The History of Labor Day
Labor Day was the brainchild of Peter J. McGuire, founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and was intended to honor the everyday working people. The first Labor Day was celebrated in Boston in 1882 and President Grover Cleveland signed the bill, making Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894. It is also considered to be the unofficial end of the summer season.
I have been an independent career coach, motivational speaker and author of books on workplace issues for 12 years and often get asked the question, “How did you get started in this profession?” While I typically respond with a brief explanation, in honor of Labor Day, I would like to expound a bit in this blog.
I cannot remember a time when I didn’t work. As a child, I bought candy from the 7-11 store and sold it to my classmates at a mark-up. Like many young girls, I babysat for my neighbors and when I attended high school in Florida, I mowed lawns. Also in Florida, I worked at a Ponderosa Steak House and while still in high school when I moved to Connecticut I sold fertilizer and plastic pools and worked as a switchboard operator for a local chain of stores. The only time I was a member of a union, I worked as a cashier at an A&P where I joined the meatpackers union. I paid for 100% of my college education by working in a variety of jobs from being a receptionist to donning an Easter Bunny suit and distributing candy in the Hartford, CT civic center. Bartending funded a large portion of my college tuition. After graduation, my jobs ranged from writing radio commercials and TV news stories, placing programmer analysts as an IT recruiter, managing sales forces for consulting and coaching companies to selling big ticket business simulations to large companies.
Regardless of how menial or sophisticated my work has been, I have always loved to work. The opportunity to interact with and influence people, solve problems, create and build business and work toward a unified mission fulfills my values. In my work as a coach, writer and speaker, I have the platform to help others improve themselves and find gratification.
Naturally, like most people, I need to earn an income however, most of us don’t work just for the money as long as we feel that we are paid fairly. Unfortunately, we are living in a time of high unemployment and if you are someone who has been looking for work for a while, no doubt your perspective is different because of your situation.
My heartfelt wish on this Labor Day is that each and every person has the ability to find work that provides them with satisfaction.