I had my yearly performance management review earlier this week and at the end I was asked about my pay. I couldn’t even tell him how much I earn. I have no problem my line manager knowing how much I get paid. In fact, I was a little surprised that he didn’t already know.
I did tell him a round figure of what I thought I was paid, but found out later that I was paid a little bit more. This probably explains why I have saved a little bit more money recently, and I thought that I was being a bit more fugal for once.
As long as I get paid enough to pay the bills, and it allows me to keep my Jaffa Cake habit going. I’m happy. Maybe I really should take these things a bit more seriously.
Now, I’m not saying that I wouldn’t accept a pay rise, I’m not that much of an eejit. However, money been a motivation of mine.
I’ve done the whole work in a pressurised environment, and get as much money as you can possibly get. I’ve tried to equate happiness to pay, but I’ve realised that other things are just as important.
I know that if I worked in the city I would be paid significantly more than I am at the moment. But, I like how I can get to and from work by bus in about twenty minutes, and that I don’t have to sit on a packed train twice every day.
The things that I currently do is sufficiently varied to keep me interested, and there is enough flexibility to allow me to do the things I need to outside of work. Don’t tell the students this, but generally they are quite delightful. I think I’m fortunate to be where I am.
On the other hand, being happy in your work doesn’t mean that your employer can take advantage. It’s a difficult balance to find. In these more difficult times, you get the impression that your bonus is that you still have a job so you are compelled to do everything they ask.
So, what am I ranting about today? It is very difficult for you to be content unless you know what you want to get from work. How do you want to be valued? We’re all different, and we need to find out what makes us content and that you shouldn’t concentrate on one thing, as it is all about balance.
If all you care about is how much you get paid, then it is easy for you to get worked up. What happens when you find out that the slacker in the office gets paid more than you? You end up spending all your time comparing yourself to your colleagues rather than looking at what you do. In one job, I was acting team leader for a group where I was paid the least. Even I thought that it wasn’t quite right.
I’ve always had a rule of thumb that if you want a pay rise it is always better to go and find yourself a different job. If you think that you aren’t being paid the market rate, then go out and look at the market. I once worked with someone who spent most of his day complaining about how he should be paid more. Ten years later, he still works at the same place.
In my experience, I’ve found that when you complain about pay, it is nothing more than a convenient excuse. Generally, there is something else going on which is making you feel undervalued. It’s easy to keep score by looking at your monthly pay slip.
There are, of course, people who are generally underpaid for what they do. However, I’m mainly talking about those who are paid a fair amount.
This is why I’m talking about finding a balance. I’m not going to advocate living to work, but outside of sleeping, you spend more time at work than anywhere else. So, it would be a good idea for you to be at least content there.
I’ve always thought that a large amount of work, is the people that you deal with. Your colleagues, and if you are like me, your customers. You don’t have to be friends with them, but you have to be able to at least get on. Those interactions set the tone for work. If you regularly come across someone who regularly annoys you, it is easy be apprehensive about dealing with them. I’ve done mindless work in the past, but it was bearable thanks to those I worked with.
That brings me to my next point. I’ve always been fortunate enough to do work which I enjoy. Failing that, you need to be doing something that you are suited to be doing. Not everyone can do their dream job, I know I haven’t. I always wanted to be a Y-wing pilot.
My second rule of thumb, if you find yourself having problems getting out of bed because you are so sick of work, it’s time to move on.
I’ve seen it countless times where someone is so negative about work that it is bad for both them and their employer to be there. Such negativity is bad for their mental health, and demotivates those around them. Funnily enough, when they do move on somewhere else they always say that it was the best thing that they did.
Geesh, couldn’t they have done it six months ago, without the constant complaining in my ears?
But going back to the original thing, I feel sorry for those people who equate things to money. I understand that so many people are struggling at the moment. I myself have lived through worse, and I still don’t understand how I survived through it. However, you cannot buy happiness.
I personally don’t have thousands in my bank account, as if I did I wouldn’t be working. But there are so many other things which I can worry about instead. As long as you can find something that pays the bills. There are other reasons to enjoy work, and not worry about the scoreboard.