuse to name a few but not diminish others – their story almost always includes finding a self-supporting job. Getting a job is part of the happy ending because it’s the job that allows them to live a “normal” life. The type of job seldom matters as long as it provides enough income to get by without tipping them back into the situation from which they came.

It’s not uncommon to hear people who have overcome great obstacles report that they like their newfound job because it involves working with people and helping others, possibly others that are working to overcome a similar past. Though no matter what the job is, they seem to be able to appreciate how their job fits into the framework of society.

Those of us who have not overcome such obstacles know from our own experience that appreciating how our job fits into society’s needs and wants is often not enough to provide us with a sense of fulfillment. We need more than the security – false though it may be – that our job provides. This could lead us to conclude that those who have overcome great hardship are finding fulfillment not from the job alone, but from the stability it provides – something that even those of us who have experienced job loss may not be adept at.

No matter if we like our job or not, it provides us with a paycheck, regular social interaction, and a sense of what can be expected a routine. Without it, thrown into uncertainty, we’d likely quickly see how much fulfillment our job, any job, provides.