Like millions of other people all over the world, you’re up again this morning on your way to work. You’ve probably been this way since you finished school. You’ve been working and working and working. Some of us started working years before you joined the toil, and many more of us may join you in this work thingy many years to come. Waking up every working day and going to work – Working really hard, day in day out all year round. We’re working.
Thank God for this employment we would say, thank God for this job, millions are jobless, at least you have a job right and through it, you can make ends meet, thank God for your job.
In fact for some of us, the luckier ones, the nature of our employment has in offering hope for our tomorrow. If we keep working and the reward and promotion regular, we shall keep meeting our financial, material and domestic obligations hence, we’ll be fine. Yea, with this employment we should get by.
Hmmm, I have a question this morning, Is this what your life is absolutely about or there is more? Is your life about working all the time, earning a salary, meeting needs and just getting by?
Personally, I believe there is more to you than this. I think you have unconsciously set a limit and a seal on you and your potentials if all you’re about and the extent of your dream is work, work and just getting by.
Sadly, there are millions of people around you who are in the same shoes and think the same way hence; you don’t see anything wrong with this orientation and limitation. This is because when being average is common, it appears normal and excellence becomes rare, unusual and looks like luck.
Because of the communal instinct we all have as humans, we consciously or unconsciously benchmark our accomplishments, capacities and potentials with that of many people around us. Once it appears we are not doing badly compared to other people, we conclude we are doing well.
I remember long ago when I was in primary school, i ran home excited at the end of a term with my report card because i was fourth position in class – a rare occurrence. I was expecting my parents to be happy too and commend my effort but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. My dad didn’t just look at my position in class, he checked my grades as well and of course there were a few Cs and even Ds. In his opinion, i didn’t do so well and the reason why i came fourth in class is because the class average is poor and many of my classmates didn’t do well too, in his opinion, I’m in the wrong class.
The fact that you look around and it appears you’re doing fairly better than most people that surrounding you is not an indication that you’re doing well, in real effect, you may just be getting by.
I remember also many years ago as an employee in one of the multinationals around, my official driver after many years of work bought a very old car from one of my colleagues. Oh my! He was elated and very happy. At last, he’s now a car owner. It didn’t matter the car was almost 20 years old and the mechanic had to come work on it every other day, he was just excited he now owned a car, Worse still, his colleagues – other drivers, who didn’t have cars then, really envied him and became nicer to him; probably because they needed a lift to their nearest bus stop after working hours. In his world, relative to his other driver colleagues, he was doing well, but in the real world he’s probably nowhere yet.
Your career shouldn’t be about just work, work and work, are you effective generally speaking?
You see, when all you’re about is just work, all you may experience year-after-year is progression and not a major step change in life. If you know your job and you do it well, you are naturally entitled to regular salary and promotion as at when due.
But think about this, you go out often and see many things you want and desire but can’t afford because of what you do, where you work and what you earn. Your lifestyle quality is absolutely tied to your workplace, work type and remuneration. You have of course set limits to you creativity, capacity and potentials hence this limit has naturally extended to the quality of life you can truly afford.
Based on your workplace, work type and income today, there may be certain kinds of cars you can’t buy, houses you can’t buy, travels and vacations you can’t afford, clothes you can’t afford, education you can’t afford and so on. So all you do is admire those who can afford these luxuries, dream and talk about it, but disqualify yourself from enjoying these luxuries because according to you, you cannot afford these. – hmn, in your mind.
But may i say to you this morning that working is for a purpose, it’s about creating value and in return enjoying a good quality life.
You see, the effectiveness of what you do must reflect in the quality of your life. Effectiveness, however, is not doing things right, it’s about doing the right things.
Going to work daily, working hard, getting your salary regularly and all that is doing things right. But is it having any good effect in the quality of your life?
Your career shouldn’t determine how well you live; you should be the one to determine how well you live by doing the right things with your career. An office assistant today can become a managing director tomorrow if he does the right things.
Some industries are shrinking and some are growing, some skills are fading and new skills are emerging, some qualifications are common and cheap while new emerging ones are scarce and rare.
Some companies are plummeting while others are skyrocketing. Why invest your qualifications, energy, time, years and career in dying, cheap and poorly rewarding zones? It’s not about how hard you work; it’s about how right you work.
Investing your career life and energy in a company that will pay you a million, for instance, may not be an effective choice if the same level of skill, energy and time will fetch you 10 million somewhere else.
Work becomes more exciting if it’s highly rewarding especially if you’re in an industry you like and enjoy. Most times hard work is not the only thing you need to succeed, working in the right place with the right skills and in the right industry matters as well.
If you work in an industry that is respected and rewarding, it enhances your self-esteem and attitude to work. If you have enough cash to meet your accommodation, education, feeding, vacation and retirement obligations, you’re happier and more passionate and committed. Creativity kicks in and steady motivation is given.
If currently, you’re working in an industry or organisation that is not fulfilling or rewarding based on your personal preferences, its better you leave, as if you don’t, you’ll be unhappy and also shortchange your organisation by not giving your best. It’s not fair to keep collecting money and not doing so much.
Stop the work, work, work thinking and attitude, become creative and strategic with your career.
I know a few guys who within a short while moved from an organisation to a preferred one, an industry to another one with their hard-working nature, attitude and creativity and today their lifestyle quality reflects it. They are living well, can afford most things and are happy.
Don’t just be about hard work alone and frustrate yourself, strategise and plan your career journey – creating value along the way and getting your due, impressive reward.
Many times your location determines your allocation, it’s beyond hard work and dedication.
Think through, strategise and cash in your dream reward.
Enjoy your day.