In The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen writes in a passage about Denise, who is a cook and also feels like an outsider (doesn't everyone?), "Cooks were the mitochondria of humanity; they had their own separate DNA, they floated in a cell and powered it but were not really of it." (p. 379)
I think everyone with a career must feel this way. Because, ultimately, we all have our own individual DNA that directs the way we each "power" the members of humanity. Whether it's by cooking for them, cutting their hair, publishing their books, analyzing their minds, healing their wounds, or teaching their children, isn't EVERYONE a mitochondria of humanity in his or her niche?