Howdy again! Hope your week is off to a good start. I got to thinking and came up with a blogging schedule (since as more time passes, I realize I have a lot of thoughts about several topics related to my brand of living your passion and purpose).
The schedule I’ll reveal in time, but I will share this. When I first began this writing journey (2005) my bread and butter was not selling books, articles or even doing events yet. But I guess that’s the beauty of letting life unfold and listening to the cues once the feeling feels right.
With that said, today’s topic is intended for both employees and employers. It will be written from the perspective of the employee to find the job (and eventually career) best suited to their talents and persona.
Of course with consistent use, this will benefit all parties at their various career and business stages as they grow and progress in life. It will also assist in rolling with the punches when times get tough and deals you those blows (not literally of course).
I read somewhere that a writer is a professional observer of life. Hereto on my daily travels I always find new ways to make what I do even more special for my customers and also attract new like-minded people to complement my life’s journey and make it all the more rewarding and fun.
In these evolving times, work is becoming even more difficult to navigate especially to a newcomer, someone changing careers or those searching to find a space where their gifts can truly thrive.
I’ve been there one too many times, so I know all too well how that can feel especially when you just can’t quit cold turkey and say: “to hell with this today (or tomorrow or forever), I’ll just live as a gypsy or on the beach in my car!“.
Life can feel like that, but learning to process these feelings and adapt is part of the adulting process no matter how young or old you may feel on the inside.
As a full-time employee, I used several outlets for release (which is perhaps another blog) but you MUST find what works best for you. Those emotions need an escape, lest it manifest in very ugly ways. Listening to music, keeping active and writing was always a huge part of my life.
So here are the tips for you as a job seeker. There are several jobs that society deem menial. You know the ones – the servers at your local Kentucky Fried Chicken, burger or pizza joint.
The tea ladies, cleaners, cabby’s, drivers/mail attendants/couriers or cashiers at the supermarket/corner shop, patrol officers etc etc. But here’s a (not so) novel thought: Have you ever stopped to think about why most people consider those jobs menial?
Think for a minute (now if you have a quiet moment). I think the #1 reason is the attitudes and behaviors associated with the person doing the job. If the word ‘menial’ has been assigned to the position, that automatically puts a small dollar value on the work which most people do not want to do regardless.
When I say most I don’t think that’s an unfair generalization. For generations we have been socialized by the movie industry, media and society to associate people in difficult or desperate situations with these jobs: college students (with huge student loans), immigrants, single parents and their offspring, low income families or people considered to be uneducated/unqualified/unskilled or unrefined second class citizens or illegals.
Though at times other factors may account for the seeming bad attitude of workers whose circumstances play a role in how they are viewed by society. For example, think of single parents or those in abusive relationships struggling to make ends meet without the luxury of basic amenities to consistently get to work in a positive frame of mind.
That stereotype automatically affects the person doing the job and how they carry out their duties. Most times people doing these jobs are looked down upon and how they are treated further reduces the chances of them rising above that stigma.
This can take a blow to your self-esteem and psyche with time no matter how strong, sure of yourself or old you are since after all – it is an honest way of earning income the legal way. On a rare occasion you will find a person that is singing a happy tune while taking out your garbage and being frowned upon by most.
I’ll give you a few examples where this exception may hold true.
Where a person has a very tight, supportive and respectful team, customers or boss that they love working with and brings joy to their days.
Where a person is doing that job as a stepping stone or as a means to an end with the knowledge that they can do better or have done better in the past. This person could be a migrant, college student or newly divorced or widowed person forced to adapt to a new lifestyle just to earn income for themselves or their kids.
Where a person has matured enough with diverse life experiences or is grounded with a solid foundation based on firm spiritual or family values to know that this is a passing storm and remain unfazed for the most part while doing their job with pride regardless.
Where a person honestly love what they do – whether it’s cleaning or driving the bus and can carry on with their duties with a smile once their environment does not pose a threat or disruption to their work.
A few things to bear in mind when doing ANY job regardless of the pay or position
Respect and trust is EARNED. Think about by what merit you got hired in the first place and why you applied and accepted the position. Try to live up to those positive ideals and expectations.
Consistent pride in your work contributes to genuine appreciation and respect by the people who matter (though much has to be filtered to determine what and who is real over time). Beware of the ones who smile and say pretty surface words, but their overall actions and demeanor speak of conditional or half-hearted support or acceptance.
How you treat someone (anyone) today, affects your future regardless of what you perceive to be their life experience, knowledge-base or station in life.
Various religions call it by a different name – karma, what you sow what you reap. But it does affect your future either for good or bad.
So try to agree to disagree or at best show respect and consideration for someone’s space, work, time and place in/way of life. Whether it’s a customer, employee, co-worker, boss or otherwise.
Lack of knowledge and ineffective communication I believe fuels a lot of the hatred and discord in the world.
You can’t totally ignore the surface stuff you see or force anyone to open up to you if they are not ready, or if the communication, trust or level of familiarity is not there (as yet).
If however you begin on a good footing, in time this can change. What will never change over time for many people is the damage caused by (consistent) words and actions to place a stain on their reputation or character.
You can never totally repay someone with apologies or money for what was taken away because some people may carry that with them forever – depending on how deep those scars went and for how long.
Everyone is at different phases in their life and based on how they are physiologically made-up, they may be constantly reminded of that hurt inhibiting their chances of moving on successfully. You can however give them the ability to start over and attempt to recover what they lost emotionally, physically or financially.
Imagine this: Customers or a boss who picks daily on a particular employee and ignores their good efforts. Or worse, acts as though they are just a pawn in the grand scheme of things and lacks the ability to leave because they are holding the “aces”. How do you think the employee would carry out their daily duties and go home to their families feeling? Dejected, unworthy and unappreciated. Of course there are exceptions to the rule as outlined above, but anything over a prolonged period of time becomes toxic.
Striking a balance between personal and professional interactions is definitely necessary to maintain some sense of privacy and security, so you won’t allow yourself to be taken for granted and trampled. At the same time, you don’t want another human being to feel that they are simply there as a ‘tool’ to serve your customers with no genuine human compassion for their individual situation. Or to make as much money for your business as (humanly) possible at all costs because they have no other choice.
If your ONLY goal is profit maximization, I truly believe you will lose the passion for starting your business in the first place. The quality of your product and your service will eventually drop, especially if you have the largest market share in that industry.
If the PASSION for your DREAM falters, this signals (at least to me) that it’s time to regroup, change directions, diversify into something else or start succession planning and pass the business onto someone dear to you to keep your (initial) vision/brand and legacy in tact.
Something else to consider: Think about a security guard stationed at a high risk area (especially at night) and treated simply as a ‘crutch’ to buffer or appease robberies or the safety of key people in the organization.
Ever notice people at high risk jobs such as at oil rigs are compensated more handsomely than most? It’s not only because of the lucrative nature of the oil industry. It’s because every day these men run the risk of not going home to their families. And that is something that would definitely keep the average person up at night.
Trust and respect are two important virtues in any personal or professional pursuit. Only life can teach you about human interaction. In my opinion (and please, if you are reading this far down into the blog, let your inner intuition guide your specific situations in life), no amount of training can effectively help someone to want to be a good employee or boss or business owner. It can certainly help for a certain period of time, but that reinforcement has to come from another place and speak to your values and goals.
Once you lose someone’s respect and trust, that’s it. For most mature people it takes a whole lot for that to happen and for someone to emotionally disconnect from a place or a person/group. A lot of times this can never be salvaged because it shows the true character of the person inflicting the harm. To repeatedly play with someone’s mind or emotions by constantly shifting your treatment of them – either directly or indirectly is no joking matter. It can cause irreparable damage for that person’s future interactions.
Bad news also travels fast and good news is seldom spoke of as much as the really damaging stuff (gossip). It’s better to be regarded as a fool, than a hothead. Once the truth is revealed with time, the ‘fool’ can redeem himself, but the hothead will always be a hothead. Especially if there was no real provocation and the first reaction was disrespect and antagonism. It makes a person look weak and childish with a lot to lose.
As the old folks say, “a still tongue keeps a wise head“. Unless someone really (consistently) rubs you the wrong way, there is absolutely no reason to be a meany to their face or within their earshot. Sometimes the best cure for any human condition can be a listening ear, an informed response and being fully present for someone.
Hope this blog helps with whatever you may be experiencing in your life. July is around the corner and this moment is yours to make a brand new start to conquer the world.