Most of us spend a great deal of our childhoods fantasizing about what we’ll be when we grow up. Typically, we all have the same kind of dream to be firefighters, ballerinas, astronauts, and superheroes. As we indeed grow up and the realities of the world come to firmly greet us, we often leave those youthful career dreams behind. Absent the childhood wonder, finding a career you love can be hard, and once you find that dream job, it’s not always exactly what you expected.
Brad Pitt’s latest blockbuster, Fury, illustrates the horrors endured by American tank units in World War Two. The movie follows the experiences of five men asked to spend the majority of their time crowded together in the confined space of their M4A3E8 Sherman tank. The members of the crew have been fighting together since the early stages of the war effort and have formed an incredibly tight bond, led by Brad Pitt’s character, Don “Wardaddy” Collier. After one of their men is gruesomely killed, they are joined by a young rookie, green to the horrors of war. As the tank unit continues their struggle against a dominant Nazi military, the new addition becomes an integral part of the team, eventually welcomed into the fold. Their closeness is revealed most prominently when they’re faced with almost certain defeat. With a heavily equipped SS unit heading their way and without reinforcements, the tank crew is faced with the decision to run or to stay and fight a futile battle. When Wardaddy decides to hold his ground despite the odds weighted so heavily against him, the rest of the crew opts to join him. While patiently waiting for the SS to arrive, the crew repeatedly declare, “best job I’ve ever had”, a sentiment they each express several times earlier in the film.
Fury provides us with startling insight into the devastation wrought by war but also the intense bonds formed within it. For the five men of the tank unit, their job is the best they’ve ever had because of the people they shared it with. They put themselves in grave danger with every mission. They are confined to extremely small, cold, and uncomfortable quarters. They get little sleep, little food, and little time for recreation. For all intents and purposes, their job is a terrible one. Yet, they love it. They love it for the company they keep throughout each horrifying ordeal.
The same principles underlying Collier and his crew’s love for the job apply to our own search for the best job we’ve ever had. Rarely will your best job be exactly that because it paid you the most or gave you the most paid vacation time. Seldom will it be your best job because you rose quickly through the ranks until you reached the top. Never will it be your best job because your office provided the best view of the city.
Your best job will be the best because your employer made you feel valuable and integral to the team. Your best job will be the best because you and your coworkers are supportive of one another, because they care about one another, and because they enjoy one another’s company. You best job will be the best because you are a part of a collective of people that share your drive, your passion for your work, and your dedication. Your best job will be the best because you are able to make it meaningful.
Do you remember a moment during your work day when you thought, “This is the best job I’ve ever had!”? If so, tell us about it! What was the job and why did you enjoy it so much?