What does the word “Work” mean to you?
“Getting a pay check”
“Making money for someone”
Are those the first thing that comes to your mind?
Are you happy with your job?
When someone talks about taking pride in our jobs, what will your reaction be?
Jobs – A Given Purpose
Why do we work?
The truth is, we all need a job.
It’s what gives us a purpose.
Most importantly, it’s what pays the our bill, allows us to buy what we want.
The economy will come to an end if nobody works.
But not all jobs are created equally.
Some require more hours, some are more dangerous, some require special set of skills.
And yet, they are not paid equally for the time given.
Work Takes Up Most of Our Time
Face it, most of us work long hours in our job.
Our work requires us to work at least 8 hours every day in our life.
That’s like 1/3 or more of our life!
Some of us work even longer hours!
So when we work, we are actually sacrificing our time for money.
What happens when these time for family, love and happiness was sacrificed for work?
Definitely, people will become dejected and lose any hope in their lives.
Why Some People Love Their Jobs, Why Some Hate Their Jobs
Do you hate your job?
Or you love it?
How many years has it been in your job?
Some of us love the purpose that our job given to us.
Some hate their jobs, but they had no choice but to stick to it because it pays the bills.
Some started with lots of passion, but as time goes by, they get jaded and lost interest in it.
Is it because of the work culture we are in?
Or is it because of how many badly behaved customers treated you?
Or is it because of they way our boss treats us?
The lack of work life balance?
Work Life Balance
There are many reasons that people are happy with what they work.
One of them is work life balance.
Let’s take a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
When we first started, we need to satisfy our physiological needs, such as air, food, water and a home.
A job will help us to satisfy these needs.
Next is about safety, which is about your health and well-being, your job security, your financial safety net.
The third is about your friendships, love and family.
Most of us would be stuck in these three levels because you are still fighting to survive with an average level of income.
When you are at the bottom of the hierarchy, you have to work hard to survive, especially if you are a low-income worker.
If you are starting out as a fresh graduate, many experienced job holders would tell you:
There is no work-life balance.
You have to work hard to climb the corporate level or find ways to increase your level of income.
So forget about the dream of work-life balance if you are a fresh graduate.
Once you have climbed to a certain level of income and position, you’ll start to crave for more time to yourself, to do what you wish in life.
It’s because you have already no problems with the first few hierarchy of Maslow’s Law.
You’ll start to crave for the esteem and achievements in life.
You’ll start to think differently about the world and people.
This is why there is a disparity of thinking between the rich and those people who are still struggling to earn an income.
The rich and privileged might think: Why can’t you people do more to provide a better service to us?
While the ones struggling might think: We are working so hard and tired, we do not have the time to do it because of your unreasonable demands!
There may not be work life balance in work. But try to strive for one.
Does Quality of Work Goes Hand In Hand With Cheap Labour?
Labour costs are huge problems for companies.
They make up a big part of their expenses.
That is why companies in the world are always looking for cheaper costs to increase their profitability.
However, when you cheapen costs, does it mean that it cheapens work quality?
After listening to various entrepreneurs who outsourced their work, the likely answer is yes.
You get what you pay for.
Rubbish in, rubbish out.
The important thing to note is how complex the work assignment is.
If a person is tasked just to perform a simple work assignment such as putting a chip on a circuit board, then you may justify that cost factor to do that is $5.
However, if the person is tasked to design and build a building, and you only pay him $5 to do that. How in the world is he supposed to do that?
The Problem With Education Meritocracy: Is a Degree The New Average?
Education is important.
Everyone knows it.
It unlocks better career opportunities and improves income GDP for the country.
But in developed countries, what happens when everyone has a degree?
Meritocracy based education allows the better educated to get better rewards because they worked hard for it.
Hence the race for a better education.
What happens when everyone has a degree? Does it mean that degree holders are the new average joes?
This meritocracy has become a mediocracy.
Are there enough jobs available for such pool?
The cracks are showing up in many developed countries.
It’s happening to South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore.
You may blame this on private institutions which flood the market with run-out-of-the-mill degrees which can be bought.
Now even Singapore’s government are discouraging citizens not to take up higher education – because there are not enough jobs to fill!
And you thought degrees holders are in a pinch, go read about the flooding of PhD holders in America.
To make matters worse, you read about your friends or people who are do not even have a degree are making big money, living the life you were supposed to be promised by your University!
In The New Economy, Relevant Skills Are Becoming More Important Than Standard Education
I believe the world is always changing.
In the new economy, standard university degrees are no longer an indication of success.
Businesses get disrupted along with new technologies.
No longer you get a job security with just your degree.
What differentiates you and the other average joes is your skills – soft and hard skills.
What can you do?
Can you build an app?
Can you solve corporate problems?
Can you create sales which bring in millions of dollars?
Are you good with people relationships?
If you don’t have the skills then it’s time to go learn some.
Will Robots Replace Your Job?
In the world of consumerism, the service sector growing rapidly.
Yet it’s the most difficult job to have.
As a service employee, you have certain company service regulation to comply.
And there are unreasonable customers to handle.
And the mantra goes: “Customers are always right.”
So when you follow the rules of your company, you risk getting scolded or injured by the customers.
When you tried to help someone that your company decides that you should not do.
Service sector rules have a very grey area.
Adding to the low pay and high demands, it’s no wonder more and more people are shunning it.
Soon robots will replace people in the service sector, and maybe more
And it’s already happening.
What Separates The High Valued Employee From The Low Valued Employee
It’s taking ownership of work. Responsibility.
If you may observe, those employees who are better performers are usually people who take ownership of their work.
They care about what they do that will affect things related to their work.
The bad ones are those who do work for their own benefit and do not care about what will affect their colleagues at work. This is called irresponsibility and laziness.
Managers and bosses are very important to companies as they can affect how your employees perform at work.
A boss or manager is able to influence good working habits on their staffs, which HR coined it as the company’s culture.
Bad company culture, employees get disengaged, results in bad service to customers.
Good company culture, employees are engaged, results in better service to customers.
These are backed by data from Google and many organizations around the world.
So What Does Your Job Mean To You?
If you feel that you are stuck in your life,
Then you should start thinking what do you want in your life.
Go read more books.
Go take up lessons.
Go learn from people smarter than you.
Go start a business.
Because in the future, you might be one that will enjoy the fruits of success that everyone envies.
What Does Your Personality Tell You About The Way You Work?
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